|Form of government
||UTC + 4
|Telephone area code
The Republic of Georgia belongs to the Caucasian
countries and borders the Black Sea in the west, Russia
in the north and northeast, Azerbaijan in the east and
southeast, and Armenia and Turkey in the south. With an
area of 69,700 km², the country is somewhat smaller
than Austria. Georgia includes the three autonomous
republics of Abkhazia, Adjara and South Ossetia, which
are demanding the detachment from Georgia, but are not
recognized as sovereign states.
Much of Georgia is mountainous. In the north, the
main ridge of the Greater Caucasus forms the border with
neighboring Russia. The highest peak in Georgian
territory is the Schara at 5.201 m, the second highest
is the extinct volcano Kasbek at 5.033 m. The Little
Caucasus runs in the south of the country, reaching
heights of up to 3,000 m in Georgian territory. The
Surami Mountains connect the Little and the Greater
Caucasus. Between these two lies the Transcaucasian
Valley with the Colchian Plain. Numerous rivers run
through the valley, among them the Kura (Georgian:
Mktvali) as the longest river in Georgia (total length
1,364 km, in Georgian territory approx. 350 km) and the
The capital Tbilisi (Georgian: Tbilisi) is located in
the east of the country on the Kura.
The subtropical climate prevails on Georgia's Black
Sea coast and in the coastal regions. The average
January temperature is 4 กใ C, in July 30 กใ C. The annual
rainfall is between 1,000 mm in the lower regions and
2,000 mm on the western slopes of the mountains.
Continental climatic influences dominate in the
eastern part of the country. The annual rainfall is less
(approx. 500 mm). The mean January temperature is around
freezing, the temperatures can drop to -23 กใ C. The
average July temperature is over 30 กใ C, often reaching
40 กใ C.
Flora and fauna
Almost 40% of the country's territory is forested.
The tree species differ depending on the region and
altitude. The deciduous forest in the mountain regions
with oaks, chestnuts and beech trees changes into
coniferous forest from a height of approx. 1 900 m;
spruce, fir and pine dominate here. Alpine mats grow
above approx. 2,200 m. Subtropical species such as
cypress, eucalyptus, bamboo and citrus trees can be
found in the Colchian lowlands. In the eastern part
there are dry forests with pistachios and juniper. Swamp
landscapes can be found along the rivers. Many of the
approximately 13,000 plant species in Georgian territory
are endemic and only occur here.
The forests of Georgia offer a suitable habitat for a
large number of animals. For example, brown bears,
wolves, lynxes, chamois, bezoars, ibexes and the
Caucasian auroch live in the mountains. Typical mountain
bird species include the Caspian pheasant and the geese
and lamb vultures. Deer, the Caucasian deer (Mamal),
wild boar and squirrels live in the lower regions.
A total of around 4.68 million people live in
Georgia. Around 70% of them are Georgians (mostly
followers of the Christian Orthodox Church), approx. 8%
Armenians, 6% Russians and Azerbaijanis each, half as
many Ossetians and almost 2% Abkhazians.
After Georgia's declaration of independence in 1991,
there were partially armed conflicts between the central
government and some minorities, demanding that their
territories be detached from Georgia. The West Caucasian
Abkhazians, who are predominantly Muslims, live in
northwestern Georgia and founded an autonomous republic
(around 525,000 residents) in 1992 with the capital
Sukhumi. A large part of the Georgians, who up to this
point represented around half of the population in this
area, fled from this part of the country. The Georgian
central government in Tbilisi rejects the independence
of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia.
The Autonomous Republic of Adjara with the capital
Batumi is located in southwest Georgia. The
approximately 377,000 residents, the vast majority of
Adjara, are mostly Sunni Muslims.
The autonomous region of South Ossetia (over 85,000
residents) with the capital Zchinwali, in which almost
half of the population lives, is located in the Central
Caucasus and is striving to unite with North Ossetia,
which is part of Russia. The Ossetians, who have a
population of around 66% here, are an Iranian people and
predominantly followers of Orthodox Christianity.
According to COUNTRYAAH, 90% of the total population of Georgia live in
the Transcaucasian valley, more than 60% of them in
cities. By far the largest city in the country is the
capital Tbilisi (Tbilisi) with around 1.25 million
residents (agglomeration), which corresponds to over a
quarter of the total population. Other large cities are
Kuataisi (around 185,000 residents), Rustavi (116,400),
Batumi (around 121,800) and Sukhumi (around 82,000).
The official language is Georgian, in addition to
Russian, the languages of the other ethnic groups are
The average life expectancy is 76 years, and
population growth is negative due to emigration
(-0.35%). School attendance is compulsory for children
between the ages of six and 14. Literacy is very high at
Georgia is a parliamentary democracy. The head of
state is the President elected directly by the people
for a term of five years (Giorgi Margwelaschwili, since
November 2013). The prime minister is elected by
parliament (Irakli Gharibashvili, since November 2013).
The legislature lies with the parliament (Sakartwelos
Parlamenti), which consists of a chamber with 150 seats.
The people are elected by the people for a term of four
years. The main parties are the Georgian Dream Alliance,
the United National Movement, the United Opposition, the
Labor Party and the Christian Democratic Party.
Georgia is divided into nine districts, a capital
district and an autonomous republic (Adjara). Abkhazia
and South Ossetia are effectively outside Georgian
Until 1991, Georgia was one of the wealthiest Soviet
republics. After independence and the collapse of the
Eastern Bloc markets, the country's economy was on the
verge of ruin. Added to this were the civil war-like
conditions in the breakaway parts of the country and the
war between Georgia and Russia in 2008. Industry was
particularly affected. Today the country is experiencing
high growth rates again. Despite this, large sections of
the population, particularly in rural areas, suffer from
poverty, underemployment and unemployment.
Agriculture is becoming less important; In 2006 only
9% of the gross domestic product (GDP) was generated
here. The most important agricultural areas are in the
transcaucasian subsidence zone and in the colchis. For
export, tea (above all, Georgia as a Soviet republic
covered over 90% of Russian needs), wine, citrus fruits
and vegetables are grown. Mulberry trees are grown for
the breeding of silkworms. Agriculture cannot meet the
demand for basic foodstuffs, they have to be imported.
Livestock farming (sheep, goats) is also important.
A clear upward trend has been observed in other areas
since 2004: The service and banking sectors in
particular, as well as the construction industry, are
becoming increasingly important. The share of services
in GDP was 68% in 2012, that of industry 23%.
In terms of mineral resources, Georgia has deposits
of hard coal, copper, barite, zinc, oil and natural gas,
and above all manganese. The country's energy
requirements cannot be met with its own raw materials.
Many companies in the heavy industry that had emerged
under Soviet leadership had to close in the first half
of the 1990s due to the loss of cheap raw material
imports, the outdated plants and the lack of
competitiveness. In addition to metal processing and
mechanical engineering, food production and mining are
the most important industries today.
The main export goods of Georgia are vehicles, metals
and metal products, food and beverages and chemical and
mining products. The main customers are Azerbaijan,
Turkey and Armenia. Above all, petroleum and fuels,
vehicles and machines, food and medical supplies are
imported. The most important suppliers are Turkey,
Ukraine and Azerbaijan.
Almost 19,000 km of the approximately 20,000 km of
the road network are paved. The rail network covers a
good 1,600 km. There are international airports close to
the capital Tbilisi and in Batumi (Adjara). The main
ports in Georgia are Batumi in the south and Sukhumi in
The currency is the lari (= 100 tetri).