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Georgia was absorbed into the Russian Empire in the 19th century. Independent for three years (1918-1921) following the Russian revolution, it was forcibly incorporated into the USSR until the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. Ethnic separation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, poor governance, and Russian military bases deny the government effective control over the entirety of the state's internationally recognized territory. Despite myriad problems, some progress on market reforms and democratization has been made. An attempt by the government to manipulate legislative elections in November 2003 touched off widespread protests that led to the resignation of Eduard SHEVARDNADZE, president since 1995.
Geography Georgia
Southwestern Asia, bordering the Black Sea, between Turkey and Russia
Geographic coordinates:
42 00 N, 43 30 E
Map references:
total: 69,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 69,700 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than South Carolina
Land boundaries:
total: 1,461 km
border countries: Armenia 164 km, Azerbaijan 322 km, Russia 723 km, Turkey 252 km
310 km
Maritime claims - as described in UNCLOS 1982 (see Notes and Definitions):
No data available
warm and pleasant; Mediterranean-like on Black Sea coast
largely mountainous with Great Caucasus Mountains in the north and Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the south; Kolkhet'is Dablobi (Kolkhida Lowland) opens to the Black Sea in the west; Mtkvari River Basin in the east; good soils in river valley flood plains, foothills of Kolkhida Lowland
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Mt'a Shkhara 5,201 m
Natural resources:
forests, hydropower, manganese deposits, iron ore, copper, minor coal and oil deposits; coastal climate and soils allow for important tea and citrus growth
Land use:
arable land: 11.21%
permanent crops: 4.09%
other: 84.7% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
4,700 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Environment - current issues:
air pollution, particularly in Rust'avi; heavy pollution of Mtkvari River and the Black Sea; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil pollution from toxic chemicals
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
strategically located east of the Black Sea; Georgia controls much of the Caucasus Mountains and the routes through them
People Georgia
4,693,892 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 18.7% (male 461,967; female 416,898)
15-64 years: 65.8% (male 1,480,217; female 1,607,509)
65 years and over: 15.5% (male 290,534; female 436,767) (2004 est.)
Median age:
total: 37 years
male: 34.5 years
female: 39.2 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.36% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
10.1 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
8.98 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
-4.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.16 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.11 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 19.34 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.84 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
male: 21.5 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.62 years
male: 72.35 years
female: 79.44 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.4 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
less than 900 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 100 (2001 est.)
noun: Georgian(s)
adjective: Georgian
Ethnic groups:
Georgian 70.1%, Armenian 8.1%, Russian 6.3%, Azeri 5.7%, Ossetian 3%, Abkhaz 1.8%, other 5%
Georgian Orthodox 65%, Muslim 11%, Russian Orthodox 10%, Armenian Apostolic 8%, unknown 6%
Georgian 71% (official), Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, other 7%
note: Abkhaz is the official language in Abkhazia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 100%
female: 98% (1999 est.)
Government Georgia
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Georgia
local short form: Sak'art'velo
former: Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic
local long form: none
Government type:
Administrative divisions:
9 regions, (mkharebi, singular - mkhare), 9 cities* (k'alak'ebi, singular - k'alak'i), and 2 autonomous republics** (avtomnoy respubliki, singular - avtom respublika); Abkhazia or Ap'khazet'is Avtonomiuri Respublika** (Sokhumi), Ajaria or Acharis Avtonomiuri Respublika** (Bat'umi), Chiat'ura*, Gori*, Guria, Imereti, Kakheti, K'ut'aisi*, Kvemo Kartli, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, P'ot'i*, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, Rust'avi*, Samegrelo and Zemo Svaneti, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Shida Kartli, T'bilisi*, Tqibuli*, Tsqaltubo*, Zugdidi*
note: the administrative centers of the 2 autonomous republics are shown in parentheses
9 April 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 26 May (1918); note - 26 May 1918 is the date of independence from Soviet Russia, 9 April 1991 is the date of independence from the Soviet Union
adopted 17 October 1995
Legal system:
based on civil law system
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Mikheil SAAKASHVILI (since 25 January 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government for the power ministries: state security, interior, and defense
head of government: President Mikheil SAAKASHVILI (since 25 January 2004); Prime Minister Zurab ZHVANIA (since 9 February 2004); note - the president is the chief of state and head of government for the power ministries: state security, interior, and defense; the prime minister is head of the remaining ministries of government
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers
election results: Mikheil SAAKASHVILI elected president; percent of vote - Mikheil SAAKASHVILI 96.3%, Temur SHASHIASHVILI 1.9%
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 4 January 2004 (next to be held NA 2009)
Legislative branch:
unicameral Supreme Council (commonly referred to as Parliament) or Umaghiesi Sabcho (235 seats - 150 elected by party lists); members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
election results: percent of vote by party - National Movement-Democrats 67.6%, Rightist Opposition 7.6%, all other parties received less than 7% each; seats by party - National Movement-Democrats 135, Rightist Opposition 15
elections: last held 28 March 2004 (next to be held spring 2008)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (judges elected by the Supreme Council on the president's recommendation); Constitutional Court
Political parties and leaders:
Citizen's Union of Georgia or CUG [Avtandil JORBENADZE]; Georgian People's Front [Nodar NATADZE]; Georgian United Communist Party or UCPG [Panteleimon GIORGADZE]; Greens [Giorgi GACHECHILADZE]; Industry Will Save Georgia or IWSG [Georgi TOPADZE]; Labor Party [Shalva NATELASHVILI]; National Democratic Party or NDP [Irina SARISHVILI-CHANTURIA]; New National Movement [Mikheil SAAKASHVILI]; New Right [Levaii GACHECHILADZE]; Republican Party [David BERDZENISHVILI]; "Revival" Union Party or AGUR [Alsan ABASHIDZE]; Socialist Party or SPG [Irakli MINDELI]; Traditionalists [Akaki ASATIANI]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Georgian independent deputies from Abkhaz government in exile; separatists in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia; supporters of the late ousted President Zviad GAMSAKHURDYA
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Levan MIKELADZE
chancery: Suite 300, 1615 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
FAX: [1] (202) 393-6060
telephone: [1] (202) 387-2390
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Richard M. MILES
embassy: #25 Atoneli Street, T'bilisi 380026
mailing address: 7060 Tbilisi Place, Washington, DC 20521-7060
telephone: [995] (32) 989-967/68
FAX: [995] (32) 933-759
Flag description:
white rectangle, in its central portion a red cross connecting all four sides of the flag; in each of the four corners is a small red bolnur-katskhuri cross; the five cross flag appears to date back to the 14th century
Economy Georgia
Economy - overview:
Georgia's main economic activities include the cultivation of agricultural products such as citrus fruits, tea, hazelnuts, and grapes; mining of manganese and copper; and output of a small industrial sector producing alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, metals, machinery, and chemicals. The country imports the bulk of its energy needs, including natural gas and oil products. Its only sizable internal energy resource is hydropower. Despite the severe damage the economy has suffered due to civil strife, Georgia, with the help of the IMF and World Bank, has made substantial economic gains since 1995, achieving positive GDP growth and curtailing inflation. However, the Georgian Government suffers from limited resources due to a chronic failure to collect tax revenues. Georgia also suffers from energy shortages; it privatized the T'bilisi distribution network in 1998, but collection rates are low, making the venture unprofitable. The country is pinning its hopes for long-term growth on its role as a transit state for pipelines and trade. The start of construction on the Baku-T'bilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-T'bilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline will bring much-needed investment and job opportunities.
purchasing power parity - $12.18 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
5.5% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $2,500 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 18.3%
industry: 19%
services: 62.7% (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line:
54% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 27.9% (1996)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
37.1 (1996)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
5% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
2.1 million (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
industry 20%, agriculture 40%, services 40% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate:
17% (2001 est.)
revenues: $499 million
expenditures: $554 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
steel, aircraft, machine tools, electrical appliances, mining (manganese and copper), chemicals, wood products, wine
Industrial production growth rate:
3% (2000)
Electricity - production:
7.27 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 19.7%
hydro: 80.3%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
7.611 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
850 million kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
2,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
31,500 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Oil - imports:
Natural gas - production:
60 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
1.16 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
1.1 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products:
citrus, grapes, tea, hazelnuts, vegetables; livestock
$615 million (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
scrap metal, machinery, chemicals; fuel reexports; citrus fruits, tea, wine
Exports - partners:
Turkey 21.7%, Italy 11.4%, Russia 10.7%, Greece 8.1%, Netherlands 7.1%, Spain 5.5%, Turkmenistan 4.5% (2002)
$1.25 billion (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
fuels, machinery and parts, transport equipment, grain and other foods, pharmaceuticals
Imports - partners:
Azerbaijan 11.7%, Turkey 10.6%, US 10.4%, Russia 9.5%, Germany 7.4%, Ukraine 6%, Italy 5.3%, Bulgaria 5.1%, France 4.4% (2002)
Debt - external:
$1.8 billion (2002)
Economic aid - recipient:
ODA $150 million (2000 est.)
lari (GEL)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
lari per US dollar - 2.15 (2003), 2.2 (2002), 2.07 (2001), 1.98 (2000), 2.02 (1999)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Georgia
Telephones - main lines in use:
648,500 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
503,600 (2002)
Telephone system:
general assessment: NA
domestic: local - T'bilisi and K'ut'aisi have cellular telephone networks; urban telephone density is about 20 per 100 people; rural telephone density is about 4 per 100 people; intercity facilities include a fiber-optic line between T'bilisi and K'ut'aisi; nationwide pager service is available
international: country code - 995; Georgia and Russia are working on a fiber-optic line between P'ot'i and Sochi (Russia); present international service is available by microwave, landline, and satellite through the Moscow switch; international electronic mail and telex service are available
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 7, FM 12, shortwave 4 (1998)
3.02 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
12 (plus repeaters) (1998)
2.57 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
3,032 (2002)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
6 (2000)
Internet users:
73,500 (2002)
Transportation Georgia
total: 1,612 km
broad gauge: 1,575 km 1.520-m gauge
narrow gauge: 37 km 0.912-m gauge (2002)
total: 20,363 km
paved: 19,038 km
unpaved: 1,325 km (2000)
gas 1,495 km; oil 1,029 km; refined products 232 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Bat'umi, P'ot'i, Sokhumi
Merchant marine:
total: 144 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 855,908 GRT/1,288,812 DWT
by type: bulk 20, cargo 95, chemical tanker 1, container 11, liquefied gas 1, multi-functional large load carrier 1, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 9, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 2, short-sea/passenger 1, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: Albania 2, Belize 2, British Virgin Islands 2, Bulgaria 1, Cyprus 5, Ecuador 1, Egypt 3, Estonia 1, Germany 1, Gibraltar 1, Greece 13, Israel 1, Italy 1, Latvia 4, Lebanon 3, Liberia 2, Madagascar 1, Malta 1, Netherlands 2, Norway 1, Panama 8, Romania 6, Russia 10, Saint Kitts and Nevis 3, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 4, Saudi Arabia 1, Syria 31, Turkey 10, Ukraine 16,
registered in other countries: 1 (2003 est.)
31 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 17
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
under 914 m: 2 (2003 est.)
914 to 1,523 m: 2
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 14
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 7 (2003 est.)
2 (2003 est.)
Transportation - note:
transportation network is in poor condition resulting from ethnic conflict, criminal activities, and fuel shortages; network lacks maintenance and repair
Military Georgia
Military branches:
Ground Forces (including National Guard), Air and Air Defense Forces, Maritime Defense Force
Military manpower - military age:
18 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 1,156,302 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 906,400 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 39,570 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$23 million (FY00)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
0.59% (FY00)
Military - note:
a CIS peacekeeping force of Russian troops is deployed in the Abkhazia region of Georgia together with a UN military observer group; a Russian peacekeeping battalion is deployed in South Ossetia
Transnational Issues Georgia
Disputes - international:
about a third of the boundary with Russia remains undelimited, and none of it demarcated, with several small, strategic segments remaining in dispute; OSCE observers monitor volatile areas such as the Pankisi Gorge in the Akhmeti region and the Argun Gorge in Abkhazia; Meshkheti Turks scattered throughout the former Soviet Union seek to return to Georgia; boundary with Armenia remains undemarcated; ethnic Armenian groups in Javakheti region of Georgia seek greater autonomy from the Georgian government; Azerbaijan protests Georgian construction at the Red Bridge crossing and several other small segments of boundary, which remain unresolved until delimitation
Illicit drugs:
limited cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for domestic consumption; used as transshipment point for opiates via Central Asia to Western Europe and Russia