Newscafe

GEORGIAN DEMOGRAPHY AND THE PROBLEMS RELATED THE POPULATION

Nino Japiashvili

In the beginning assistance is expected to be provided in Guria, Imereti, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Racha -lechkhumi, Mtskheta-Mtianeti and Kakheti.

 

Those families, which live in the mountainous areas will get 200 Gel monthly and those families which live in lowland areas will get 150 gel monthly. The idea of encouraging large families with financial support belongs to Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and it will be brought into the action from June, 1 this year.

Garibashvili will also lead the governmental group created to solve the demographic problems in the country. High ranked officials from the Ministry of health and labor, Ministry of Finances, Economy and the public health committee at Parliament will be the members of that group. "By creating the better living conditions for people we will be able to improve the demography at the same time. Families must feel the support and the assistance from the government,'' said Garibashvili.

The head of the health committee at Georgian Parliament Dimitri Khundadze said The regions were selected very carefully. ''if we won't solve the depopulation problems in Racha, in 10, 15 years it may not exist at all. 162 mountainous and border villages are totally empty. 152 villages are populated only by 5-10 families per village. We promptly need new initiatives to promote the population grow.'' As Khundadze said, Ministry of health and labor estimated that the number of newborns have perceptible shortened during last several years. The average number of firstly born children per year is 31 thousand, secondly born- 18 thousand, thirdly born - 5 thousand, fourth and the following above — 500. "For us is important to encourage mothers to give birth to second and third children.'' Said Khundadze.

According to Minister of Health and labor Davit Sergeenko General Public Health program including free delivery has been working very well. The number of births has increased by 1.5 %-2.5 % in comparison of previous years (2010,2011,2012). 27 thousands deliveries were financed by the ministry of health, this year, the reimbursement fees and the days of maternity leave has increased. The kindergartens are free and the assistance of social unprotected people is much higher than before.

''Demography is a huge process, it needs very certain and long-term approach. Where the deaths rates are higher than birth rates we have a tactic to provide mothers with the financial support, but in regions with no depopulation indicators, for example in Achara, we intend to improve the health care of pregnant woman by helping them with maternity food, medication.'' As Sergeenko said the result of the program will be visible in 10-15 years.

The head of Demographical and social Institute Avtandil Sulaberidze thinks that while working on improving the demographic politics it is important to think about social politics too. Accommodation problem are one of the harshest problems against the stable demography. "How can we ask mothers to give a birth to the second and the third child when they don't have a place to live in?'' Sulaberidze thinks that if the group solving the demographic problems in Georgia has to be recruited by qualified people. ''Demographers are more qualified in the demography than the ministers and high ranged officials. We promptly need efficient projects, otherwise the prediction of UN will come true soon'' said Sulaberidze.

According to the 2012 research of the United Nation's Department of Economy and Social Affairs the population of Georgia will considerable shorten from 2015. The number of migration and the deaths will grow up by 2050 and the population of Georgia will be equal of 3563.One million less that now and almost the same as it was after the World War II in 1945 -1950.

UN establishes the demographical level of the country by several components though one of the most determinant factors are level of Birth, level of Mortality, Reproduction health, demographical balance internaland external Migration.

Migration is one of the most determinant factors for fair demography. First most global migration during the last 20-25 years in Georgia took place after the Soviet Union collapse. As Maia Tabatadze the historian and demographer said, during the War in Samachablo and Abkhazia more than 4 thousand Georgians left the country. They did it against their will, though majority of them never came back to Georgia as constant residents.''These people were from Gagra, Gudauta Sokhumi and Ochamchire, they went to Sochi because for them it was closer than Tbilisi. Currently Georgia has 230 thousand refuges from Abkhazia and 26 thousand from Samachablo. 30 % don't have the accommodation and live in poor social conditions.

According to Tabatadze the number of emigrants who left Georgia willingly is much higher. "World Bank research 2011 showed that more than 1.700 million Georgians are living abroad. They are immigrants and left Georgia in order to find a better life conditions. During last 10 years majority of Georgian immigrated to Greece (175000),to Italy, to USA, to Russia (7. 000) and France. "The number may be two times more, but we have no information as many Georgians are working illegally. They are working as caregivers and housemaids. '' Tabatadze thinks that in order to cajole these people from abroad is important to give them the possibility to workin their own countries.

According to the Georgian National Register the population of Georgia for now is 4.55 million people majority of them 53% are living in cities and the rest in the villages.

As Demographer Tsira Kakhishvili said, the Demographic balance in several regions of Georgia is disturbed. "People are leaving villages, young generation wants to start new life with better living conditions. In the villages they are mostly living only on their parents and grandparents pensions because jobs are limited. Meanwhile the villages become empty without enough labor force.169 border villages are almost empty now,152 mountainous villages may face this problems soon too. If Georgian government along with the ministry of Agriculture and the ministry of Labor health and social affairs won't work on new projects to stop the internal migration that disturbs the demography of the country the disaster will be inevitable'',Said Kakhishvili

According to Georgian National Register Since 1990 the rate of mortality including newborns and (those which were born dead) in Georgia has increased and the rate of births has decreased. Though Demographer Natalia kopaleishvili said, that these numbers has comparable improved during last years. In 2012 the number of population grow by 0.6 percent in comparison with 2010 and in 2013 the number of mortality decreased by 1.5 percent in comparison with 2010.

Kopaleishvili thinks that the initiative of the Georgian patriarch connected the General Christening in Georgia played a significant role in growing the population. She thinks that the initiative of Garibashvili will also benefit the development of Demography,'' said Kopaleishvili.

Tamar Chiburdanidze founder of The Demography development foundation thinks the research of UN has to be taken into consideration. She says Demographical Development Foundation will spend almost 14 million gels in the following two years. "We will financially support the large families in the in the regions of law population: Racha - Lechkhumi, Svaneti, Pshav -Khevsureti.'' Foundation plans to launch two other projects. One of them will be aimed to stop the internal migration within Georgia and encourage the young generation not to leave their villages.

Last General Population Census in Georgia was conducted in 2002 according Geostat census was conducted with all features of demography including population growth, population density, ethnicity, educational level, health, social economic status, religious affiliation and other aspects of the population though as it is said in the official report of the Geostat the results of 2012 were not as authentic as it had to be. Geostat said that in case of better financing the numbers would be more reliable. "Unstable financing of the project created a lot of problems. Census personal was not trained appropriately. They were not motivated enough and had extremely law salaries (70-100 gel). Inactive local self government and the absence of cartographic materials led to omission and even double registrations of people.''

While the law populated countries like Norway (5.109 mill people) Ireland (40593 mill people) Croatia (4.229 mill people) and New Zealand (4.524 mill people) are spending more than 30 million dollars for the population census periodically the total expenses on Census preparation in Georgia in 2002, amounted to 8 million Gels.

According to the official webpage of Geostat the Majority of the costs were covered by the Government. State budged provided 82.3 % of total expenses and the remaining part was covered by International organizations including World Bank and United Nations.

In July 2005 The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted the resolution where it called on the member states to carry out the population and housing census in the period of 2005-2014. Though unexpected intervention of Russian forces in Georgia in 2008 and the following global financial crisis in 2009 hindered the process for several years. UN placed Georgia among those countries (Uzbekistan, Iraq, Eritrea, Lebanon, Somali and West Sahara) which were not able to provide the census of the population on time. Georgia has to conduct the census by the end of 2014. National Statistics Office of Georgia required 5 million Gels, though only 100 00 Gel were allocated for the project. The project failed.

New 2014 General population Census started in January 2013. The final result will be known By May-June 2016. By now it is known that the biggest number of the population was observed in 2012 (4.497 millions of people) majority of people were women 53 % and the rest were 47% men. Most part of the population was living in the cities.

National Statistics Office says that total expenses of 2013-2016 projects are estimated at 18.3 million Gel. Almost two times more than it was in previous case in 2002. The head of the Geostat said that now there is much more possibilities to conduct a valuable population census than before. Donor countries and organizations support Georgia in this process. World Bank allocated 250.000 Gel for project. The responsible organization for conducting the research is National Statistics office in Georgia. Governmental institutions will be monitoring the process.

By the time the results of the census will be known, Georgian government will have spent 200 million Gel on encouraging mothers in law populated regions to have two and more kids. As demographers say at least 10-15 years are needed to find out whether the demographical reforms were conducted successfully or not.