Top 10 Facts about Living Conditions in Georgia
Rising out of years of economic stagnation, Georgia finds itself in a period of transition. Despite enduring the 2008 conflict with Russia and bearing the collateral damage of the Crimean war, the economic impacts of which are still felt, life in is improving. This list of top 10 facts about living conditions in Georgia examines how.

Top 10 Facts about Living Conditions in Georgia

  1. Georgia has expanded economic ties with the European Union. As of 2014, Georgia signed two important economic treaties with the EU, an Association Agreement as well as a separate Free Trade Agreement. Now enabling citizens to travel more freely, and opened the EU market to Georgian businesses.
  2. The country is a regional leader in anti-corruption. Corruption incentivizes shady dealings, dangerous products and mistrust – ultimately leading to poverty. Both the World Bank and U.S. State Department recognize Georgia’s role as an anti-corruption leader, citing a long-standing commitment to reform and several glowing reports.
  3. Poverty is decreasing. The percentage of Georgians living below the national standard for poverty has declined considerably: 37.3 percent in 2010 to 21.9 percent in 2017.
  4. There is moderate inequality. With a GINI coefficient of 36.5, Georgia has greater inequality than most of its neighbors: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine. Despite this, the share of national income earned by the poorest fifth of society has increased over time.
  5. Students are returning to complete secondary education. In the early 2000s Georgia had a high rate of non-enrollment in secondary education. More than one in five students would stop attending school after age 15. Now secondary schools have a 104 percent enrollment rate, meaning that many former students have decided to finish their education.
  6. Access to clean drinking water is common. For many years a significant number of Georgians (11 to 15 percent) lacked modern drinking water facilities. In 2015 Global nutrition reported that virtually 100 percent of citizens had proper access to drinking water with the vast majority receiving it via indoor plumbing.
  7. Obesity affects more people than starvation. According to a 2015 Global Nutrition report, more than half of all Georgians are overweight and one in five are obese. With undernourishment in decline, heart disease and similar problems are likely to be the next challenge.
  8. Life expectancy is increasing. Life expectancy at birth has been above 70 years old since the 1990s. A Georgian born today can now expect to reach age 74, living a fully active lifestyle well into their sixties.
  9. The 2008 Russian conflict has had a lasting impact. During the conflict, 130,000 Georgians became internal refugees displaced from the Abkhazia, Sidha Kartli and South Ossetia regions. While some have returned home, Action Against Hunger reports that the number of internally displaced persons has only gotten worse over time.
  10. Bugs are threatening crop harvests. For the past three years, the Abkhazia region has been struggling with an insect outbreak. In 2017, almost three-quarters of walnut farms had some of their germinating plants eaten before they were ready for sale. Russia even imposed a six-day import ban on Abkhazia to keep the bugs from spreading.

Despite setbacks in the past, Georgians are working hard to better their lives. Their efforts have begun to show in cities, schools, and fields as Georgia prospers as a strong, independent nation.

– John Glade
Photo: Flickr

Top 10 Facts About Poverty in Georgia
The country of Georgia is on the eastern end of the Black Sea, right in between Turkey and Russia. It is an underexplored nation for some, but it is known for its beautiful scenery as well as its delicious wine. Poverty in Georgia has decreased in recent years, but the country is still affected by economic and social factors that have led to most of its population living below the poverty line. Here are the top 10 facts about poverty in Georgia.

List of Top 10 Facts About Poverty in Georgia

  1. While poverty decreased in 2014 for the fourth consecutive year, according to the World Bank, it still affects one-third of Georgia’s population.
  2. According to the World Bank, the overall population living in poverty in Georgia is 32 percent. Out of which, 28 percent are children. The good news is that people suffering from poverty in Georgia usually get out of it in less than a year.
  3. Unemployment remains one of the biggest challenges in the country, according to UNDP. The unemployment rate has increased to 12 percent, and 68 percent of the population consider themselves unemployed.
  4. The top three causes of death in the country are stroke, heart disease and cancer according to the CDC. Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases are other major health problems affecting the country. In the last few years, the number of HIV/AIDS cases and deaths have decreased significantly, according to the WHO.
  5. Since the fall of the USSR, Georgia’s standard of living has decreased dramatically because it lost its cheap source of energy, according to SOS Children’s Villages.
  6. Pervasive income inequality happens to be one of the top 10 facts about poverty in Georgia that cannot be ignored. Even if their economy went up by 11 percent each year, it would take almost 10 years for the poverty rate to reduce dramatically.
  7. Labor market status is another big reason for a large number of Georgia’s population living in poverty. According to The World Bank, people still rely on self-employment as the main source of income.
  8. Children living in rural areas of the country are less likely to have access to a proper education or healthcare, according to SOS Children’s Villages. The infant mortality rate is also quite high.
  9. Georgia ranked 140 in the world for their GDP per capita, right between Guatemala and Paraguay, according to Limes. Even if Georgia used its GDP for consumption, the average person would only receive about $200 per month.
  10. The Georgian government has started growing their healthcare system, which includes low-cost health insurance and pensions for daycare. However, according to The World Bank, only about 30 percent of people who require government aid actually receive it.

Since 2004, Georgia has made democratic reforms in public service and economic development, according to UNDP. The Georgian government has implemented many ongoing reforms to help with human rights and the election system, which will in return assist with poverty reduction. 

– McKenzie Hamby
Photo: Flickr

Addressing Nine Important Facts about Poverty in GeorgiaThe small and ancient nation of Georgia, home to the highest mountain range in Europe called the Caucasus Mountains, borders Russia and Armenia.  It was one of the first countries in the world to officially adopt Christianity and has a long, rich history intertwined with religion. Poverty in Georgia remains an ongoing concern.

Here are nine facts about poverty in Georgia.

  1. Many more Georgians report being unemployed than the official unemployment rate. The official unemployment rate in Georgia is 12 percent, but a whopping 68 percent of the population consider themselves unemployed.
  2. The separatist conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia are a major cause of poverty in Georgia. Georgia officially recognizes both provinces as its territory, despite the states’ attempts to secede to Russia with the assistance of the Russian military. This follows an earlier armed conflict in these regions in 1992-1993.
  3. One in five Georgians lives below the poverty line. Officially, 20.1 percent of Georgians live below the relative poverty line.
  4. Despite being a largely agricultural nation, much of the produce in Georgia is imported. With the exception of potatoes and onions, many fruits and vegetables sold in Georgia’s markets come from Turkey, Greece or even Iran.
  5. Dependency is common. The dependency ratio in Georgia is 1:1.2, compared to the suggested level of one dependent per three people.
  6. One of the biggest contributors to poverty in Georgia is its failing pension system. Due to the aforementioned underemployment of citizens, many workers don’t pay taxes, leaving few funds for the pension system. To make matters worse, there are tens of thousands of likely nonexistent “ghost recipients” receiving government pensions.
  7. Poverty varies from region to region. Places like the mountainous, isolated Imereti and former Soviet industrial zones have suffered the worst, while more agricultural regions have fared better.
  8. Georgia now associates with the E.U. in various capacities, having signed an association agreement with the European Union that took effect in 2016. The E.U. has also loosened restrictions on the visas of Georgians working within its borders. This will hopefully have a positive effect on Georgia’s economy and lessen poverty in Georgia.
  9. Georgia has made some important political reforms. In particular, the success of various electoral and local government reforms was made clear in the parliamentary elections of 2012.

In order to combat the growing effects of poverty in Georgia, it is necessary that the country’s citizens receive help in the form of both domestic and foreign aid. With hope, Georgians can be lifted out of their joblessness and set out on a path to a brighter future.

– Andrew Revord

Photo: Flickr

poverty in Georgia
The rural people of Georgia have been experiencing lots of suffering since their independence after the disbanding of the Soviet Union. The agricultural system changed radically after the markets collapsed and privatization created around one million small farmers. These farmers had resorted to subsistence farming, where all they typically farmed was corn, potatoes, and wheat.

However, livestock production and crop yields went down because of the farmers’ lack of resources to buy inputs. Compared to the era before Georgia achieved independence, the total agricultural yield of Georgia had nearly halved in 2004.

The common family in Georgia consumes over 70% of what it produces and upwards of 80% of the rural poor in the country completely relies on their own farms to sustain their lives. Even though over half of their labor force works in agriculture and farming, this sector produces less than 20% of the country’s gross domestic product.

The majority of families in rural settings are living at the lowest levels of subsistence with no way of escape or way to earn more money to invest in reconstructing their lives. The income that the rural parts of these countries receive is not enough for them to do anything with, the unemployment and underemployment rates are extremely high and the crop yield is very low. These people are extremely vulnerable, with nearly 45% of the population living beneath the national poverty line.

Rural households that are mainly taken care of by women with children are especially vulnerable to poverty in Georgia. The economic and social problems in the country have caused the previously improving rights of women to wear away. These women are generally dominated by men in the households, being viewed as homemakers, even though they technically have equality through the constitution. The women in Georgia also usually have lower wages and less opportunities for employment, which truly traps them in their homes.

UNICEF and government officials of Georgia agreed to a joint program of cooperation to improve children’s rights and to try to bring them out of poverty. According to UNICEF, “the percentage of children living below the national poverty line increased 25% in 2011 to 27% in 2013, as social spending was more focused on other groups.” Extreme poverty in children is still higher than the rest of the population, though it has been reduced in the last few years.

There is a new emphasis in the country being put on foster care and group homes being implemented so these children can escape poverty and lead better lives. The government of Georgia says how the improved family environment can make a change in a child’s life overnight and that the childcare system to come will be great.

Since 2005, the number of children in state care has dropped significantly from over 4,000 to only 150 because of Georgia’s shuttering 36 of the 41 childcare institutions in the country. About 80% of these children came from families that were still alive, but that were in such bad poverty that they could not afford to care for them anymore, but fortunately, these childcare centers were there to save their lives.

– Kenneth W. Kliesner

Sources: UNICEF, The Messenger, Rural Poverty Portal
Photo: Daily Mail