Armenian expert doubts veracity of Bloomberg ranking rating Armenia as fourth ‘most immoral country’

01.07.2013 16:53
Armenian expert doubts veracity of Bloomberg ranking rating Armenia as fourth ‘most immoral country’

YEREVAN, July 1. /ARKA/. Aharon Adibekian, the head of an Armenian polling center Sociometer has questioned today the accuracy of a methodology used by Bloomberg experts to compile the list of most immoral countries that involved 57 countries and which rated Armenia fourth.

To determine the degree of immorality, Bloomberg picked the following averages: the amount of alcohol for every adult citizen of the country, the number of smoked cigarettes, the prevalence of drug use (percentage of residents using drugs aged 15 to 64 years), and the total losses from gambling as a percentage of GDP.

Bloomberg analysts found that an average Armenian drinks 13.6 liters of alcohol a year, smokes 1,620 cigarettes and squanders 1.65% of GDP on gambling. It claimed that some 3.5 percent of the population smokes cannabis, 0.3 percent uses opioids, 0.5% uses amphetamines and ecstasy and 0.1% cocaine.

The Czech Republic has been announced the most immoral country while impoverished Zambia has been announced the most innocent. The Czech Republic was followed by Slovenia, Australia, Armenia, Bulgaria, Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus and Greece. According to the study, the residents of Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela consume relatively little drugs.

Speaking at a news conference, Mr. Adibekian questioned particularly, the number of cigarettes, smoked according to Bloomberg by Armenians saying a study conducted by his polling center found that 60% of Armenia's population smokes on average 8-10 cigarettes per day. He said if these numbers are calculated in terms of 12 months, the figures will vary widely.

Regarding the alcohol consumption, Adibekian said it was not clear where Bloomberg analysts got the numbers because 80% of alcohol consumed by Armenians a year is home-made. He said a study conducted by Sociometer found that out of 11.5 liters of alcohol consumed by an average Armenian citizen a year 9 liters are home-made.

The most questionable numbers, according to him, are those regarding the use of drugs and the total losses from gambling as a percentage of GDP. He said the Bloomberg rating suggests that there are 160,000 drug addicts in the country, while according to the official numbers of the Armenian Ministry of Health they number 4,300.

"Of course, not all addicts are registered. However, even if the generally accepted standards of calculation are used when the official numbers are multiplied by five, we will not get 160,000 drug addicts," he added.

As for gambling, he said it was not either clear how such a high figure could be obtained when 85% of the population make barely ends meet.

"We have a couple of lotteries; virtually all casinos are located near Yerevan, and the population outside Yerevan has no access to gambling. It is unclear how this calculation was made,” he stressed.
A doctor of psychology, Srbuhi Gevorgyan, also present at the news conference, claimed that the Bloomberg ranking was a political order.

"I do not know who the customer is, although it is not hard to guess. I think we have to do our own research, as we are dealing with the protection of national dignity,” she said. -0-

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