Georgia 1999Georgia

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Georgia - Introduction 1999
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Background: Beset by ethnic and civil strife since independence from the Soviet Union in December 1991, Georgia began to stabilize in 1994. Political settlements for separatist conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia remain elusive. The conflict in South Ossetia has been dormant since spring 1994, but sporadic violence continues between Abkhaz forces and Georgian partisans in western Georgia. Russian peacekeepers are deployed in both regions and a UN Observer Mission is operating in Abkhazia. As a result of these conflicts, Georgia still has about 250,000 internally displaced people. In 1995, Georgia adopted a new constitution and conducted generally free and fair nationwide presidential and parliamentary elections. In 1996, the government focused its attention on implementing an ambitious economic reform program and professionalizing its parliament. Violence and organized crime were sharply curtailed in 1995 and 1996, but corruption remains rife. Georgia has taken some steps to reduce its dependence on Russia, acquiring coastal patrol boats in 1997 to replace Russian border units along the Black Sea coast. In 1998, Georgia assumed control of its Black Sea coast and about half of its land border with Turkey in line with a June 1998 agreement with Russia. Since 1997, Georgia's parliament has sharpened its rhetoric against Russia's continued military presence on Georgian territory. In February 1998 an assassination attempt was made against President SHEVARDNADZE by supporters of the late former president Zviad GAMSAKHURDIA. In October 1998, a disaffected military officer led a failed mutiny in western Georgia; the armed forces continue to feel the ripple effect of the uprising. Georgia faces parliamentary elections this fall, and presidential elections next spring. After two years of robust growth, the economy, hurt by the financial crisis in Russia, slowed in 1998.

Georgia - Geography 1999
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Location: Southwestern Asia, bordering the Black Sea, between Turkey and Russia

Geographic coordinates: 42 00 N, 43 30 E

Map referenceCommonwealth of Independent States

Total: 69,700 km²
Land: 69,700 km²
Water: 0 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than South Carolina

Land boundaries
Total: 1,461 km
Border countries: (4) Armenia 164 km; , Azerbaijan 322 km; , Russia 723 km; , Turkey 252 km

Coastline: 310 km

Maritime claims: NA

Climate: warm and pleasant; Mediterranean-like on Black Sea coast

Terrain: 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

Extremes lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
Extremes highest point: Mt'a Mqinvartsveri (Gora Kazbek) 5,048 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

Land use
Arable land: 9%
Permanent crops: 4%
Permanent pastures: 25%
Forests and woodland: 34%
Other: 28% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 4,000 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: earthquakes


Georgia - People 1999
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Population: 5,066,499 (July 1999 est.)
Growth rate: -0.74% (1999 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%

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%

Languages: Georgian 71% (official), Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, other 7%
Note: Abkhaz (official in Abkhazia)

Religions: Christian Orthodox 75% (Georgian Orthodox 65%, Russian Orthodox 10%), Muslim 11%, Armenian Apostolic 8%, unknown 6%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 21% (male 544,055; female 522,491)
15-64 years: 67% (male 1,628,993; female 1,753,527)
65 years and over: 12% (male 236,124; female 381,309) (1999 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: -0.74% (1999 est.)

Birth rate: 11.64 births/1000 population (1999 est.)

Death rate: 14.3 deaths/1000 population (1999 est.)

Net migration rate: -4.69 migrant(s)/1000 population (1999 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

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
International agreements party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
International agreements signed but not ratified: Desertification

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (1999 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 52.01 deaths/1000 live births (1999 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 64.63 years
Male: 61.13 years
Female: 68.32 years (1999 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.53 children born/woman (1999 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 99%
Male: 100%
Female: 98% (1989 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Georgia - Government 1999
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Country name
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Georgia
Local long form: none
Local short form: Sak'art'velo
Former: Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type: republic

Capital: T'bilisi

Administrative divisions: 53 rayons (raionebi, singular_raioni), 9 cities* (k'alak'ebi, singular_k'alak'i), and 2 autonomous republics** (avtomnoy respubliki, singular_avtom respublika); Abashis, Abkhazia or Ap'khazet'is Avtonomiuri Respublika** (Sokhumi), Adigenis, Ajaria or Acharis Avtonomiuri Respublika** (Bat'umi), Akhalgoris, Akhalk'alak'is, Akhalts'ikhis, Akhmetis, Ambrolauris, Aspindzis, Baghdat'is, Bolnisis, Borjomis, Chiat'ura*, Ch'khorotsqus, Ch'okhatauris, Dedop'listsqaros, Dmanisis, Dushet'is, Gardabanis, Gori*, Goris, Gurjaanis, Javis, K'arelis, Kaspis, Kharagaulis, Khashuris, Khobis, Khonis, K'ut'aisi*, Lagodekhis, Lanch'khut'is, Lentekhis, Marneulis, Martvilis, Mestiis, Mts'khet'is, Ninotsmindis, Onis, Ozurget'is, P'ot'i*, Qazbegis, Qvarlis, Rust'avi*, Sach'kheris, Sagarejos, Samtrediis, Senakis, Sighnaghis, T'bilisi*, T'elavis, T'erjolis, T'et'ritsqaros, T'ianet'is, Tqibuli*, Ts'ageris, Tsalenjikhis, Tsalkis, Tsqaltubo*, Vanis, Zestap'onis, Zugdidi*, Zugdidis
Note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)

Dependent areas

Independence: 9 April 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day, 26 May (1991)

Constitution: adopted 17 October 1995

Legal system: based on civil law system

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Eduard Amvrosiyevich SHEVARDNADZE (previously elected chairman of the Government Council 10 March 1992, Council has since been disbanded; previously elected chairman of Parliament 11 October 1992; president since 26 November 1995; note_the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government: President Eduard Amvrosiyevich SHEVARDNADZE (previously elected chairman of the Government Council 10 March 1992, Council has since been disbanded; previously elected chairman of Parliament 11 October 1992; president since 26 November 1995; note_the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers
Elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 5 November 1995 (next to be held NA 2000)
Election results: Eduard SHEVARDNADZE elected president; percent of vote_Eduard SHEVARDNADZE 74%

Legislative branch: unicameral Supreme Council (commonly referred to as Parliament) or Umaghiesi Sabcho (235 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections: last held 5 November 1995 (next to be held NA 1999)
Election results: percent of vote by party_CUG 24%, NDP 8%, AGUR 7%, all other parties received less than 5% each; seats by party_CUG 107, NDP 34, AGUR 32, Progress Bloc 4, SPG 4, others 9, Abkazian deputies 12, independents 29, not filled 4

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges elected by the Supreme Council on the president's recommendation; Constitutional Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: BSEC, CCC, CE (guest), CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Tedo JAPARIDZE
In the us chancery: Suite 300, 1615 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,009
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 393-5,959
In the us FAX: [1] (202) 393-4,537
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Kenneth S. YALOWITZ
From the us embassy: #25 Antoneli Street, T'bilisi 380,026
From the us mailing address: use embassy street address
From the us telephone: [995] (32) 989-967
From the us FAX: [995] (32) 933-759

Flag descriptionflag of Georgia: maroon field with small rectangle in upper hoist side corner; rectangle divided horizontally with black on top, white below

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Georgia - Economy 1999
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Economy overview: Georgia's economy has traditionally revolved around Black Sea tourism; cultivation of citrus fruits, tea, and grapes; mining of manganese and copper; and output of a small industrial sector producing wine, metals, machinery, chemicals, and textiles. 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, made substantial economic gains since 1995, increasing GDP growth and slashing inflation. The Georgian economy suffered some setbacks in late 1998, including a large budget deficit due to a failure to collect tax revenue and to the impact of the Russian economic crisis. Georgia also still suffers from energy shortages; it privatized the distribution network in 1998, and deliveries are steadily improving. Georgia is pinning its hopes for long-term recovery on the development of an international transportation corridor through the key Black Sea ports of P'ot'i and Bat'umi. The construction of a Caspian oil pipeline through Georgia_scheduled to open in early 1999_should spur greater Western investment in the economy. The global economic slowdown, a growing trade deficit, continuing problems with corruption, and political uncertainties cloud the short-term economic picture.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 4% (1998 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 29%
Industry: 16%
Services: 55% (1997 est.)

Agriculture products: citrus, grapes, tea, vegetables, potatoes; livestock

Industries: steel, aircraft, machine tools, foundry equipment, electric locomotives, tower cranes, electric welding equipment, machinery for food preparation and meat packing, electric motors, process control equipment, trucks, tractors, textiles, shoes, chemicals, wood products, wine

Industrial production growth rate: -0.3% (1998 est.)

Labor force: 3.08 million (1997)
By occupation industry and construction: 31%
By occupation agriculture and forestry: 25%
By occupation other: 44% (1990)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 16% (1996 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $364 million
Expenditures: $568 million, including capital expenditures of $N/A (1998)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $230 million (f.o.b., 1997 est.)
Commodities: citrus fruits, tea, wine, other agricultural products; diverse types of machinery; ferrous and nonferrous metals; textiles; chemicals; fuel reexports
Partners: Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Armenia, Bulgaria, Turkey, US, UK, Italy, Germany, Romania (1997)

Imports: $931 million (c.i.f., 1997 est.)
Commodities: fuel, grain and other foods, machinery and parts, transport equipment
Partners: Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan (1996; note_EU and US send humanitarian food shipments

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $1.3 billion (1996 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: lari per US$1 (end of period)_1.82 (December 1998), 1.32 (December 1997), 1.28 (December 1996), 1.24 (December 1995)

Georgia - Energy 1999
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 6.845 billion kWh (1996)
By source fossil fuel: 29.88%
By source hydro: 70.12%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 0% (1996)

Electricity consumption: 6.949 billion kWh (1996)

Electricity exports: 300 million kWh (1996)

Electricity imports: 404 million kWh (1996)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Georgia - Communication 1999
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system
Domestic: local_T'bilisi and K'ut'aisi have cellular telephone networks with about 10,000 customers total; urban areas 20 telephones/100 people; rural areas 4 phones/100 people; intercity_a fiber-optic line connects T'bilisi to K'ut'aisi (Georgia's second largest city); nationwide pager service
International: Georgia and Russia are working on a fiber-optic line between P'ot'i and Sochi (Russia); present international service is available by microwave, land line, and satellite through the Moscow switch; international electronic mail and telex service available

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Georgia - Military 1999
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $57 million (1998)
Percent of gdp: 1% (1998)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Georgia - Transportation 1999
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 28 (1994 est.)
With paved runways total: 14
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 7
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 4
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1
With paved runways under 914 m: 1 (1994 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 14
With unpaved runways over 3047 m: 1
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 1
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 5
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 6 (1994 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 14
Over 3047 m: 1
2438 to 3047 m: 7
15-24 to 2437 m: 4
914 to 1523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 1 (1994 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 14
Over 3047 m: 1
2438 to 3047 m: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 5
Under 914 m: 6 (1994 est.)


Pipelines: crude oil 370 km; refined products 300 km; natural gas 440 km (1992)

Total: 1,583 km in common carrier service; does not include industrial lines
Broad gauge: 1,583 km 1.520-m gauge (1993)



Merchant marine
Total: 8 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 86,667 GRT/121,679 DWT
Ships by type: cargo 2, oil tanker 5, short-sea passenger 1 (1998 est.)

Ports and terminals

Georgia - Transnational issues 1999
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

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


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