Republic of Armenia: Integrating Data on Displacement into the 2022 Census 

Drafted in collaboration with the Statistical Committee of the Republic of Armenia


Over the last 30 years Armenia has hosted refugees and other displaced persons as a result of ethnic conflict and ongoing war in other countries (e.g., Azerbaijan, Iraq, Syria). In late 2021, the country hosted an over 35,700 forcibly displaced and stateless persons including those in a refugee-like situation who were displaced as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan. [1] To address data challenges and gaps regarding these groups, the Statistical Committee of the Republic of Armenia (ARMSTAT) has increased efforts to better capture data on forced displacement in national statistics, which is further reflected in their decision to join EGIRSS in 2019. 



2022 Population Census of the Republic of Armenia

The third Population and Housing Census in Armenia [2] was conducted in October 2022, with final results anticipated before the end of 2023. As part of Armenia’s ongoing process to transition to a register-based statistical system, following the approach used in various Nordic countries [3], the census utilised a combined methodology, bringing data together from key national registers and a samplebased household survey covering 25% of the addresses.  

The census was designed to include the identification of refugees and displaced persons. Although previous census in 2011 had tried to capture displaced populations, results were not reliable due to challenges with the wording of questions in the questionnaire and use of paper-based forms; however, this new approach presented new opportunities. Data from several registers, including the State Population Register and the Armenian Border Management Information System facilitated this. The subsequent survey provided another opportunity to collect more targeted data on internal and international migration, including reasons for migration, arrival in settlement, citizenship status, family circumstances, amongst others.  

The Republic of Armenia State Commission for the 2022 Census was responsible for the support and oversight of preparation and undertaking of the census. This Commission is chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and the platform includes representatives from the Ministries of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, of Foreign Affairs, of Defense, of Labour and Social Affairs, of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, from the Passport and Visa Department of the Police (OVIR), the Cadastre Committee, Migration Service (now Migration and Citizenship Service), the Institute of Economics of National Academy of Sciences, the State University of Economics and other stakeholders, who together agreed on the content of the census programme. The census documentation (questionnaire, organisational instructions, methodological and other documents) was designed by ARMSTAT and approved by the decisions of State Council on Statistics. 


The Use of the International Recommendations 

The IRRS and IRIS were directly used to inform the development of the census’s methodology as it pertains to displaced populations. The recommendations provided the “main source of guidance” to inform the questionnaire and advice on the use of administrative sources for producing statistics on refugees, asylum seekers and other displaced populations.  

The census uses the recommendations from chapter 4 of the IRRS to design the relevant questions from the section B “2. Proposed core identification questions” to measure the number of refugees and to capture variables such as country of birth (COB), dual citizenship, refugee status (or recognition), and differentiation between asylum seekers and undocumented persons, as well as stateless populations. In addition, section “3. Administrative data including population registers” of chapter 4 of the IRRS was used to produce administrative data from the register on International Protection. The latter, which is maintained by the Migration Service of the Republic of Armenia, is the main data source for statistics on asylum applicants and decisions taken during the asylum application process and it enables the measurement of data on persons granted refugee status, rejected claims and country of citizenship. In this regard, challenges were encountered in the process (some inconsistences with information), as there is no direct connection or identification measure (e.g., ID numbers) with the State Population Register. ARMSTAT is also regularly receiving data on acquisition of Armenian citizenship and its termination from the OVIR/Citizenship department (also under the Migration and Citizenship Service). 

Beyond this, recommendations concerning coordination from the IRRS were also implemented. ARMSTAT together with UNHCR set up a dedicated Roundtable on forced displacement and statelessness data that brought experts together to examine existing data gaps and challenges. [3] Results of this roundtable were considered while drafting the 2022 Census programme and presented to the National Commission of the 2022 Population Census preparation and undertaking – with the platform steering the census process. 


This case study is an important example of using a national census to capture data on forcibly displaced persons, in particular because of the combined methodology used. Armenia’s experience provides an important perspective on how to operationalise the IRRS and IRIS recommendations to identify forced displacement using different data sources and improve coordination/collaboration with relevant stakeholders in the process. As yet no specific challenges in using the recommendations have been identified, but a final assessment will need to wait for the final results and their dissemination later in 2023. 

[1] See UNHCR facts on Armenia (available at: UNHCR – Armenia). 

[2] Armenia Population Census 2022 (available at: 

[3] United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Register-based statistics in the Nordic countries, 2007 (available at: 

[4] Roundtable on Collection and Verification of data on Refugees and Stateless Persons during the upcoming 2020 National Census in the Republic of Armenia.