Georgia is one of the successor states of the USSR. Georgia is a mountainous country, but in the west it also has access to the Black Sea. Half of the country’s area is higher than 1000 m. In the north lies the main ridge of the Greater Caucasus, in the south the ridges of the Lesser Caucasus. In between extends to the Black Sea the lowlands of the Colchis landscape and further east the Transcaucasian Depression. A quarter of the country is covered by forest. The tree line rises in the greater Caucasus to 2800 m. In large parts of the basin landscapes and the mountainous region in the south, the steppe is natural vegetation. Today it has largely been converted into cultivated land. Around 70% of the population are Georgians, followed by Armenians, Russians, Azerbaijani and Ossetians.
The 1990 civil war caused the Georgian economy, especially industry, to collapse. Agriculture is the most important economic sector today. However, the cultivation is not sufficient for the population’s own needs. Tea and wine are mainly grown for export. Georgia has significant manganese deposits. Tourism, once an important source of foreign exchange, must be revitalized and promoted after the civil wars.
Short for GE on ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG, Georgia is located in Southwest Asia. The country borders the Black Sea to the west, the Russian Federation to the north, Azerbaijan to the east and southeast, and Armenia to the south. Georgia borders Turkey in the southwest and has a part of the coast on the Black Sea. Georgia includes the Achasia Autonomous Republic in the northwest, the Adjara Autonomous Republic in the southwest and the Autonomous Region of South Ossetia in the north. The country is about the size of Ireland. The capital is Tbilisi. The name of the country is probably derived from the Greek word “georgos”, arable farmer.
Important data about the country
|Surface:||69 700 km²|
|Population density:||73 residents / km²|
|Growth of population:||-0.9% / year|
|Life expectancy:||73 years|
|Form of government:||republic|
|Languages:||Georgian, Russian, minority languages|
|Religions:||Mostly Georgian Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic Church, Muslims, minority of Jews|
|Climate:||humid subtropical to cool temperate climate|
|Land use:||Arable land 10%, forest 32%, pasture land 16%|
|Economic sectors (share of employees):||Agriculture 20%, industry 25%, services 54%|
|Export goods:||Metal scrap, wine, nuts, fertilizer, ferrous metals, magnesium ores, crude oil|
|Gross domestic product:||$ 3,988 million (2003)|
|Gross National Product:||US $ 770 / residents (2003)|
Georgia is the most diverse landscape of the Transcaucasian countries and has therefore always been a popular tourist destination. On its land area you can find high mountains as well as wide plains, river valleys and coastal areas. Half of Georgia is mountainous and higher than 1000 m. The glaciated main mountain ridge of the Greater Caucasus and its southern capping cross Georgia on the border with Russia. The highest mountain is the Schara with 5068 m.
The western ridge of the Lesser Caucasus occupies the south of the country. Its peaks reach up to 3000 m in height. The Transcaucasian subsidence zone lies between the mountains which extends in the west to the Surami Mountains, which connect the Great and Small Caucasus. The Colchis is a wide valley. It lies between the Great and the Lesser Caucasus west of the Surami Mountains and opens to the Black Sea in the west.
The Kura, the longest river in Georgia, flows in the subsidence zone. It rises in Turkey, flows through Georgia over a length of 350 km and flows into the Caspian Sea after 1364 km in Azerbaijan.
There are significant climatic differences between the west and east of the country.
The coastal regions on the Black Sea have a humid, subtropical climate. The mean January temperature is around 4 °C, in July the values rise to around 30 °C. The annual rainfall is between 300 and 800 mm.
To the east, the climate becomes increasingly continental and therefore drier.Around 500 mm of precipitation falls in Tbilisi each year (Fig. 2). The January mean is around freezing point, the July temperature reaches around 24 °C. In winter the temperature can drop below –20 °C, in summer it can rise to over 40 °C. Most of the precipitation falls on the western slopes of the Greater and Lesser Caucasus. They achieve values of up to 3000 mm per year.
Around 25% of the area of Georgia is covered by forests. Above 1900 m coniferous wood and birch dominate. The tree line in the Greater Caucasus is around 2800 m. Alpine mats grow beyond the tree line. In large parts of the basin and depression zone of the country and the mountainous country in the south, steppe is the natural form of vegetation. Today it has largely been converted into cultivated land.
Standard of living
Georgians’ standard of living has fallen since the end of the Soviet Union. Georgia was previously one of the wealthiest republics in the USSR. The per capita income is comparable to that of a developing country. By contrast, the education system is well developed with 20 universities.
The civil war that broke out in 1990 ruined the country economically. Urgent reforms have been delayed. Industry was particularly hard hit by the decline. As a result, agriculture became the most important economic sector. Georgia’s land area is 42% arable. The most important cultivation areas with fertile soils are the Colchis and the Transcaucasian subsidence zone. Wine, citrus fruits, fruits, tea, vegetables, tobacco, corn, wheat, cotton and sunflowers are grown. Georgia cannot meet its basic food needs, grain and potatoes have to be imported.
Growing tea is economically important for Georgia. Before 1991, the country met over 90% of Soviet needs. Even after independence, tea is one of Georgia’s most important export goods. Mulberry trees are used to raise silkworms. Georgian wines and brandies are of excellent quality.
In the flat parts of the country, cattle are raised, sheep are kept in the mountainous parts of the country.
The most important branches of industry in Georgia today are the food and beverage industry and the textile industry.
The most important mineral resources are hard coal, manganese and copper ores and, in small amounts, oil and natural gas. The manganese deposits are among the largest in the world.
The main trading partners are Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Georgia has several large ports and an international airport in Tbilisi.
Georgia’s hopes for the future rest on tourism as a source of foreign exchange. Spa and winter sports resorts and the Black Sea coast are attractive travel destinations. However, after the civil wars, this sector needs to be revitalized through advertising.
6th century: Greek colonists found settlements on the Black Sea coast, Colchis and Iberia.
395 AD: Georgia becomes part of the Eastern Roman Empire. Christianity becomes the state religion.
654 AD: Georgia becomes part of the Caliphate Empire.
in the 10th century: Golden Age of Georgia. Georgian kingdoms
1221–1243: Fights against the Mongols. Georgia is subject to the Golden Horde.
until 1810: formation of small empires, partitions and annexations
1810: Georgia becomes part of the Russian Empire.
1921: The Red Army occupies Georgia and unites it with Azerbaijan and Armenia to form the Transcaucasian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic.
1936: Georgia becomes an independent Soviet republic.
April 9, 1991: Georgia declares its independence from the USSR. Civil wars. The internal arguments flare up again and again.
1993: Georgia joins the CIS.