Armenia is a landlocked mountainous country in the Southern Caucasus (Transcaucasus), bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and the Nakhichevan exclave of Azerbaijan to the south. Though geographically in Western Asia, politically and culturally Armenia is closely aligned with Europe.

Historically, Armenia has been at the crossroads between Europe and Southwest Asia, and is therefore seen as a transcontinental nation. A former republic of the Soviet Union, Armenia is one of the oldest and most historic civilizations in the world. It is considered to be the place where Biblical Noah and his descendants first settled, as well as the first nation to adopt Christianity as its offical religion. Although Armenia is constitutionally a secular state, Christianity plays a major role in both its history and the identification of the Armenian people.

In the 1980s, tension developed between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. In the same decade, Soviet Armenia suffered the devastating 1988 Leninakan Earthquake. In 1991, the Soviet Union broke apart and Armenia re-established its independence. Unfortunately, the early years of Armenia's independence were marred by the continued confrontation with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. A Russian-brokered cease-fire was put in place in 1994. The status over Karabakh has yet to be determined and the economies of both countries have been hurt in the absence of a complete resolution.

Armenians have their own highly distinctive alphabet and language. Most of the people in the country speak Armenian, while 75.8% of the population additionally speaks Russian as a result of the Soviet language policy.

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Basic information

Full country name: Republic of Armenia

Government type: Semi-Presidential Republic

President: Serzh Sargsyan

Capital: Yerevan

National holiday: Independence Day, 21 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Area: 27,743 sq km

Administrative divisions: 11 provinces (marzer, singular - marz)

Population: 3,018,854 (2011 census)

Ethnic groups: Armenian 98.1%, Yazidi (Kurd) 1%, other 0.7% (2011 est.)

Language: Armenian Armenian (official) 97.9%, Kurdish (spoken by Yezidi minority) 1%, other 1% (2011 est.)

Religion: Armenian Apostolic 92.6%, Evangelical 1%, other 2.4%, none 1.1%, unspecified 2.9% (2011 est.)

GDP - per capita: $ 2310 (Dec. 2013 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 46.2%, industry: 15.6%, services: 38.2% (2006 est.)

Unemployment rate: 17.5 % (May 2014 est.)

Population growth rate: -0.13% (2014 est.)

Source: The World Factbook. You can read full article here!

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