Georgia Population: 4,555,911

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 Background
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 A.D., and Christianity became the state religion in the 330s. Domination by Persians, Arabs, and Turks was followed by a Georgian golden age (11th-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 in 1921 and regained its independence when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. Mounting public discontent over rampant corruption and ineffective government services, followed by an attempt by the incumbent Georgian Government to manipulate national legislative elections in November 2003 touched off widespread protests that led to the resignation of Eduard SHEVARDNADZE, president since 1995. In the aftermath of that popular movement, which became known as the "Rose Revolution," new elections in early 2004 swept Mikheil SAAKASHVILI into power along with his United National Movement (UNM) party. Progress on market reforms and democratization has been made in the years since independence, but this progress has been complicated by Russian assistance and support to the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Periodic flare-ups in tension and violence culminated in a five-day conflict in August 2008 between Russia and Georgia, including the invasion of large portions of undisputed Georgian territory. Russian troops pledged to pull back from most occupied Georgian territory, but in late August 2008 Russia unilaterally recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and Russian military forces remain in those regions. Billionaire philanthropist Bidzina IVANISHVILI's unexpected entry into politics in October 2011 brought the divided opposition together under his Georgian Dream coalition, which won a majority of seats in the October 2012 parliamentary election and removed UNM from power. A new constitution shifting many powers from the president to the prime minister and parliament, including the power to name the prime minister and government ministers, does not go into effect until after a new president is elected in the fall of 2013. Conceding defeat, SAAKASHVILI named IVANISHVILI as prime minister and allowed Georgian Dream to create a new government. Tensions remain high as IVANISHVILI, SAAKASHVILI, and their supporters struggle to co-exist until the end of the president's term.

 Geography
Strategically located east of the Black Sea; Georgia controls much of the Caucasus Mountains and the routes through them
Location: Southwestern Asia, bordering the Black Sea, between Turkey and Russia, with a sliver of land north of the Caucasus extending into Europe; note - Georgia views itself as part of Europe
Geographic coordinates: 42 00 N, 43 30 E
Area: total: 69,700 sq km land: 69,700 sq km water: 0 sq km

Size comparison: 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
Coastline: 310 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
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
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Black Sea 0 m highest point: Mt'a Shkhara 5,201 m
Natural resources: timber, 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: 5.94% permanent crops: 1.65% other: 92.41% (2011)
Irrigated land: 4,328 sq km (2007)
Natural hazards: earthquakes
Current Environment 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 Environment 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
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 People
Nationality: noun: Georgian(s) adjective: Georgian
Ethnic groups: Georgian 83.8%, Azeri 6.5%, Armenian 5.7%, Russian 1.5%, other 2.5% (2002 census)
Languages: Georgian (official) 71%, Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, other 7% note: Abkhaz is the official language in Abkhazia
Religions: Orthodox Christian (official) 83.9%, Muslim 9.9%, Armenian-Gregorian 3.9%, Catholic 0.8%, other 0.8%, none 0.7% (2002 census)
Population: 4,555,911 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 15.4% (male 373,539/female 327,139) 15-24 years: 14% (male 326,910/female 309,245) 25-54 years: 42.2% (male 926,172/female 994,432) 55-64 years: 12.3% (male 255,905/female 305,652) 65 years and over: 16.2% (male 293,435/female 443,482) (2013 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 47.7 % youth dependency ratio: 26.4 % elderly dependency ratio: 21.3 % potential support ratio: 4.7 (2013)
Median age: total: 39.6 years
male: 37.1 years female: 42.1 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.33% (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 10.72 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 10.17 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Net migration rate: -3.86 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 52.8% of total population (2011) rate of urbanization: -0.37% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: TBILISI (capital) 1.115 million (2009)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female 0-14 years: 1.15 male(s)/female 15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 25-54 years: 0.93 male(s)/female 55-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 23.9 (2010 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 67 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Infant mortality rate: total: 14.21 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 16.07 deaths/1,000 live births female: 12.16 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.51 years
male: 74.17 years female: 81.17 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.46 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 53.4% note: percent of women aged 15-44 (2010)
Health expenditures: 10.1% of GDP (2010)
Physicians density: 4.54 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
Hospital bed density: 3.1 beds/1,000 population (2009)
Drinking water source: improved: urban: 100% of population rural: 96% of population total: 98% of population unimproved: urban: 0% of population rural: 4% of population total: 2% of population (2010 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved: urban: 96% of population rural: 93% of population total: 95% of population unimproved: urban: 4% of population rural: 7% of population total: 5% of population (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 3,500 (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 22.1% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 1.1% (2009)
Education expenditures: 2.7% of GDP (2011)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.7% male: 99.8% female: 99.7% (2011 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 13.2 years (2009)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 35.6% (2011)
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 Government
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: name: Tbilisi geographic coordinates: 41 41 N, 44 50 E time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 9 regions (mkharebi, singular - mkhare), 1 city (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 city: Tbilisi autonomous republics: Abkhazia or Ap'khazet'is Avtonomiuri Respublika (Sokhumi), Ajaria or Acharis Avtonomiuri Respublika (Bat'umi) note: the administrative centers of the two autonomous republics are shown in parentheses
Independence: 9 April 1991 (from the Soviet Union); notable earlier date: A.D. 1008 (Georgia unified under King BAGRAT III)
National holiday: Independence Day, 26 May (1918); note - 26 May 1918 was the date of independence from Soviet Russia, 9 April 1991 was the date of independence from the Soviet Union
Constitution: adopted 24 August 1995
Legal system: civil law system
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Mikheil SAAKASHVILI (since 25 January 2004); the president is the chief of state and serves as head of government for the power ministries of internal affairs, justice, and defense head of government: Prime Minister Bidzina IVANISHVILI (since 25 October 2012); the prime minister is head of government for all the ministries of government except the power ministries of internal affairs, justice, and defense cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 5 January 2008 (next to be held in October 2013) election results: Mikheil SAAKASHVILI reelected president; percent of vote - Mikheil SAAKASHVILI 53.5%, Levan GACHECHILADZE 25.7%, Badri PATARKATSISHVILI 7.1%, other 13.7%
Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Parlamenti (150 seats; 77 members elected by proportional representation, 73 elected in single-member constituencies; members to serve four-year terms) elections: last held on 1 October 2012 (next to be held in 2016) election results: percent of vote by party - Georgian Dream 55%, United National Movement 40.3%, other 4.7%; seats by party - Georgian Dream 85, United National Movement 65
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court (organized into several specialized judicial chambers; number of judges determined by the president of Georgia); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges) note - the Abkhazian and Ajarian Autonomous republics each have a supreme court and a hierarchy of lower courts judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the president and appointed by the Parliament; judges serve not less than 10-year terms; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the president following candidate selection by the Justice Council of Georgia, a 12-member consultative body of high-level judges, and presidential and parliamentary appointees; judges appointed for 10-year terms subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; regional (town) and district courts
Political parties and leaders: Christian Democratic Movement [Giorgi TARGAMADZE] Conservative Party [Zviad DZIDZIGURI] Democratic Movement United Georgia [Nino BURJANADZE] For Fair Georgia [Zurab NOGAIDELI] Georgian Dream (a six-party coalition composed of Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia, Republican Party, Our Georgia-Free Democrats, National Forum, Conservative Party, and Industry Will Save Georgia) Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia [Bidzina IVANISHVILI, honorary chairman] Georgian People's Front [Nodar NATADZE] Greens [Giorgi GACHECHILADZE] Industry Will Save Georgia (Industrialists) or IWSG [Georgi TOPADZE] Labor Party [Shalva NATELASHVILI] National Democratic Party or NDP [Bachuki KARDAVA] National Forum [Kakhaber SHARTAVA] New Rights [Pikria CHIKHRADZE] Our Georgia-Free Democrats (OGFD) [Irakli KADAGIDZE] People's Party [Koba DAVITASHVILI Republican Party [David USUPASHVILI] Traditionalists [Akaki ASATIANI] United National Movement or UNM [Vano MERABISHVILI]
Political pressure groups and leaders: separatists in the occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia
International organization participation: ADB, BSEC, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, G-11, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): Saint George; lion
National anthem: name: "Tavisupleba" (Liberty) lyrics/music: Dawit MAGRADSE/Zakaria PALIASHVILI (adapted by Joseb KETSCHAKMADSE) note: adopted 2004; after the Rose Revolution, a new anthem with music based on the operas "Abesalom da Eteri" and "Daisi" was adopted
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Archil GEGESHIDZE chancery: 2209 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 telephone: [1] (202) 387-2390 FAX: [1] (202) 387-0864 consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Richard NORLAND embassy: 11 George Balanchine Street, T'bilisi 0131 mailing address: 7060 T'bilisi Place, Washington, DC 20521-7060 telephone: [995] (32) 227-70-00 FAX: [995] (32) 253-23-10
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 Economy
Georgia's main economic activities include the cultivation of agricultural products such as grapes, citrus fruits, and hazelnuts; mining of manganese, copper, and gold; and output of a small industrial sector producing alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, metals, machinery, and chemicals. The country imports nearly all its needed supplies of natural gas and oil products. It has sizeable hydropower capacity that now provides most of its energy needs. Georgia has overcome the chronic energy shortages and gas supply interruptions of the past by renovating hydropower plants and by increasingly relying on natural gas imports from Azerbaijan instead of from Russia. Construction of the Baku-T'bilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the Baku-T'bilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline, and the Kars-Akhalkalaki Railroad are part of a strategy to capitalize on Georgia's strategic location between Europe and Asia and develop its role as a transit point for gas, oil, and other goods. Georgia's economy sustained GDP growth of more than 10% in 2006-07, based on strong inflows of foreign investment and robust government spending. However, GDP growth slowed following the August 2008 conflict with Russia, and sunk to negative 4 percent in 2009 as foreign direct investment and workers' remittances declined in the wake of the global financial crisis. The economy rebounded in 2010-12, with growth rates above 6% per year, but FDI inflows, the engine of Georgian economic growth prior to the 2008 conflict, have not recovered fully. Unemployment has also remained high at above 15%. Georgia has historically suffered from a chronic failure to collect tax revenues; however, the government, since coming to power in 2004, has simplified the tax code, improved tax administration, increased tax enforcement, and cracked down on petty corruption, leading to higher revenues. The country is pinning its hopes for renewed growth on a determined effort to continue to liberalize the economy by reducing regulation, taxes, and corruption in order to attract foreign investment, with a focus on hydropower, agriculture, tourism, and textiles production. Since 2004, the government has taken a series of actions against endemic corruption, including reform of the traffic police and implementation of a fair examination system for entering the university system. The government has received high marks from the World Bank for its anti-corruption efforts.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $27.11 billion (2012 est.) $25.44 billion (2011 est.) $23.74 billion (2010 est.) note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $15.93 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 6.5% (2012 est.) 7.2% (2011 est.) 6.3% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $6,000 (2012 est.) $5,700 (2011 est.) $5,400 (2010 est.) note: data are in 2012 US dollars
Gross national saving: 11.9% of GDP (2012 est.) 12.4% of GDP (2011 est.) 10.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 77% government consumption: 19% investment in fixed capital: 22.8% investment in inventories: 1.3% exports of goods and services: 36.2% imports of goods and services: -56.6% (2012 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 77% government consumption: 19% investment in fixed capital: 22.8% investment in inventories: 1.3% exports of goods and services: 36.2% imports of goods and services: -56.6% (2012 est.)
Agriculture - products: citrus, grapes, tea, hazelnuts, vegetables; livestock
Industries: steel, machine tools, electrical appliances, mining (manganese, copper, and gold), chemicals, wood products, wine
Industrial production growth rate: 4.5% (2012 est.)
Labor force: 1.959 million (2011 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 55.6% industry: 8.9% services: 35.5% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate: 15.1% (2011 est.) 16.3% (2010 est.)
Population below poverty line: 9.2% (2010)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2% highest 10%: 31.3% (2008)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 46 (2011) 37.1 (1996)
Budget: revenues: $4.421 billion expenditures: $4.905 billion (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 27.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
Public debt: 36.3% of GDP (2012 est.) 36.5% of GDP (2011 est.) note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities; Georgia does not maintain intra-governmental debt or social funds
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): -0.9% (2012 est.) 8.5% (2011 est.)
Current account balance: -$1.669 billion (2012 est.) -$1.799 billion (2011 est.)
Exports: $3.305 billion (2012 est.) $3.223 billion (2011 est.)
Exports - commodities: vehicles, ferro-alloys, fertilizers, nuts, scrap metal, gold, copper ores
Exports - partners: Azerbaijan 13.8%, US 8.5%, Germany 8.3%, Bulgaria 7.4%, Kazakhstan 7%, Turkey 6.4%, Ukraine 6.3%, Lebanon 5.7%, Canada 4.2% (2012)
Imports: $6.628 billion (2012 est.) $6.644 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commodities: fuels, vehicles, machinery and parts, grain and other foods, pharmaceuticals
Imports - partners: Turkey 13.9%, China 8.2%, Ukraine 8.2%, Russia 7.4%, Azerbaijan 7.1%, US 6%, Germany 5.6%, Bulgaria 4% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $2.873 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $2.818 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Debt - external: $13.36 billion (31 December 2012) $11.12 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $9.305 billion (31 December 2011 est.) $9.305 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $741.6 million (31 December 2011 est.) $660.3 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $795.7 million (31 December 2011) $1.06 billion (31 December 2010) $733.3 million (31 December 2009)
Exchange rates: laris (GEL) per US dollar - 1.6513 (2012 est.) 1.6865 (2011 est.) 1.7823 (2010 est.) 1.6705 (2009 est.) 1.47 (2008 est.)
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 Energy
Electricity - production: 9.694 billion kWh (2012 est.) country comparison to the world: 93
Electricity - consumption: 9.379 billion kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity - exports: 528 million kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity - imports: 614 million kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 4.538 million kW (2009 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 37.2% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 62.8% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Crude oil - production: 979.5 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 531 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 33.19 million bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 858 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 17,280 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 18,500 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 9.151 million cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 1.97 billion cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 1.96 billion cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 93.41 billion cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 5.302 million Mt (2010 est.)
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 Communications
Telephones in use: 1.345 million (2011) country comparison to the world: 67
Cellular Phones in use: 4.43 million (2011)
Telephone system: general assessment: fixed-line telecommunications network has limited coverage outside Tbilisi; multiple mobile-cellular providers provide services to an increasing subscribership throughout the country domestic: cellular telephone networks cover the entire country; mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 100 per 100 people; intercity facilities include a fiber-optic line between T'bilisi and K'ut'aisi international: country code - 995; the Georgia-Russia fiber-optic submarine cable provides connectivity to Russia; international service is available by microwave, landline, and satellite through the Moscow switch; international electronic mail and telex service are available (2011)
Broadcast media: 1 public broadcaster in Tbilisi, 1 state-owned broadcaster in Ajaria Autonomous Republic; 8 privately owned TV stations; state run public broadcaster operates 2 TV stations; dozens of cable TV operators, several major commercial TV stations, and several dozen private radio stations; state run public broadcaster operates 2 radio stations (2012)
Internet country code: .ge
Internet hosts: 357,864 (2012)
Internet users: 1.3 million (2009)
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 Transportation
Airports: 22 (2013) country comparison to the world: 135
Airports (paved runways): total 18
over 3,047 m: 1 2,438 to 3,047 m: 7 1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 914 to 1,523 m: 5 under 914 m: 2 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 2 under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Heliports: 2 (2013)
Pipelines: gas 1,596 km; oil 1,175 km (2013)
Railways: total 1,612 km
broad gauge: 1,575 km 1.520-m gauge (1,575 km electrified) narrow gauge: 37 km 0.912-m gauge (37 km electrified) (2008)
Roadways: total 19,109 km
paved: 19,109 km (includes 69 km of expressways) (2010)
Merchant marine: total 142
by type: bulk carrier 13, cargo 114, chemical tanker 1, container 1, liquefied gas 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 3, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 5, vehicle carrier 2 foreign-owned: 95 (Bulgaria 1, China 10, Egypt 7, Hong Kong 3, Israel 1, Italy 2, Latvia 1, Lebanon 1, Romania 7, Russia 6, Syria 24, Turkey 14, UAE 2, UK 5, Ukraine 10, US 1) registered in other countries: 1 (unknown 1) (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Black Sea - Bat'umi, P'ot'i
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 Military
Military branches: Georgian Armed Forces: Land Forces (include Air and Air Defense Forces); separatist Abkhazia Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Air Forces; separatist South Ossetia Armed Forces note: Georgian naval forces have been incorporated into the coast guard, which is not part of the Defense Ministry (2011)
Military service age and obligation: 18 to 34 years of age for compulsory and voluntary active duty military service; conscript service obligation is 18 months (2012)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 1,080,840 females age 16-49: 1,122,031 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 893,003 females age 16-49: 931,683 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 29,723 female: 27,242 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures: 1.9% of GDP (2010 est.)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: Russia's military support and subsequent recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia independence in 2008 continue to sour relations with Georgia
Refugees and internally displaced persons: IDPs: 261,400 - 274,000 (displaced in the 1990s and 2008 from Abkhazia and South Ossetia) (2011) stateless persons: 1,156 (2012)
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
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