"Nearly half of young people in Georgia say they are neither working nor in school" - FES survey
A study of youth in Georgia
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) has surveyed the attitudes of Georgian youth aged 14-29 years old. The results of this study, titled “Between Hope and Uncertainty”, were published on September 26, 2023. According to them, almost half of young people aged 25-29 are neither working nor studying.
The main findings of the study are:
● A majority of young adults (58 percent) in Georgia say they do not have a job. One in five respondents (21 percent) are actively looking for a job.
● Two-thirds of young adults (65 percent) say they are highly financially dependent on others (e.g., parents, partners, relatives). Only 38 percent report having their own income — a salary, a loan or grant, or income from rental properties.
Young men living in Tbilisi and with higher education are more likely to have their own income than young women, people under 24, people living outside Tbilisi, or with only secondary education.
● Homophobia and negative attitudes towards non-dominant groups are widespread among young people.
● According to the survey, young people in Georgia do consider themselves Europeans and believe that they share “European values”, but “Georgian national” values are prioritized and more important to them.
● 69 percent oppose the idea that freedom of speech implies the right to criticize all religions.
Family values, having children (88 percent) and getting married (77 percent) are also very or somewhat important. Family values are more important for men and the 25-29 age group. However, marriage is more important to young people living outside the capital than to their metropolitan peers.
The most important values for young people are “personal dignity” and “honesty/decency”. “Fidelity” and “sincerity” are also frequently mentioned.
● Among government and public institutions, young people trust the military (74 percent), church/religious institutions (67 percent), police (48 percent) and courts (39 percent) the most. And the least trusted are political parties (79 percent distrust), the media (74 percent distrust), the president (71 percent distrust), labor unions (67 percent distrust), and the national government (66 percent distrust).
● The three social groups most unacceptable to young people are: drug addicts (61 percent), gay people (46 percent), and Russian immigrants (44 percent), whom young respondents would not let into the country if they could.
● The most acceptable social groups for young people are mothers with many children, religious people, IDPs, and refugees.
● About one-third of young people want to go abroad in one to five years. Young people attribute their desire to live abroad to two main reasons: higher salaries (57 percent) and higher levels of education (45 percent).
● During focus group discussions, respondents identified emigration as one of the most important problems facing the country and noted that young people leave mainly because of economic hardship. Other reasons cited included low levels of education and lack of opportunities for personal development or achievement.
● Young people are generally indifferent to politics: 62 percent say they are not interested in politics and only 34 percent are informed about political events.
● Many young people cannot distinguish right-wing politics from left-wing politics and find it difficult to position themselves on this scale.
● 44 percent of young people have a favorable view of the current state of democracy in the country.
● 89 percent have never participated in a demonstration.
● At least 75 percent of young people say they have not participated in any political activities (e.g., volunteering, donating, signing petitions, demonstrations) in the past six months.
● 71 percent consider religious organizations trustworthy.
● 74 percent do not trust the media
● 77 percent believe their family’s standard of living will improve in the next five years.
● 31 percent are not getting an education.
● Almost two-thirds of young people (62 percent) agree that Georgia is a European country.
A study of youth in Georgia