Georgia loses 15% of population
According to the national census of 2014, results of which were published today by the Georgian media, more than 3 million 713 thousand people are living in Georgia, which is 15% less in comparison with the results of the 2002 census. The urban population is more than 2 million 122 thousand people, and the rural population is 1 million 591 thousand people.
The national census was held from 5 to 19 November, 2014 in 79% settlements at 82% of the total surface of the country - 57 sq km. It has covered 71 self-governing units and 3765 settlements, the Executive Director of the National Statistics Service of Georgia , Mary Daushvili, said at the presentation of the main results of the national census of 2014, Georgia Online reports.
According to the results of the national census of 2014, 86.8% of the Georgian population are Georgians, 6.3% are Azerbaijanis and 4.5% are Armenians. The most numerous nationalities living in the country are Georgians (3 224.6 thousand people), Azerbaijanis (233 thousand people), Armenians (168,1 thousand people), Russians (26,5 thousand people), Ossetians (14,4 thousand people), Yazidis (12.2 thousand people), Ukrainians (6 thousand people), Kistinians (5,7 thousand people), Greeks (5,5 thousand people), Assyrians (2,4 thousand people), and others (14.3 thousand people).
The curious fact is that the current census, like the previous one, was not carried out in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but its results showed a significant decrease in population. Vestnik Kavkaza asked our Georgian experts where the lost Georgian population is.
The Georgian political scientist Giorgi Nodia, speaking with our correspondent, said that it is quite difficult to say what has caused such a decline in population. "Of course, we cannot know for sure - whether the difference is 100% related to the actual reduction of the population, or the census wasn't carried out correctly. It's possible that both census were conducted identically, but maybe they weren't. In any case, on the whole, we can say that there is a migration of the population. In general, it's a labor migration, because unemployment is the main economic problem of Georgia. So if there is such a strong decline in the population, it is related to this," the expert believes.
Being asked whether the authorities undertake any measures to change the state of affairs, the political scientist said that "of course, if the authorities are not complete idiots, they realize that the economic problem is one of the most painful problems of Georgia. It is the main reason for reducing the country's population, and its solution are based on economic development and creation of new jobs, I think everyone understands it," Georgi Nodia summed up.
The political scientist and the president of the Club of Independent Experts, Josef Tsiskarishvili, speaking to a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, said that Georgia's population decline is primarily due to unattractive economic situation in the country. "Quite large groups of people emigrate from Georgia. Hundreds of thousands of our compatriots are in Russia. About the same number of migrants are in the rest of European countries. Due to its data, the Georgian economy cannot be the guarantor of the return of the population back," the expert believes.
According to the president of the Club of Independent Experts, the authorities are aware of this problem, but it all depends on the economic difficulties. "Of course, the Georgian society is waiting such moves from the authorities. The revelation is coming, but, of course, poverty and unemployment remain the weakest point of the Georgian economy. Therefore, they have a desire, but don't have opportunities. These opportunities may appear only after the fulfillment of all the requirements of our Western neighbors - I mean the quality of demography and tranquility in the financial sector - and reform of the legislation, which will became attractive to investors. Some successful steps are being carried out in this direction, but not everywhere," Josef Tsiskarishvili concluded.