Peculiarities of migration processes in post-Soviet Georgia

Mirian Tukhashvili, Tbilisi State University
Tamaz Zubiashvili, Tbilisi State University

Developed profound economic crisis in post-Soviet Georgia in the 1990s, ethno-political conflicts and political chaos reigned at the initial stage dramatically increased the intensity of migration processes. The directions and effectiveness of migration streams have changed. Namely, a) In the conditions of economic collapse it has emerged mass stationary and labor emigration. A significant contingent of ethnic minorities returned to their historical motherlands (Russia, Greece, Israel etc) and the part of ethnic majority departed abroad as labour emigrants to save their families from famine. In total, a fifth of the population of Georgia has left the country; b) Economic crisis has constrained urbanization process. The share of urban population went into decline by the influence of migration processes; labour pendulum migration has decreased to the minimum; developed labour ties among populated areas in earlier years have waned significantly; c) Geography of internal and external educational migration has changed substantially; d) Due to the ethnic cleansing incited by external imperialistic forces an overwhelming share of ethnic majority was forcibly displaced from Abkhazian Autonomous Republic and former South Ossetian District; e) The study found that the most active and high-skilled part of population left Georgia as a result of the one way emigration process in the above noted period. Process of demographic aging has accelerated due to the fertility decline and emigration of the youth; demographic and economic burden of the able-bodied population increased; population territorial distribution has been altered. Although the intensity of stationary emigration has slowed down in recent years, the scale of illegal labour emigration is still high; human trafficking is widespread; domestic migration processes are going irrationally. Because of all above noted it is imperative that the government work out the state program for migration regulation that will favour the optimization of migration streams. Efficient migration policy is one of the most important ways to solve the severe economic and socio-demographic problems in Georgia.

Presented in Poster Session 1