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Welcome To Georgia

Here you will find the latest information, sourced from the CIA World Factbook and other public domain references around the Internet.

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Introduction Georgia
The region of present-day Georgia contained the ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Kartli-Iberia. The area came under Roman influence in the first centuries AD and Christianity became the state religion in the 330s. Domination by Persians, Arabs, and Turks was followed by a Georgian golden age (11th to the 13th centuries) that was cut short by the Mongol invasion of 1236. Subsequently, the Ottoman and Persian empires competed for influence in the region. 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. Despite myriad problems, some progress on market reforms and democratization has been made since then. 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. New elections in early 2004 swept Mikheil SAAKASHVILI into power along with his National Movement Party.
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
land: 69,700 sq km
water: 0 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:
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: 11.44%
permanent crops: 3.86%
other: 84.7% (2001)
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
4,677,401 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 18% (male 444,779/female 398,162)
15-64 years: 65.9% (male 1,480,557/female 1,603,743)
65 years and over: 16% (male 300,859/female 449,301) (2005 est.)
Median age:
total: 37.36 years
male: 34.93 years
female: 39.7 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.35% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
10.25 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
9.09 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
-4.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.16 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.12 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 (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 18.59 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 20.71 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.88 years
male: 72.59 years
female: 79.67 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.41 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
3,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 200 (2003 est.)
noun: Georgian(s)
adjective: Georgian
Ethnic groups:
Georgian 83.8%, Azeri 6.5%, Armenian 5.7%, Russian 1.5%, other 2.5% (2002 census)
Orthodox Christian 83.9%, Armenian-Gregorian 3.9%, Catholic 0.8%, Muslim 9.9%, other 0.8%, none 0.7% (2002 census)
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 long form: none
local short form: Sak'art'velo
former: Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic
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)
: regions: Guria, Imereti, Kakheti, Kvemo Kartli, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, Samegrelo and Zemo Svaneti, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Shida Kartli
: cities: Chiat'ura, Gori, K'ut'aisi, P'ot'i, Rust'avi, T'bilisi, Tqibuli, Tsqaltubo, Zugdidi
: autonomous republics: Abkhazia or Ap'khazet'is Avtonomiuri Respublika (Sokhumi), Ajaria or Acharis Avtonomiuri Respublika (Bat'umi)
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 24 August 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 (includes interior) and defense
head of government: President Mikheil SAAKASHVILI (since 25 January 2004); Prime Minister Zurab NOGHAIDELI (since 17 February 2005); note - the president is the chief of state and head of government for the power ministries: state security (includes interior) and defense; the prime minister is head of the remaining ministries of government
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 4 January 2004 (next to be held NA 2009)
election results: Mikheil SAAKASHVILI elected president; percent of vote - Mikheil SAAKASHVILI 96.3%, Temur SHASHIASHVILI 1.9%
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)
elections: last held 28 March 2004 (next to be held spring 2008)
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
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (judges elected by the Supreme Council on the president's recommendation); Constitutional Court; first and second instance courts
Political parties and leaders:
Burjanadze-Democrats [Nino BURJANADZE]; Georgian People's Front [Nodar NATADZE]; Georgian United Communist Party or UCPG [Panteleimon GIORGADZE]; Greens [Giorgi GACHECHILADZE]; Industry Will Save Georgia (Industrialists) or IWSG [Georgi TOPADZE]; Labor Party [Shalva NATELASHVILI]; National Democratic Party or NDP [Bachuki KARDAVA]; National Movement Democratic Front [Mikheil SAAKASHVILI] bloc composed of National Movement and Burjanadze-Democrats; National Movement [Mikheil SAAKASHVILI]; New Right [David GAMKRELIDZE]; Republican Party [David BERDZENISHVILI]; Rightist Opposition [David GAMKRELIDZE] bloc composed of Industrialists and New Right Party; Socialist Party or SPG [Irakli MINDELI]; Traditionalists [Akaki ASATIANI]; Union of National Forces-Conservatives [Koba DAVITASHVILI and Zviad DZIDZIGURI]
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 602, 1101 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 387-4537
FAX: [1] (202) 393-4537
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Richard M. MILES
embassy: #25 Atoneli Street, T'bilisi 0105
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 has suffered from limited resources due to a chronic failure to collect tax revenues. Georgia's new government is making progress in reforming the tax code, enforcing taxes, and cracking down on corruption. Georgia also suffers from energy shortages; it privatized the T'bilisi electricity distribution network in 1998, but payment collection rates remain low, both in T'bilisi and throughout the regions. The country is pinning its hopes for long-term growth on its role as a transit state for pipelines and trade. The construction on the Baku-T'bilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-T'bilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline have brought much-needed investment and job opportunities.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$14.45 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
9.5% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $3,100 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 20.5%
industry: 22.6%
services: 56.9% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
2.1 million (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 40%, industry 20%, services 40% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate:
17% (2001 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):
5.5% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
18.5% of GDP (2004 est.)
revenues: $671.7 million
expenditures: $804.7 million, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
citrus, grapes, tea, hazelnuts, vegetables; livestock
steel, aircraft, machine tools, electrical appliances, mining (manganese and copper), chemicals, wood products, wine
Industrial production growth rate:
3% (2000)
Electricity - production:
6.732 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 19.7%
hydro: 80.3%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
6.811 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:
300 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:
850 million kWh (2002)
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.)
Current account balance:
$-632.9 million (2004 est.)
$909.4 million (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
scrap metal, machinery, chemicals; fuel reexports; citrus fruits, tea, wine
Exports - partners:
Turkey 18.3%, Turkmenistan 17.8%, Russia 16.2%, Armenia 8.4%, UK 4.9% (2004)
$1.806 billion (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
fuels, machinery and parts, transport equipment, grain and other foods, pharmaceuticals
Imports - partners:
Russia 14%, Turkey 11%, UK 9.3%, Azerbaijan 8.5%, Germany 8.2%, Ukraine 7.7%, US 6% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$231.4 million (2004 est.)
Debt - external:
$1.8 billion (2002)
Economic aid - recipient:
ODA $150 million (2000 est.)
Currency (code):
lari (GEL)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
lari per US dollar - 1.9167 (2004), 2.1457 (2003), 2.1957 (2002), 2.073 (2001), 1.9762 (2000)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Georgia
Telephones - main lines in use:
650,500 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
522,300 (2003)
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:
5,160 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
6 (2000)
Internet users:
150,500 (2003)
Transportation Georgia
total: 1,612 km (1,612 km electrified)
broad gauge: 1,575 km 1.520-m gauge (1,575 electrified)
narrow gauge: 37 km 0.912-m gauge (37 electrified) (2004)
total: 20,229 km
paved: 18,914 km
unpaved: 1,315 km (2002)
gas 1,697 km; oil 1,027 km; refined products 232 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:
Bat'umi, P'ot'i
Merchant marine:
total: 175 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 855,908 GRT/1,288,812 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 22, cargo 133, container 3, liquefied gas 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 6, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 105 (Albania 1, Azerbaijan 2, Cyprus 2, Egypt 3, Estonia 1, Germany 1, Greece 4, Israel 1, Lebanon 3, Romania 6, Russia 8, Syria 27, Turkey 14, Ukraine 30, UAE 2)
registered in other countries: 1 (2005)
30 (2004 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
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 10 (2004 est.)
2 (2004 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 (includes National Guard), Air and Air Defense Forces, Maritime Defense Force, Interior Forces
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 18 months (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 1,038,736 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 827,281 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males: 38,857 (2005 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:
Russia and Georgia agree on delimiting 80% of their common border, leaving certain small, strategic segments and the maritime boundary unresolved; OSCE observers monitor volatile areas such as the Pankisi Gorge in the Akhmeti region and the Argun Gorge in Abkhazia; UN Observer Mission in Georgia has maintained a peacekeeping force in Georgia since 1993; 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 and Georgia cannot resolve the alignment of their boundary at certain crossing areas
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
IDPs: 260,000 (displaced from Abkhazia and South Ossetia) (2004)
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



Sources: The CIA World Fact Book and other public domain Internet sites

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