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