In 2019, the population density in Armenia was 101
residents per km2, and 64 percent of the
population lived in cities. The capital Yerevan is the
dominant city, with more than a third of the country's total
Countryaah, the Armenians early became known as successful traders
and managed to gain control of business in many cities of
the Ottoman Empire, which contributed to the hatred of
Armenians who subsequently flared up in difficult pogroms.
The older settlements in the countryside consisted mainly
of small villages, located in the river valleys and gathered
in extensive clusters. The dwellings consisted of one-roomed
huts, usually with dome roofs. In the mountainous areas, in
many cases, the dwellings lay as small fortresses more or
less hanging on the mountain slopes. Especially in the north
there were also two-storey houses with the housing on the
upper floor. Agriculture was largely carried out with the
help of irrigation and terrace facilities. Livestock
management (sheep and goats) meant herding livestock during
The traditional men's suit was a cotton shirt, a kaftan
and wide balloon trousers of the usual frontal oriental
model. The women's outfit was similar but of finer fabric
and included an often very motley headdress. In the West,
women's costumes in particular during the Middle Ages were
influenced by Western (Venetian) fashion. Older women
enjoyed great respect and as widows could lead their
extended family. Younger sons often have to take poorly paid
jobs in the cities. The use of hashish was formerly
Armenian folklore has been documented by extensive
collection work by the Academy of Sciences in Yerevan; among
other things, over 10,000 folk tales have been recorded.
There are also anthologies in German and English. During the
Soviet era, which meant, among other things, that the
village system was replaced by colchos and sovoschos, the
church's strong influence over the culture decreased.
However, the strong national awareness of the Armenians did
The official language is Armenian, which forms its own
branch within the Indo-European language family. Other
important languages are Kurdish and Russian.
The pre-Christian history of Armenia is poorly known in
the absence of written sources. Single notes from the 400s
AD reveals the Iranian origin of several deities, although
over time they became distinctly Armenian in character.
Christianity became the official religion of Armenia in
the early 300s and has been an important part of Armenian
identity ever since. The Armenian Apostolic Church is an
independent monophysite national church with richly
developed liturgy and, like other Eastern churches (the
Coptic and Syrian Orthodox), has not recognized the church
meeting in Chalcedon 451. The head of the church bears the
title of Katholikos and has its seat in Edmyzine, millennia
the foremost Christian cultural town in Armenia.
Among the ethnic Russians, the Russian Orthodox Church is
represented. The few ethnic Azeris who remain after the
conflict with neighboring Azerbaijan form a minority of
Sunni and Shia Muslims. The Kurdish minority is mainly
Muslim, but there are also Yazidis among the Kurds.