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Map of the Armenian diaspora.

The Armenian diaspora is a term used to describe the communities of Armenians living outside of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Of the total Armenian population living worldwide (in 2004 estimated to be 9,000,000), only about 3,000,000 live in Armenia and about 130,000 in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Armenian diaspora population is estimated to be 8,000,000.[1] (See chart of population breakdown by country below). Only one-fifth of the world's Armenian population lives in the former Soviet republic of Armenia, and their pre-World War I homeland until the 1920s once covered five or six times that of present-day Armenia, including the eastern regions of Turkey, parts of Iran and Syria.


Armenian Rite Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity in Gliwice, Poland, built in 1836-38

Although an Armenian diaspora existed since the Armenian loss of statehood in 1375 (when the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia fell to the Mamelukes), it grew in size only after the Armenian Genocide.

Although many Armenians perished, others managed to escape, and established themselves in various Eastern European cities, such as Moscow, Russia; Sochi, Russia; Odessa, Ukraine; Sevastopol, Crimea (Ukraine); Tbilisi, Georgia; Batumi, Georgia; Plovdiv.

Others immigrated to the The Balkans, such as Bulgaria and Athens, Greece.

Yet others immigrated to Middle Eastern cities, such as and Aleppo, Syria andBeirut, Lebanon;

Armenians of the Middle East

An Armenian ceramicist in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem.

Immediately after the Armenian Genocide, the Armenians of the diaspora lived in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. Some emigrated to Greece and further. However, as the financial situation of the refugee Armenians improved, the camps grew into towns, and these towns became cities.

This was the case of many of the Armenian-populated regions in Lebanon like Anjar and Bourj Hammoud. In time, the Armenians organized themselves by building churches, schools, community centers, etc. Various political parties and benevolent unions, such as the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF or Dashnaktsutiun), the Social-Democrat Hunchakian party (Hunchak), and the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), were established wherever there was a considerable number of Armenians.

Following the expansion of Pan-Arabism in Egypt and Syria, Islamism in Iran, and the Lebanese Civil War, tens of thousands of Armenians emigrated from the Middle East and established themselves in Europe, USA and Canada.

Some Armenians fought for Iraq in the army under Saddam Hussein in the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, two countries known to have large Armenian communities until the 2000s. The Armenian community in Iraq has dwindled after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and a scattering number of Armenians remain in east Asia. The Iranian Armenian community also shrank in size since the 1970s.

Israel has a sizable Armenian community centered on the Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem. A smaller community exists in Israel proper.

Cyprus meanwhile has a small but vocal Armenian community, particularly in the southern portion of the island where the majority population is Greek-Cypriot and Orthodox Christian. During British administration, they were governed as part of the Greek-Cypriot population, and due to the current division of the island operate de facto in a similar fashion today. Like the Latins and the Lebanese Maronites, Armenian-Cypriots have special minority status in Cyprus and are exempt from the military, though some elements of the community have been vocal about removing this exemption. While the Armenian community is guaranteed a seat in the House of Parliament, it is possible that any future solution between the Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot populations might see the Armenian-Cypriot community take on a greater role in the power-sharing arrangement of the island, as they form the third-largest ethnic group and are considerably larger than others.

Armenians in Europe and the Americas

Several million Armenians settled in Western Europe (i.e. France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands) and in the Americas (North and South) as early as in the 1890s.

Following the expansion of Pan-Arabism in Egypt and Syria, Islamism in Iran, and the Lebanese Civil War, many Armenians emigrated from the Middle East and established themselves in the United States, Canada, France, and elsewhere, where they founded lobbies to support the Republic of Armenia and extend the international recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide.

An estimated 10,000 Armenians are said to reside in Mexico.

Armenians in the Soviet Era

Substantial Armenian communities also exist in the Russian Far East as well as in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. Some of these groups were encouraged to settle in the area by both Tsarist and Soviet authorities while others had no choice but to come, being part of Stalin's population deportations.

Other Diaspora Armenians

Armenian communities can also be found in India, Australia, New Zealand, Sub-Saharan Africa (Sudan, South Africa, and Ethiopia), and as far east as Singapore, Myanmar and Hong Kong. Armenian exile communities even once thrived in China, Japan and the Philippines, but the status of Armenian culture in these countries has all but disappeared.

Political and religious conflicts

In the 1940s and 1950s, the Soviet Union was trying to extend its influence throughout the world, and especially in the Middle East. The Social-Democrat Henchagian party, being ideologically close to communism, supported the Soviet Union in its struggle to expand in the Middle East. Partisans of the AGBU, supposedly being politically neutral, also supported the Soviet Union, because Armenia was part of Soviet Union. The ARF, despite its socialist background was a nationalistic party, objected, as it propagated the idea of a free, independent, and united Armenia. As the ARF struggled to preserve the flag, coat of arms, and national anthem of the Independent Armenian Republic of 1918-1922, others chose to support Soviet Armenia, seeing it as the only place in the world where Armenians could live safely as Armenians.

There was also a conflict between the leaders of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Armenians had 2 Catholicoses. One of them was located in Echmiadzin, Armenia and was supported by the Soviet KGB, the Hunchaks, and the Ramgavars, while the other was located in Antelias, Lebanon and was supported by the Dashnaks, as they thought that the Catholicosate of Echmiadzin was a tool for propagation of communism.

In the 1950s, during the climax of this conflict, there were armed clashes between partisans of the 2 "sides", and also assassination attempts, acts of desecration, etc. However, tensions eased out in 1975 during the Lebanese Civil War, when Armenians had to stick together in order to overcome opposing forces.

Contemporary Armenian Diaspora

There are no reliable official figures about the Armenian diaspora. But there is general agreement on the countries with the large number of Armenians (excluding Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh). These are:

Armenians in the world

Rank Country or territory Capital Centres of Armenian population Population of Armenians Dialect(s) spoken Further information
1 Armenia Armenia Yerevan The entire country 3,215,800 (2005 estimate) Eastern Armenian
2 Russia Russia Moscow Moscow, North Caucasus, Vladivostok 1,130,491 (2002 census)[2] Western and Eastern Armenian Armenians in Russia
3 United States United States Washington, D.C. Los Angeles, Glendale, Fresno, Boston, Watertown, Detroit, Chicago, New York City, Northern New Jersey, Las Vegas, Nevada 1,000,000[3] Western and Eastern Armenian Armenians in the United States
4 France France Paris Paris, Marseille, Lyon 500,000[4][5] Western and Eastern Armenian Armenians in France
5 Iran Iran Tehran Tehran, Isfahan, New Julfa, Tabriz, Urmia, Northern Iran 400,000[6] Eastern Armenian Armenians in Iran
6 Georgia (country) Georgia Tbilisi Tbilisi, Adjara, Sukhumi


248,900 (2004 census)[7] Eastern Armenian Armenians in Georgia

Armenians in Samtskhe-Javakheti Armenians in Abkhazia

7 Syria Syria Damascus Damascus, Aleppo, Kamishli 190,000[8] Western Armenian Armenians in Syria
8 Lebanon Lebanon Beirut Beirut, Bourj Hammoud, Anjar 140,000[9] Western Armenian Armenians in Lebanon
9 Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Baku The entire region

Republic of Artsakh Nagorno-Karabakh Republic: Stepanakert

137 380[10][11] Eastern Armenian Armenians in Azerbaijan

Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh Republic

10 Argentina Argentina Buenos Aires Buenos Aires, Córdoba 130,000[12] Western Armenian Armenians in Argentina
11 Ukraine Ukraine Kiev Kiev, Odessa, Crimea, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv, Luhansk, Kharkiv 99,894 (2001 census)[13] Eastern Armenian Armenians in Ukraine
12 Poland Poland Warsaw Gliwice, Gdansk, Kraków 92,000 [14] Western and Eastern Armenian Armenians in Poland
13 Turkey Turkey Ankara Istanbul, with remaining communities in Vakıflı and Sason as well as Hamshenis who have retained their Armenian dialect (Homshetsi) in the Artvin Province. 40,000 to 70,000 (the Hamshenis are not included)[15] Western Armenian Armenians in Turkey
14 Jordan Jordan Amman Amman 70,000[16] Western Armenian Armenians in Jordan
15 Uzbekistan Uzbekistan Tashkent 70,000[17] Eastern Armenian Armenians in Uzbekistan
16 Germany Germany Berlin 42,000[18] (some estimates to 60,000). Western and Eastern Armenian Armenians in Germany
17 Canada Canada Ottawa Montreal, Laval, Toronto, Cambridge, Vancouver 40,505 (2001 census)[3] (some estimates to 60,000) Western and Eastern Armenian Armenians in Canada
18 Greece Greece Athens Athens, Thessaloniki, Piraeus 35,000[19] (estimates to 55,000) Western and Eastern Armenian Armenians in Greece
19 Brazil Brazil Brasília Greater São Paulo area 40,000[20] (estimates to 50,000) Western Armenian Armenians in Brazil
20 Australia Australia Canberra Melbourne, Sydney 45,000[21] Western and Eastern Armenian Armenians in Australia
21 Spain Spain Madrid Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Valencia 42,000 Western Armenian Armenians in Spain
22 Turkmenistan Turkmenistan Aşgabat 30,000[22] Eastern Armenian Armenians in Turkmenistan
23 Bulgaria Bulgaria Sofia Sofia, Plovdiv 30,000[23] Western and Eastern Armenian Armenians in Bulgaria
24 Belarus Belarus Minsk 25,000[24] Eastern Armenian Armenians in Belarus
25 Kazakhstan Kazakhstan Astana 25,000[25] Eastern Armenian Armenians in Kazakhstan
26 Iraq Iraq Baghdad Baghdad, Mosul, Zakho,Basra,Avzrog,Kirkuk. 20,000[26][27] Western Armenian Armenians in Iraq
27 Uruguay Uruguay Montevideo 19,000[28] Western Armenian Armenians in Uruguay
28 United Kingdom United Kingdom London London, Manchester 18,001[29] Western and Eastern Armenian Armenians in the United Kingdom
29 Hungary Hungary Budapest Budapest and Pest county 15,000[30] Western Armenian Armenians in Hungary
30 Belgium Belgium Brussels 10,000[31] Western Armenian Armenians in Belgium
31 Czech Republic Czech Republic Prague 10,000[32] Western Armenian Armenians in the Czech Republic
32 Israel Israel
Jerusalem Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem 9,800 Western Armenian Armenians in Israel
33 Egypt Egypt Cairo Cairo, Alexandria 8,200 Western Armenian Armenians in Egypt
34 Moldova Moldova Chişinău 7,000 Eastern Armenian Armenians in Moldova
35 Netherlands Netherlands Amsterdam Amsterdam, Dordrecht, The Hague, Leiden, Rotterdam 6,000 Western Armenian Armenians in the Netherlands
36 Tajikistan Tajikistan Dushanbe 6,000 Eastern Armenian Armenians in Tajikistan
37 Latvia Latvia Riga 5,000 Eastern Armenian Armenians in Latvia
38 Switzerland Switzerland Bern 5,000 Western Armenian Armenians in Switzerland
39 Sweden Sweden Stockholm 5,000 Western and Eastern Armenian Armenians in Sweden
40 Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait City 5,000 Western Armenian Armenians in Kuwait
41 Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan Bishkek 3,285 Eastern Armenian Armenians in Kyrgyzstan
42 United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi 3,000 Western Armenian Armenians in the United Arab Emirates
43 Denmark Denmark Copenhagen 3,000 Western Armenian Armenians in Denmark
44 Austria Austria Vienna 3,000 Western Armenian Armenians in Austria
45 Nicaragua Nicaragua Managua 2,907 Western Armenian Armenians in Nicaragua
46 Ecuador Ecuador Quito N/A[33] Western Armenian Armenians in Ecuador
47 Cyprus Cyprus Nicosia Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca 2,740 (1987 census) Western Armenian Armenians in Cyprus
48 Venezuela Venezuela Caracas 2,500 Western Armenian Armenians in Venezuela
49 Lithuania Lithuania Vilnius 2,500 Eastern Armenian Armenians in Lithuania
50 Italy Italy Rome Milan, Rome, Venice 2,500 Western Armenian Armenians in Italy
51 Estonia Estonia Tallinn 2,000 Eastern Armenian Armenians in Estonia
52 Romania Romania Bucharest 1,780 Western Armenian Armenians in Romania
53 Norway Norway Oslo 1,000 Western Armenian Armenians in Norway
54 Finland Finland Helsinki 1,000 Western Armenian Armenians in Finland
55 Chile Chile Santiago 1,000 Western Armenian Armenians in Chile
56 Sudan Sudan Khartoum 1,000 Western Armenian Armenians in Sudan
57 Thailand Thailand Bangkok 1,000 Western Armenian Armenians in Thailand
58 Honduras Honduras Tegucigalpa 900 Western Armenian Armenians in Honduras
59 New Zealand New Zealand Wellington 600 Western Armenian Armenians in New Zealand
60 Mexico Mexico Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puebla, Tijuana 560 (there are estimates up to 10,000) Western Armenian Armenians in Mexico
61 Albania Albania Tirana 500 Western Armenian Armenians in Albania
62 India India New Delhi Kolkata 500 Western and Eastern Armenian Armenians in India
63 Colombia Colombia Bogotá 250–300? Western Armenian Armenians in Colombia
64 Monaco Monaco No official capital 200 Western Armenian Armenians in Monaco
65 South Africa South Africa Pretoria 200 Western Armenian Armenians in South Africa
66 Qatar Qatar Doha 150 Western Armenian Armenians in Qatar
67 Cuba Cuba Havana 100 Western Armenian Armenians in Cuba
68 Ethiopia Ethiopia Addis Ababa 100 Western Armenian Armenians in Ethiopia
69 Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Santo Domingo 75 Western Armenian Armenians in the Dominican Republic
70 Republic of Ireland Ireland Dublin 50 Western Armenian Armenians in Ireland
71 Costa Rica Costa Rica San José 40 Western Armenian Armenians in Costa Rica
72 Singapore Singapore Singapore 35 Western Armenian Armenians in Singapore
73 Peru Peru Lima 35 Western Armenian Armenians in Peru
74 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Harare 28 Western Armenian Armenians in Zimbabwe
75 Indonesia Indonesia Jakarta 20 Western Armenian Armenians in Indonesia
76 Pakistan Pakistan Karachi 20–200? Western Armenian Armenians in Pakistan
77 Japan Japan Tokyo 20-100? Western Armenian Armenians in Japan
78 Guatemala Guatemala Guatemala City 20–50? Western Armenian Armenians in Guatemala
79 Ivory Coast Côte d'Ivoire Yamoussoukro 20[34] Western Armenian Armenians in Côte d'Ivoire
80 Slovakia Slovakia Bratislava N/A[35] Western Armenian Armenians in Slovakia
81 Paraguay Paraguay Asunción N/A[36] Western Armenian Armenians in Paraguay
82 Jamaica Jamaica Kingstown N/A[37] Western Armenian Armenians in Jamaica

See also


  1. ^ "Armenia seeks to boost population". BBC News. 2007-02-21. Retrieved 2008-09-05. ((cite news)): Unknown parameter |Headline= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |Section= ignored (|section= suggested) (help)
  2. ^ The 2002 Russian census recorded 1,130,491 Armenians (0.78% of the population).
  3. ^ a b See Armenian-American; presents official data from the 2000 U.S. Census (including state-by-state data), which states that there are 385,488 people of Armenian ancestry currently living in the United States. The 2001 Canadian Census determined that there are 40,505 persons of Armenian ancestry currently living in Canada. However, these are liable to be low numbers, since people of mixed ancestry, very common in North America tend to be under-counted. The Armenian Embassy in Canada estimates 1 million ethnic Armenians in the U.S. and 100,000 in Canada. The Armenian Church of America makes a similar estimate. By all accounts, over half of the Armenians in the United States live in California.
  4. ^ The Education for Development Institute maintains an extensive site about Armenia that includes information about the Armenian diaspora in various countries. Their numbers generally agree with other sources when those are available; where we don't have a more authoritative source, we are following their numbers.
  5. ^ "French in Armenia 'genocide' row". Retrieved 2007-04-21.
  6. ^ The Encyclopedia of the Orient states that there are 400,000 ethnic Armenians living in Iran.
  7. ^ Georgia: The State Department for Statistics of Georgia: 248,900 represents 5.7 % ethnic Armenians in an estimated national population of 4,371,500 (The Official data of 2002). The World Factbook: 267,000 represents 5.7 % ethnic Armenians in an estimated national population of 4,693,892 (July 2004 est.). Georgia: 400,000 represents 8.1% ethnic Armenians in an estimated national population of 4,934,413 (The Official data of 1989).
  8. ^ The Encyclopedia of the Orient states that 160,000 Apostolic Armenians and 30,000 Catholic Armenians live in Syria. That number together makes up 190,000.
  9. ^ The Encyclopedia of the Orient states that 120,000 Apostolic Armenians and 20,000 Catholic Armenians live in Lebanon. That number together makes up 140,000.
  10. ^ The Results Of 2005 Census Of The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
  11. ^ 156,000 represents 2 % ethnic Armenians in an estimated national population of 7,830,764 (July 2003 est.) combined with the note «almost all Armenians live in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region».
  12. ^ There are 130,000 Armenians living in Argentina according to
  13. ^ The 2001 census Ukrainian census held in 2001 recorded 99,894 Armenians.
  14. ^ There are 92,000 Armenians living in Poland according to
  15. ^ Turay, Anna. "Tarihte Ermeniler". Bolsohays:Istanbul Armenians. Retrieved 2007-01-04. ((cite web)): External link in |publisher= (help)
  16. ^ The Encyclopedia of the Orient states that 70,000 Armenians live in Jordan.
  17. ^ There are 70,000 Armenians living in Uzbekistan according to
  18. ^ There are 42,000 Armenians living in Germany according to
  19. ^ The Armenian-Greek Community website.
  20. ^ There are 40,000 Armenians living in Brazil according to
  21. ^ There are 45,000 Armenians living in Australia according to
  22. ^ Turkmenistan: Focus on Armenian migrants
  23. ^ There are 30,000 Armenians living in Bulgaria according to
  24. ^ There are 25,000 Armenians living in Belarus according to
  25. ^ There are 25,000 Armenians living in Kazakhstan according to
  26. ^ There are 20,000 Armenians living in Iraq according to
  27. ^ Radio Free Europe
  28. ^ There are 19,000 Armenians living in Uruguay according to
  29. ^ There are 18,001 Armenians living in the United Kingdom according to
  30. ^ Demographic information of Hungary.
  31. ^ There are 10,000 Armenians living in the Belgium according to
  32. ^ There are 10,000 Armenians living in the Czech Republic according to
  33. ^ There is an unknown number of Armenians in Ecuador atArmenian
  34. ^ There is a population of 20 Armenians in Côte d'Ivoire at Armenian
  35. ^ There is an unknown number of Armenians in Slovakia atArmenian
  36. ^ There is an unknown number of Armenians in Paraguay atArmenian
  37. ^ There is an unknown number of Armenians in Jamaica at Armenian

Armenian Diaspora Political Organizations