The World of Info

GEORGIA
Population

Cities in GEORGIA

Tbilisi

Population

The total population of Georgia in 2017 was 4,926,350. The average number of inhabitants per km2 is about 70. The population growth rate is -0.02 (2017). The population between 0-14 years old is 18%, between 15-64 years old 66% and over 65 years old 16% (2017). Birth and death rates in 2017 were 12.3 and 10.9 respectively. The number of deaths in the first year of life is 15.2 per 1,000 live births in 2017.

A fascinating medical phenomenon is attracting global attention. Georgia has 51 centenarians per 100,000 inhabitants. In Tbilisi alone, more than 100 centenarians live. The how and why is still not clear.

Modern Georgia is home to three of the four Kartvelian peoples, the Georgians, the Mingrelians and the Svans. The fourth group, the Laz, almost all live in Turkey. The Karstvelian peoples have a common language, history and culture. The origin of the Kartvelians is not clear, but they are probably a mixture of Caucasian peoples and immigrants from Asia Minor. Since 1930, the Mingrelians and the Svans have been ethnically counted as Georgians. About 87% of the population are ethnic Georgians. There are approximately one million Mingrelians living in Georgia. The majority live in the Samegrelo region. They are distinguished by their fair skin, blond hair and blue eyes. Tea production has made them the most prosperous part of the population.

There are about 80,000 Svans in Georgia, mainly living in the mountainous region of Svaneti. The Svans have always lived in relative isolation and their dialect is still most similar to Old Georgian.

The Adarians are mostly ethnic Muslim Georgians. Most of them still have strong cultural and family ties with the neighbouring Turkish provinces.

There are about 92 000 Abkhazians living in Georgia. Despite their small number, they have a strong presence because most of them live in their own autonomous republic along the north-western coast of the Black Sea. Although they have lived in Georgia for almost 2 000 years, their origins are still unclear. They have their own government and language, Abkhazian. Russian is spoken as a second language. Few Abkhazians speak Georgian well, although many Abkhazians living in the south of Abkhazia speak Mingrelian. Most Abkhazians are Muslims. Due to emigration to Abkhazia from Georgia and Russia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, only about 20% of the population in Abkhazia is of Abkhazian descent and therefore a minority in their own country. Partly because of this imbalance, Abkhazia has been fighting for independence since the 1990s.

Of the 165,000 Ossetians, about 65,000 live in the South Ossetian Autonomous Region, which is about 66% of the total South Ossetian population. More than 100,000 Ossetians live in other parts of Georgia together with the Ossetians of North Ossetia, just across the Russian border. The Ossetians are descendants of Iranian mountain peoples. Many Ossetians would like to merge with North Ossetia, but Georgia suppresses any attempt to do so.

There are also about 450,000 Armenians living in the country, the largest foreign nationality. The Armenians are Christians with their own language and alphabet. The Armenian people have been dispersed throughout the world by historical persecutions. Tbilisi has a large Armenian population, as do the regions of Meshketia and Dzhavakethia.

The more than 300,000 Azerbaijanis live in the south of Tbilisi and around the cities of Bolnisi and Marneuli. Most speak Azeri and are Muslims. Russians (350,000) live scattered across Georgia, Abkhazia and Adjara. There are also small groups of Greeks, Ukrainians, Jews and Kurds.

The percentage of the population is as follows: 87.6% ethnic Georgians, 3.9% Armenians, 6.2% Azerbaijanis (or Azeri), 1.5% Russians, 2.5% others. There is also a fairly large group of mixed ethnicity. A very large part of the population lives in Georgia's multicultural capital Tbilisi, with a population of about 1.15 million. Ethnic groups predominate in other parts of the country: in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, for example, Armenians and the rural south-east has an Azeri majority.

Due to the difficult economic and social conditions after the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Georgians (about 600,000) emigrated. Most emigrated to Russia, smaller groups to France, the United States and England.

In the west of the country there are about 250,000 Georgians who fled from Abkhazia.

Sources

Bronnen

Burford, T. / Georgia
Bradt Publications

Georgia, Armenia & Azerbaijan
Lonely Planet

Rosen, R. / Georgia
Odyssey Publications

Spilling, M. / Georgia
Marshall Cavendish

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated December 2022
Copyright: Team The World of Info