Study: 23% of Georgia's population has emigrated
Migration from Georgia
According to research organization PMCG, the total number of people emigrating from Georgia increased by 7% from 2010 to 2020 for a total of 861,000 people, which is 23% of the country’s population. PMCG provides data on the impact of emigration and remittances on the Georgian economy.
Russia remains the primary destination for a majority Georgian emigrants (450,000), followed by Greece (85,000), Ukraine (65,000) and Azerbaijan (49,000). The largest increase in immigrants was observed in the United States (77%), Italy (60%) and Armenia (47%).
The study reports that over the past decade the volume of remittances to Georgia has increased significantly:
● From 2012 to 2021, the figure increased by 76% to $2.35 billion.
● From 2013 to 2015, the amount of remittances decreased. However, since 2016, the figure has increased and in 2021 the highest amount was recorded.
● A visa-free agreement with the European Union and an increase in emigration from Georgia may have contributed to an increase in remittances.
The organization’s report also mentions that Georgia is considered a country of emigration. According to PMCG, since the mid-1990s emigration from the country has been characterized as labor migration driven by socio-economic problems (high unemployment, poverty and low wages).
“Various studies show that a significant part of immigrants from Georgia live and work illegally in the host country. The main motivation of emigrants who leave Georgia is to send money to their families in Georgia to provide them with better living conditions.”
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- ‘A [Georgian] separation’: female emigrants on work, motherhood and family
- 15,000 Georgian citizens applied for asylum in the European Union in 2021
In May of this year Georgia received money transfers from Russia in the amount of 303 million dollars, which is 889% more than in the previous year.
In total, Georgia received a record amount of remittances in May — $505.7 million, which is 169% more than in the previous year. Georgia had not received remittances on this scale in any month or year.
According to the World Bank, Georgia ranks 21st in countries dependent on remittances.
In the same ranking, Tonga ranks first, with 37.2% of its gross domestic product (GDP) coming from remittances; Somalia is in second place with 35.3%; and Kyrgyzstan third with 31.3% of its economy dependent on remittances.
Migration from Georgia