Georgia

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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 parliamentary 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 elections and removed UNM from power. Conceding defeat, SAAKASHVILI named IVANISHVILI as prime minister and allowed Georgian Dream to create a new government. Georgian Dream's Giorgi MARGVELASHVILI was inaugurated as president on 17 November 2013, ending a tense year of power-sharing between SAAKASHVILI and IVANISHVILI. IVANISHVILI voluntarily resigned from office after the presidential succession, and Georgia's legislature on 20 November 2013 confirmed Irakli GARIBASHVILI as his replacement. Georgia's recent elections represent unique examples of a former Soviet state that emerged to conduct democratic and peaceful government transitions of power. Popular and government support for integration with the West is high in Georgia. Joining the EU and NATO are among the country's top foreign policy goals.

Geography

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 121/257

total: 69,700 sq km

land: 69,700 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than South Carolina; slightly larger than West Virginia

Land boundaries

total: 1,814 km

border countries (4): Armenia 219 km, Azerbaijan 428 km, Russia 894 km, Turkey 273 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; fertile soils in river valley flood plains and foothills of Kolkhida Lowland

Elevation

mean elevation:

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

agricultural land: 35.5%

arable land 5.8%; permanent crops 1.8%; permanent pasture 27.9%

forest: 39.4%

other: 25.1% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

4,330 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

63.33 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 1.81 cu km/yr (20%/22%/58%)

per capita: 410.6 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards

earthquakes

Environment - current 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

Environment - international 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

Geography - note

strategically located east of the Black Sea; Georgia controls much of the Caucasus Mountains and the routes through them

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Georgian(s)

adjective: Georgian

Ethnic groups

Georgian 83.8%, Azeri 6.5%, Armenian 5.7%, Russian 1.5%, other 2.5% (2002 est.)

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 122/238

4,931,226 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 17.73% (male 460,376/female 414,028)

15-24 years: 13.35% (male 344,179/female 314,321)

25-54 years: 40.93% (male 978,151/female 1,040,364)

55-64 years: 12.45% (male 275,586/female 338,524)

65 years and over: 15.53% (male 299,876/female 465,821) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 45.7%

youth dependency ratio: 25.2%

elderly dependency ratio: 20.4%

potential support ratio: 4.9% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 37.9 years

male: 35 years

female: 40.5 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 204/233

-0.08% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 155/224

12.74 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 34/225

10.82 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 176/222

-2.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 53.6% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: -0.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

TBILISI (capital) 1.147 million (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.11 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.1 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.81 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female

total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

24

note: data do not cover Abkhazia and South Ossetia (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 91/184

36 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 100/224

total: 16.15 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 18.31 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 13.82 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 91/224

total population: 75.95 years

male: 71.85 years

female: 80.36 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 161/224

1.76 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

53.4%

note: percent of women aged 15-44 (2010)

Health expenditures 34/191

9.4% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

4.27 physicians/1,000 population (2013)

Hospital bed density

2.6 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved:

urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 95.2% of population

rural: 75.9% of population

total: 86.3% of population

unimproved:

urban: 4.8% of population

rural: 24.1% of population

total: 13.7% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.28% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

6,600 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

100 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 82/191

22.1% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 131/138

1.1% (2009)

Education expenditures 167/173

2% of GDP (2012)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 14 years

male: 14 years

female: 14 years (2013)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 23/134

total: 35.6%

male: 35.3%

female: 36.4% (2013 est.)

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

etymology: the Western name may derive from the Persian designation "gurgan" meaning "land of the wolves"; the native name "Sak'art'velo" means "Land of the Kartvelians" and refers to the core central Georgian region of Kartli

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 (kalaki), 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; note - the breakaway region of South Ossetia consists of the northern part of Shida Kartli, eastern slivers of the Imereti region and Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, and part of western Mtskheta-Mtianeti

city: Tbilisi

autonomous republics: Abkhazia or Ap'khazet'is Avtonomiuri Respublika (Sokhumi), Ajaria or Acharis Avtonomiuri Respublika (Bat'umi)

note 1: the administrative centers of the two autonomous republics are shown in parentheses

note 2: the United States recognizes the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to be part of Georgia

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

previous 1921, 1978 (based on 1977 Soviet Union constitution); latest approved 24 August 1995, effective 17 October 1995; amended several times, last in 2013 (2015)

Legal system

civil law system

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Georgia

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Giorgi MARGVELASHVILI (since 17 November 2013)

head of government: Prime Minister Giorgi KVIRIKASHVILI (since 30 December 2015); First Deputy Prime Minister Dimitry KUMSISHVILI

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 27 October 2013 (next to be held in October 2018); prime minister nominated by Parliament, appointed by the president

election results: Giorgi MARGVELASHVILI elected president; percent of vote - Giorgi MARGVELASHVILI (Georgian Dream) 62.1%, Davit BAKRADZE (UNM) 21.7%, Nino BURJANADZE 10.2%, other 6%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Parliament or Sakartvelos Parlamenti (150 seats; 77 members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote and 73 directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 1 October 2012 (next to be held in 2016)

election results: percent of vote by party - Georgian Dream-led coalition 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

Alliance of Patriots [Irma INASHVILI]

Conservative Party [Zviad DZIDZIGURI]

European Democrats [Paata DAVITAIA]

Free Georgia [Kakha KUKAVA]

Georgian Dream (a five-party coalition composed of Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia, Republican Party, National Forum, Conservative Party, and Industry Will Save Georgia)

Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia [Irakli GARIBASHVILI]

Green Party of Georgia [Gia GACHECHILADZE]

Industry Will Save Georgia (Industrialists) or IWSG [Giorgi TOPADZE]

National Democratic Party or NDP [Bachuki KARDAVA]

National Forum [Kakhaber SHARTAVA]

New Rights [Pikria CHIKHRADZE]

Our Georgia-Free Democrats (OGFD) [Irakli ALASANIA]

Republican Party [Khatuna SAMNIDZE]

United Democratic Movement [Nino BURJANADZE]

United National Movement or UNM [vacant]

Political pressure groups and leaders

other: separatists in the Russian-occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

International organization participation

ADB, BSEC, CD, CE, CPLP (associate), EAPC, EBRD, FAO, G-11, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, 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

Flag description

white rectangle with a central red cross extending to all four sides of the flag; each of the four quadrants displays a small red bolnur-katskhuri cross; sometimes referred to as the Five-Cross Flag; although adopted as the official Georgian flag in 2004, the five-cross design appears to date back to the 14th century

National symbol(s)

Saint George, lion; national colors: red, white

National anthem

name: "Tavisupleba" (Liberty)

lyrics/music: Davit 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

Economy

Economy - overview

Georgia's main economic activities include cultivation of agricultural products such as grapes, citrus fruits, and hazelnuts; mining of manganese, copper, and gold; and producing alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, metals, machinery, and chemicals in small-scale industries. The country imports nearly all of 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 South Caucasus 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. The expansion of the South Caucasus pipeline, as part of the Shah Deniz II Southern Gas Corridor project, will result in a $2 billion foreign investment in Georgia, the largest ever in the country. Gas from Shah Deniz II is expected to begin flowing in 2019. 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% in 2009 as foreign direct investment and workers' remittances declined in the wake of the global financial crisis. The economy rebounded in 2010-13, but FDI inflows, the engine of Georgian economic growth prior to the 2008 conflict, have not recovered fully. Unemployment has also remained high. Georgia has historically suffered from a chronic failure to collect tax revenues; however, since 2004 the government 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. The government has received high marks from the World Bank for its anti-corruption efforts. Since 2012, the Georgian Dream-led government has continued the previous administration's low-regulation, low-tax, free market policies, while modestly increasing social spending, strengthening anti-trust policy, and amending the labor code to comply with International Labor Standards. The government published its 2020 Economic Development Strategy in early 2014 and former Prime Minister Bidzina IVANISHVILI launched the Georgian Co-Investment Fund, a $6 billion private equity fund that will invest in tourism, agriculture, logistics, energy, infrastructure, and manufacturing. In mid-2014, Georgia signed an association agreement with the European Union, paving the way to free trade and visa-free travel.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 121/230

$35.37 billion (2015 est.)

$34.68 billion (2014 est.)

$33.1 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$13.75 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 143/225

2% (2015 est.)

4.8% (2014 est.)

3.3% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 138/230

$9,500 (2015 est.)

$9,300 (2014 est.)

$8,900 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 73/179

21.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

21.5% of GDP (2014 est.)

19.6% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 70%

government consumption: 17.1%

investment in fixed capital: 26%

investment in inventories: 4%

exports of goods and services: 45%

imports of goods and services: -62.1%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 9.2%

industry: 22.1%

services: 68.7% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

citrus, grapes, tea, hazelnuts, vegetables; livestock

Industries

steel, machine tools, electrical appliances, mining (manganese, copper, gold), chemicals, wood products, wine

Industrial production growth rate 49/202

4.3% (2015 est.)

Labor force 123/233

1.959 million (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 55.6%

industry: 8.9%

services: 35.5% (2006 est.)

Unemployment rate 156/207

16.7% (2015 est.)

12.4% (2014 est.)

Population below poverty line

9.2% (2010 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2%

highest 10%: 31.3% (2008)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 35/144

46 (2011)

37.1 (1996)

Budget

revenues: $3.874 billion

expenditures: $4.319 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 94/219

28.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 122/220

-3.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 117/176

38.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

35.3% of GDP (2014 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) 157/226

4.1% (2015 est.)

3.1% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 99/156

3.75% (15 January 2013)

5.25% (31 December 2012)

note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key monetary policy rate of the National Bank of Georgia

Commercial bank prime lending rate 66/184

12.1% (31 December 2015 est.)

11.91% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 126/192

$2.061 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$2.415 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 133/193

$4.72 billion (31 September 2012 est.)

$4.249 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 112/191

$7.298 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$7.596 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 109/121

$943.4 million (31 December 2012 est.)

$795.7 million (31 December 2011)

$1.06 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance 134/197

-$1.476 billion (2015 est.)

-$1.611 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 123/224

$3.535 billion (2015 est.)

$3.995 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

vehicles, ferro-alloys, fertilizers, nuts, scrap metal, gold, copper ores

Exports - partners

Azerbaijan 19%, Armenia 10.1%, Russia 9.6%, Turkey 8.4%, US 7.3%, Bulgaria 5.7%, Ukraine 4.9% (2014)

Imports 109/223

$7.466 billion (2015 est.)

$8.235 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

fuels, vehicles, machinery and parts, grain and other foods, pharmaceuticals

Imports - partners

Turkey 20.1%, China 8.5%, Azerbaijan 7.4%, Russia 6.7%, Ukraine 6.4%, Germany 5.4%, Japan 4.3% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 115/170

$2.422 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$2.699 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 100/206

$13.56 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$13.17 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 88/120

$13.25 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$12.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 80/105

$1.839 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.643 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

laris (GEL) per US dollar -

2.25 (2015 est.)

1.77 (2014 est.)

1.77 (2013 est.)

1.65 (2012 est.)

1.69 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 98/220

9.475 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 94/219

8.468 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 65/218

528 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports 70/219

615 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 77/214

4.308 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 167/214

39.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 97/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 36/214

60.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 176/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 94/214

1,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 85/214

727 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 195/214

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 82/215

35 million bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 186/214

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 127/212

21,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 123/214

40.88 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 108/213

21,770 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 191/216

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 79/215

2.03 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 104/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 49/214

2.03 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 83/212

8.495 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 120/212

6.258 million Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 73/219

total subscriptions: 1.1 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 22 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 114/217

total: 5.4 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 109 (2014 est.)

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)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 7, FM 12, shortwave 4 (1998)

Television broadcast stations

12 (plus repeaters) (1998)

Internet country code

.ge

Internet hosts 59/232

357,864 (2012)

Internet users 91/217

total: 2.5 million

percent of population: 50.6% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 135/236

22 (2013)

Airports - with 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 - with 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 78/136

total: 1,363 km

broad gauge: 1,326 km 1.520-m gauge (1,251 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 37 km 0.912-m gauge (37 km electrified) (2014)

Roadways 113/223

total: 19,109 km

paved: 19,109 km (includes 69 km of expressways) (2010)

Merchant marine 40/156

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

Military and Security

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 part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs rather than the Ministry of Defense (2015)

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)

Military expenditures 27/132

2.26% of GDP (2014)

2.7% of GDP (2013)

2.88% of GDP (2012)

3.25% of GDP (2011)

2.88% of GDP (2010)

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: 265,267 (displaced in the 1990s as a result of armed conflict in the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia; displaced in 2008 by fighting between Georgia and Russia over South Ossetia) (2015)

stateless persons: 770 (2014)

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