The Georgian social security system has been
changed from the ground up several times and today
includes old-age pensions, unemployment benefits,
sickness benefits and parental benefits and more.
All grants and pensions are at a very low level.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Georgia, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
In the summer of 2018, a new pension law was adopted,
but the pension amounts remained among the lowest in the
world. Men generally retire at 65 and women at 60. A
severely criticized deficiency in the system is that a
large part of the population lives on agriculture with
low incomes and therefore are hardly inclined to
participate in the pension system, which assumes that
small business owners themselves account for payments.
According to official data, the percentage of
Georgians living below the so-called poverty line was 40
percent in 2005. From about 2010, conditions improved
for each year and several Georgians were lifted out of
the worst poverty. In a study based on the national
accounts in 2016, the World Bank stated the proportion
of the poor to 30 percent. In state Georgian statistics,
in 2018, one fifth, 20 percent, of the population was
considered poor. The best people in rural areas are able
to grow their own food.
However, many families with small margins still live.
The consequences are quickly becoming large, not least
for the children, of, for example, loss of income in the
family. When the corona pandemic broke out in 2020, and
schools in Georgia were closed and ordered to remotely
teach students, UN agency Unicef released official
information saying that a fifth of children did not have
access to a computer or the Internet at all.
There are quite a number of children living on the
street, where they try to feed on begging, theft or
prostitution. The fact that you become a criminal
offender at the age of 14 increases the risk of minor
children being pulled into crime, writes the Norwegian
research institute Fafo, which in 2018 conducted a
survey for Unicef and the Government of Georgia. The
street children become easily addicted to alcohol or
drugs. The risks are particularly high for children from
ethnic minorities (Fafo mentions Roma and Kurds from
Azerbaijan), and it can be difficult to reach families
with the help available because minority groups have low
confidence in Georgian authorities.
Vulnerable children and women also run the risk of
falling into the throes of human traffickers who send
their victims to other countries with promises of jobs
and a better life. In fact, the journey often ends with
prostitution and forced labor without pay. The
government is trying to solve the problem through
legislation and information campaigns. More and more
traffickers have been prosecuted in recent years and
sentenced to long prison terms.
In Soviet times, healthcare was ineffective and
corrupt. Often relatives were required for bribes in
order for the sick person to be treated at all. The
healthcare sector has since been modernized with the
help of the World Bank and the World Health Organization
(WHO). The government's line since 2007 has been to
allow private companies to take over almost all health
centers and hospitals. In order to gain access to health
care, you must have health insurance, but emergency
patients receive help for free. It is still stated that
doctors require payment of the patients to treat them
and put the money in their own pocket. One downside to
the new system is that it has become fragmented and
difficult to understand, noted WHO 2018. Another, and
more serious, is that quality control is poor, read the
WHO report here.
Poverty is one of the reasons why it is permissible
to employ surrogate mothers, women who, for a fee,
undertake to undergo a pregnancy for couples who for
some reason are childless. There are a number of clinics
in the country that are hired by couples from other
countries (see Calendar).
The fact that life expectancy has increased has
contributed to the fact that there are more elderly
people living with chronic illnesses than before. There
are also relatively many people in Georgia, especially
men, who smoke and drink alcohol. Diabetes has increased
during the 2000s. Georgia, on the other hand, is
relatively mildly affected by HIV / AIDS. In connection
with the corona pandemic, the government 2020 stated
that one fifth of the population was of retirement age.
Among those living with chronic disease as a risk
factor, cardiovascular disease was by far the most
Gay and bisexual people for a difficult life. Male
homosexuality was banned by Soviet leader Stalin in 1933
and severely punished. After independence, conditions
improved and no one was convicted of their sexual
orientation after 1993, but only in 2000 was
homosexuality decriminalized. Same-sex marriages or
registered partnerships are still not allowed and
same-sex couples are not allowed to adopt children.
There are some legal protections against homosexual
discrimination, for example in the labor market, but a
large majority of Georgians strongly distance themselves
from homosexuality. Organized resistance comes mainly
from the Orthodox Church, which has a strong grip on the
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
9 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
0.4 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
93.3 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
90.0 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
7.9 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 308 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
16 percent (2018)
The government is being reformed
President Saakashvili is making new changes in the government and replacing
both the Minister of Defense and the Foreign Minister.
Economic crisis is exacerbated
The effects of the global financial crisis are exacerbating Georgia's
difficult economic situation after the war with, among other things, tens of
thousands of refugees standing without a home for the winter.
Claims are raised on Saakashvili's departure
Over ten thousand people are demonstrating in Tbilisi with demands for
re-election to parliament and the presidential post. Among other things,
Saakashvili responds by dismissing the country's highest military leader as
punishment for the negligence of the army during the war.
Saakashvili weakened after the war
The Georgian unity after the war will not last long. Georgia stands as the
loser of the war, and more and more are to blame for the failure of President
Saakashvili and his adventurous politics. Several of Saakashvili's former allies
turn to him. Former Speaker Nino Burdzjanadze criticizes Saakashvili for the war
and calls for new elections. She is also forming a new political party, the
Democratic Movement - United Georgia. Criticism also comes from the country's
human rights ombudsman, Sozar Subari, who accuses Saakashvili of authoritarian
rule. Subari also founded a new party, the Movement for Freedom and Justice. One
of Saakashvili's response to the criticism is to dismiss Prime Minister Lado
Gurgenidze and replace him with Oxford-trained diplomat Grigol Mgaloblisjvili.
Temporary support behind Saakashvili
The military threat from Russia temporarily unites Georgians. With the EU
anthem as a backdrop, President Saakashvili in Tbilisi speaks to tens of
thousands of people demonstrating against Russia's leaders and against Russian
troops remaining in Georgia.
Russia recognizes the independence of the outbreak
The peace plan includes, among other things, future negotiations on the
status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but just over two weeks after the
fighting, Moscow recognizes the independence of the outbreak states. Although no
other country except Nicaragua follows Moscow's example, the August War means
that Georgia, instead of being able to strengthen control over the outbreak
provinces, lost them altogether.
Russian buffer zones in the breaker provinces
Just over a week after the ceasefire, Moscow announces that the Russian
forces have been withdrawn from Georgia itself, but the Russians are also
establishing buffer zones around Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Mutual accusations after the war
Both sides accuse each other of starting the war. Saakashvili argues that the
Russians and the South Ossetians provoked the fighting through troop movements
and escalated shooting of Georgian villages. Moscow claims that the Georgians
conducted ethnic cleansing in South Ossetia and that they did not intervene
until Georgia began the Tschinvali shooting. According to human rights
organizations, both sides have used indiscriminate violence against civilians.
The EU announces a ceasefire after five days
After five days of fighting, the war ends and the parties agree on a peace
plan that the EU has presented. Hundreds of people have been killed or injured
in the fighting.
Open war in South Ossetia and Abkhazia; Russian invasion
Following repeated clashes during the summer along the border between South
Ossetia and Georgia, Georgian artillery in early August goes on strike against
South Ossetia's capital Tschinvali. Russian flight responds to bombing targets
in Georgia, and fighting erupts between Georgian and Russian troops arriving at
the rescue of the South Ossetians. Russian tanks enter Tschinvali and the
Georgians are driven back from South Ossetia. Struggles also erupt in Abkhazia,
where Russian flights and separatists are attacking Georgian positions in the
Kodorid Valley, taking back the only area of Abkhazia that Georgia has so far
controlled. Russian forces are also entering Georgia itself, advancing all the
way to the main road between Tbilisi in the south and the Black Sea coast in the
west. Russian soldiers also enter the port city of Poti.
Russia recognizes violation of airspace
Russia surprisingly acknowledges that one of its military plan violated
Georgian airspace. Previously, all such allegations from Georgia have been
rejected by Moscow.
The US demands Russian restraint
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visits Tbilisi and meets with both
President Saakashvili and the opposition. She promises continued US support to
Georgia and demands that Russia stop inflating the tension in the area. Moscow
responds that US support for Georgia is leading to increased tension.
Struggles in the provinces of the breaker
Struggles break out between Georgian and South Ossetian troops, and beyond
the border with Abkhazia, Georgia temporarily seizes some Russian peacekeeping
troops. Georgia is accused by Russia of wanting to recapture Abkhazia and warns
of war. Abkhazia breaks all contacts with the government in Tbilisi and accuses
Georgia of being behind a series of blast attacks in the outbreak republic.
Flight tensions over Abkhazia are stopped
Following a UN investigation, Georgia promises to stop sending unmanned spy
planes across Abkhazia. According to the UN, the overflight is a violation of
the ceasefire. The firing of some planes has increased the tension between
Georgia and Russia.
Protests against the election result
The news of the National Movement's superior victory triggers the anger of
the opposition, and led by opposition leader Levan Gatjetjiladze calls on all
opposition parties except one their members to boycott the work in parliament.
Foreign election observers believe that the election did not meet international
standards, but still thinks it is an improvement over the presidential election
The ruling party wins again
In the parliamentary elections, Saakashvili's party wins the National
Movement with 59.2 percent of the vote against 17.7 percent for the United
Opposition / National Council. Otherwise, only three smaller parties come in. In
total, the National Movement receives 119 seats against 17 for the United
Opposition / National Council.
NATO hesitates in favor of Georgian membership
The NATO summit in Bucharest is divided on the issue of whether Georgia and
Ukraine will be allowed to join the military alliance. The US is for but Germany
and France are opposed, and the decision is postponed until December. From
Russia come warnings that NATO membership to both countries would be a major
strategic mistake, which would change the balance of power in Europe. Moscow
decides to strengthen its ties with the Georgian outbreak provinces of Abkhazia
and South Ossetia and announces an increase in the number of Russian
peacekeeping troops there, prompting Georgia to accuse Russia of planning to
attack Georgia and annex the outbreak.
Outbreak provinces want to be recognized
The outbreak provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are calling for
international recognition as independent states, inspired by the fact that many
countries have just recognized Kosovo.
Parliament is reduced
Parliament adopts a constitutional amendment losing the number of members
from 235 to 150, a measure that the opposition is protesting because it
considers it to favor the ruling party. In addition, the seven percent block
for incursion into parliament is reduced to five percent.
The people run through parliamentary elections
At the same time as the presidential election, two referendums are being
held. One, which is advisory, applies whether Georgia should become a NATO
member. 77 percent of voters say yes. In the second, binding referendum, four
voters of five agree on the question of whether this autumn's parliamentary
elections should be scheduled and held as early as April or May. The election
date is set for May 21.
Saakashvili retains power
The re-election to the presidential post will be a clear victory for
incumbent President Micheil Saakashvili, who gets 53.5 percent of the vote
against 25.7 percent for the second election, Levan Gatjetsjiladze of the United
Opposition / National Council. The outcome still represents a major setback for
Saakashvili compared to the 2004 election when he received 96 percent of the
vote. The opposition immediately accuses the government of electoral fraud, and
also international election observers in front of a number of complaints, but
does not question the result.