The Integrated Survey of Living Standards (ISLS) was introduced in Armenia in 1996, followed by the one in 1998-1999; thereafter, it has been conducted every year since 2001. Starting from 2004 the survey was renamed to The Integrated Living Conditions Survey (ILCS).
Since 1996, when the survey was first implemented in Armenia, the National Statistical Service of the Republic of Armenia (NSS) with the assistance of the World Bank, USAID and other donor organizations, has been putting efforts to continuously improve the quality of data collected through household surveys, as well as to advance its own expertise in arriving at a more accurate assessment of poverty. These efforts have proven to be successful as the data collected through household surveys and the estimates of poverty based on such data became an important input in defining and monitoring the poverty reduction strategy, which is the responsibility of the Government.
In 2004, the NSS implemented significant changes to improve the Integrated Living Conditions Survey and to update the poverty assessment methodology, which was used until 2008. With the technical assistance provided by the World Bank: (1) the survey sample frame was updated using the 2001 Population Census frame, (2) the sample size was expanded to ensure representativeness of data by regions, (3) the ILCS questionnaire was revised to reflect economic and social changes between 1998/99 and 2003, as well as a comprehensive section on employment was added into the questionnaire, (4) the interviewers underwent a more profound training.
With the co-funding provided within the period of 2007-2011 by the Millennium Challenge Account - Armenia (MCA-Armenia), a state non-commercial organization, the sample size of the ILCS has been expanded to include 7,872 households annually as compared to 5,184 households in 2006 (funded from the state budget only). When activities of MCA-Armenia came to an end in 2012, the sample size was again reduced back to 5,184 households.
The ILCS is conducted during the year with monthly rotation of households and settlements. The survey results serve primarily to assess the level of consumption-based poverty in Armenia.
The Integrated Living Conditions Survey (ILCS), conducted annually by the NSS National Statistical Service of the Republic of Armenia, formed the basis for monitoring living conditions in Armenia. The ILCS is a universally recognized best-practice survey for collecting data to inform about the living standards of households. The ILCS comprises comprehensive and valuable data on the welfare of households and separate individuals which gives the NSS an opportunity to provide the public with up to date information on the population’s income, expenditures, the level of poverty and the other changes in living standards on an annual basis.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
The scope of the Integrated Living Conditions Survey includes:
- List of Household Members;
- Housing and Dwelling Conditions;
- Food Production;
- Monetary and Commodity Flows between Households;
- Health (General) and Healthcare;
- Subjective Assessment of Living Conditions;
- Provision of Services;
- Social Assistance;
- Households as Employers for Service Personnel;
- Household Monthly Consumption of Energy Resources.
Urban and rural communities
Producers and sponsors
National Statistical Service of the Republic of Armenia (NSS RA)
Food Security Program of the European Commission
Millennium Challenge Account 2007-2011
During the 2001-2003 surveys two-stage random sample was used; the first stage covered the selection of settlements - cities and villages, while the second stage was focused on the selection of households in these settlements. The surveys were conducted on the principle of monthly rotation of households by clusters (sample units). In 2002 and 2003 the number of households was 387 with the sample covering 14 cities and 30 villages in 2002 and 17 cities and 20 villages in 2003.
During the 2004-2006 surveys the sampling frame for the ILCS was built using the database of addresses for the 2001 Population Census; the database was developed with the World Bank technical assistance. The database of addresses of all households in Armenia was divided into 48 strata including 12 communities of Yerevan city. The households from other regions (marzes) were grouped according to the following three categories: big towns with 15,000 and more population; villages, and other towns. Big towns formed 16 strata (the only exception was the Vayots Dzor marz where there are no big towns). The villages and other towns formed 10 strata each. According to this division, a random, two-step sample stratified at marz level was developed. All marzes, as well as all urban and rural settlements were included in the sample population according to the share of population residing in those settlements as percent to the total population in the country.
In the first step, the settlements, i.e. primary sample units, were selected: 43 towns out of 48 or 90 percent of all towns in Armenia were surveyed during the year; also 216 villages out of 951 or 23 percent of all villages in the country were covered by the survey. In the second step, the respondent households were selected: 6,816 households (5,088 from urban and 1,728 from rural settlements). As a result, for the first time since 1996 survey data were representative at the marz level.
During the 2007-2012 surveys the sampling frame for ILCS was designed according to the database of addresses for the 2001 Population Census, which was developed with the World Bank technical assistance. The sample consisted of two parts: core sample and oversample.
1) For the creation of core sample, the sample frame (database of addresses of all households in Armenia) was divided into 48 strata including 12 communities of Yerevan city. The households from other regions (marzes) were grouped according to three categories: large towns (with population of 15000 and higher), villages and other towns. Large towns formed by 16 groups (strata), while the villages and towns formed by 10 strata each. According to that division, a random, two-step sample stratified at the marz level was developed. All marzes, as well as all urban and rural settlements were included in the sample population according to the share of households residing in those settlements as percent to the total households in the country. In the first step, using the PPS method the enumeration units (i.e., primary sample units to be surveyed during the year) were selected. 2007 sample includes 48 urban and 18 rural enumeration areas per month.
2) The oversample was drawn from the list of villages included in MCA-Armenia Rural Roads Rehabilitation Project. The enumeration areas of villages that were already in the core sample were excluded from that list. From the remaining enumeration areas 18 enumeration areas were selected per month. Thus, the rural sample size was doubled.
3) After merging the core sample and oversample, the survey households were selected in the second step. 656 households were surveyed per month, from which 368 from urban and 288 from rural settlements. Each month 82 interviewers had conducted field work, and their workload included 8 households per month. In 2007 number of surveyed households was 7,872 (4,416 from urban and 3,456 from rural areas).
For the survey 2013 the sample frame for ILCS was designed in accordance with the database of addresses of all private households in the country developed on basis of the 2001 Population Census results, with the technical assistance of the World Bank. The method of systematic representative probability sampling was used to frame the sample. For the purpose of drawing the sample, the sample frame was divided into 32 strata including 12 communities of Yerevan City (currently, the administrative districts).
According to this division, a two-tier sample was drawn stratified by regions and by Yerevan. All regions and Yerevan, as well as all urban and rural communities were included in the sample in accordance to the shares of their resident households within the total number of households in the country. In the first round, enumeration areas - that is primary sample units to be surveyed during the year - were selected. The ILCS 2013 sample included 32 enumeration areas in urban and 16 enumeration areas in rural communities per month.
The households to be surveyed were selected in the second round. A total of 432 households were surveyed per month, of which 279 and 153 households from urban and rural communities, respectively. Every month 48 interviewers went on field work with a workload of 9 households per month.
The sample frame for 2014-2016 was designed in accordance with the database of addresses of all private households in the country developed on basis of the 2011 Population Census results, with the technical assistance of the World Bank. The method of systematic representative probability sampling was used to frame the sample.
For drawing the sample, the sample frame was divided into 32 strata including 12 communities of Yerevan City (currently, the administrative districts). According to this division, a two-tier sample was drawn stratified by regions and by Yerevan. All regions and Yerevan, as well as all urban and rural communities were included in the sample in accordance to the shares of their resident households within the total number of households in the country. In the first round, enumeration areas - that is primary sample units to be surveyed during the year - were selected. The ILCS 2014 sample included 30 enumeration areas in urban and 18 enumeration areas in rural communities per month.
The method of representative probability sampling was used to frame the sample. At regional level, all communities were grouped into two categories - towns and villages. According to this division, a two-tier sample was drawn stratified by regions and by Yerevan. All regions and Yerevan, as well as all rural and urban communities were included in the sample in accordance to the shares of their resident households within the total number of households in the country. In the first round, enumeration districts - that is primary sample units to be surveyed during the year - were selected. The ILCS 2015 sample included 30 enumeration districts in urban and 18 enumeration districts in rural communities per month.
In 2008 the survey covered 44 urban and 263 rural areas with the sample size of 7,872 households.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
The Questionnaire is filled in by the interviewer during the least five visits to households per month. During face-to-face interviews with the household head or another knowledgeable adult member, the interviewer collects information on the composition and housing conditions of the household, the employment status, educational level and health condition of the members, availability and use of land, livestock, and agricultural machinery, monetary and commodity flows between households, and other information.
The 2008 survey questionnaire had the following sections: (1) "List of Household Members", (2) "Migration", (3) "Housing and Dwelling Conditions", (4) "Employment", (5) "Education", (6) "Agriculture", (7) "Food Production", (8) "Monetary and Commodity Flows between Households", (9) "Health (General) and Healthcare", (10) "Debts", (11) "Subjective Assessment of Living Conditions", (12) "Provision of Services", (13) "Social Assistance", (14) "Households as Employers for Service Personnel", and (15) "Household Monthly Consumption of Energy Resources".
The Diary is completed directly by the household for one month. Every day the household would record all its expenditures on food, non-food products and services, also giving a detailed description of such purchases; e.g. for food products the name, quantity, cost, and place of purchase of the product is recorded. Besides, the household records its consumption of food products received and used from its own land and livestock, as well as from other sources (e.g. gifts, humanitarian aid). Non-food products and services purchased or received for free are also recorded in the diary. Then, the household records its income received during the month. At the end of the month, information on rarely used food products, durable goods and ceremonies is recorded, as well. The records in the diary are verified by the interviewer in the course of 5 mandatory visits to the household during the survey month.
The Survey Diary has the following sections: (1) food purchased during the day, (2) food consumed at home during the day, (3) expenditures on food consumed away from home, (4) non-food products purchased and services obtained, (5) non-food products and services received free of charge, (6) household income and monetary inflows, (7) food products, which are usually consumed in small quantities during the day, (8) list of real estate, durable goods, and ceremonies. The interviewer’s manual provides detailed instructions for completing the questionnaire and the diary.
The Questionnaire, the Diary and the Interviewer's Manual are revised and adjusted, as appropriate, prior to the launch of the survey. Starting from 2012, data are codified under the "Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose" (COICOP) classifier.
ECA Team for Statistical Development
The use of the datasets must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the identification of the Primary Investigator (including country name)
- the full title of the survey and its acronym (when available), and the year(s) of implementation
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download (for datasets disseminated online).
National Statistical Service of the Republic of Armenia, World Bank. Armenia Integrated Living Conditions Survey (ILCS) 2008, Ref. ARM_2008_ILCS_v02_M. Dataset downloaded from [URL] on [date].
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
DDI Document ID
Development Data Group
Generation of DDI documentation
Poverty - GP
Generation of DDI documentation
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 02 (March 2018)
DDI revised by ECATSD to standardize metadata