ArmInfo. The poverty rate in Armenia at the end of 2021 averaged 26.5%, of which 1.5% falls on the extremely poor population (against 27%, of which 0.7% is below the extreme poverty line in 2020). This is noted in the joint report of the RA Statistical Committee and the World Bank: Social Snapshot and Poverty in Armenia.
According to this report, estimates for 2021 show that if payments of all types of social transfers (including pensions and social assistance) are suspended and households cannot find other sources to compensate for these losses, the overall poverty rate in Armenia will almost double- from reporting 26.5% to 49%.
It is noteworthy that the most stable region, where the lowest level of poverty in Armenia is recorded, is Syunik - 2.8% (against 6.1% in 2020). An acceptable situation with poverty is observed in the Aragatsotn region - 13.5% (against 32.9% in 2020), followed by Lori 21.8% (against 19% in 2020), the poverty rate in Kotayk increased from 17.4% in 2020 to 23.6% in 2021, in Vayots Dzor - from 21.9% to 26.6%. The Ararat region exceeded the average for Armenia, where the poverty rate in 2021 was 28%, against 32.8% in 2020. In Armavir and Tavush regions, the poverty rate has become even higher over the year, reaching 37.5% and 38.2%, respectively, from 32.2% and 37.5% in 2020. The poorest regions in Armenia are Shirak and Gegharkunik, where almost half of the population lived below the poverty line in 2021. In particular, the poverty level in Shirak reached 46.9% (from 42.9% in 2020), in Gegharkunik - 49.1% (from 42.9% in 2020).
It should be noted that in the October forecast of the World Bank for 2022, the poverty level is already calculated on the basis of the changed purchasing power parity. In particular, according to the WB forecast, the poverty rate in Armenia may decrease in 2022 to 43.1% from the estimated 48.9% in 2021 (calculated on the basis of PPP - purchasing power parity at costs of $6.85 per day, against $5.50 previously). The World Bank forecasts: "Against a backdrop of strong economic performance, poverty will continue to decline. However, high food and energy prices can negatively impact distribution, disproportionately affecting the poor. Moreover, the consequences could have long-term effects, as lower-income households would be forced to reduce food consumption and investment in assets, which would hinder the accumulation of human capital." Meanwhile, back in April of this year, RA Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan stated that if it is not possible to distribute the registered economic growth among everyone, in particular, to increase the incomes of vulnerable segments of the population, then the poverty level in Armenia may rise to 42% in 2022. In this regard, he explained: "Despite the positive results, the future is full of risks, which is associated with the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. This conflict creates problems for agriculture, food security, which will also affect inflation. Thus, the cost of the food basket will increase. And, consequently, another 15% of the population will be below the poverty line.