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World Mission

Georgia

Basic info

  • Area: 69,700 sq km / 26,900 sq mi
  • Population: 3,718,200
  • Infant mortality: 15.2 per 1000
  • Life expectancy: 74.4 yrs
  • Urbanisation: 58.6%
  • Literacy: 99.8%

History

Georgia was first unified as a kingdom under the Bagrationi dynasty by the King Bagrat III of Georgia in the 8th to 9th century, arising from a number of predecessor states of the ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia.

The Kingdom of Georgia flourished during the 10th to 12th centuries under King David IV the Builder and Queen Tamar the Great, and fell to the Mongol invasion by 1243, and after a brief reunion under George V the Brilliant to the Timurid Empire.

By 1490, Georgia was fragmented into a number of petty kingdoms and principalities, which throughout the Early Modern period struggled to maintain their autonomy against Ottoman and Iranian (Safavid, Afsharid, and Qajar) domination until Georgia was finally annexed by the Russian Empire in the 19th century. After a brief bid for independence with the Democratic Republic of Georgia of 1918–1921, Georgia was part of the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic from 1922 to 1936, and then formed the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic until the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The current republic of Georgia has been independent since 1991. The first president Zviad Gamsakhurdia stoked Georgian nationalism and vowed to assert Tbilisi's authority over Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Gamsakhurdia was deposed in a bloody coup d'état within the same year and the country became embroiled in a bitter civil war, which lasted until 1995. Supported by Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia achieved de facto independence from Georgia. The Rose Revolution forced Eduard Shevardnadze to resign in 2003. The new government under Mikheil Saakashvili prevented the secession of a third breakaway republic in the Adjara crisis of 2004, but the conflict with Abkhazia and South Ossetia led to the 2008 Russo–Georgian War and tensions with Russia remain unresolved.

Environment

Georgia is mostly situated in the South Caucasus, while parts of the country are also located in the North Caucasus. It is a very mountainous country. The Likhi Range divides the country into eastern and western halves.

Historically, the western portion of Georgia was known as Colchis while the eastern plateau was called Iberia. Because of a complex geographic setting, mountains also isolate the northern region of Svaneti from the rest of Georgia.

The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range forms the northern border of Georgia. The main roads through the mountain range into Russian territory lead through the Roki Tunnel between Shida Kartli and North Ossetia and the Darial Gorge (in the Georgian region of Khevi). The Roki Tunnel was vital for the Russian military in the 2008 Russo-Georgian War because it is the only direct route through the Caucasus Mountains.

The southern portion of the country is bounded by the Lesser Caucasus Mountains. The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range is much higher in elevation than the Lesser Caucasus Mountains, with the highest peaks rising more than 5,000 meters (16,404 ft) above sea level.

The highest mountain in Georgia is Mount Shkhara at 5,068 meters (16,627 ft). Glaciers dominate parts of the country. Out of the 2,100 glaciers that exist in the Caucasus today, approximately 30% are located within Georgia.

The overall region can be characterized as being made up of various, interconnected mountain ranges (largely of volcanic origin) and plateaus that do not exceed 3,400 meters (11,155 ft) in elevation. Prominent features of the area include the Javakheti Volcanic Plateau, lakes, including Tabatskuri and Paravani, as well as mineral water and hot springs. Two major rivers in Georgia are the Rioni and the Mtkvari. The Southern Georgia Volcanic Highland is a young and unstable geologic region with high seismic activity and has experienced some of the most significant earthquakes that have been recorded in Georgia.

The Krubera Cave is the deepest known cave in the world. It is located in the Arabika Massif of the Gagra Range, in Abkhazia. In 2001, a Russian–Ukrainian team had set the world depth record for a cave at 1,710 meters (5,610 ft). In 2004, the penetrated depth was increased on each of three expeditions, when a Ukrainian team crossed the 2,000-meter (6,562 ft) mark for the first time in the history of speleology. In October 2005, an unexplored part was found by the CAVEX team, further increasing the known depth of the cave. This expedition confirmed the known depth of the cave at 2,140 meters (7,021 ft).

Economy

The economy of Georgia is an emerging free market. Its gross domestic product fell sharply following the collapse of the Soviet Union but recovered in the mid-2000s, growing in double digits thanks to the economic and democratic reforms brought by the peaceful Rose Revolution. Georgia continued its economic progress since, "moving from a near-failed state in 2003 to a relatively well-functioning market economy in 2014".

In 2007, the World Bank named Georgia the World's number one economic reformer and has consistently ranked the country at the top of its ease of doing business index.

Georgia's economy is supported by a relatively free and transparent atmosphere in the country. According to Transparency International's 2015 report, Georgia is the least corrupt nation in the Black Sea region, outperforming all of its immediate neighbors, as well as nearby European Union states. With a mixed news media environment, Georgia is also the only country in its immediate neighborhood where the press is not deemed unfree.

Since 2014, Georgia is part of the European Union's Free Trade Area, with the EU continuing to be the country's largest trading partner, accounting for over a quarter of Georgia's total trade turnover.[22] Following the EU trade pact, 2015 was marked by further increase in bilateral trade, whereas trade with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) decreased precipitously.">In 2007, the World Bank named Georgia the World's number one economic reformer and has consistently ranked the country at the top of its ease of doing business index.

Georgia's economy is supported by a relatively free and transparent atmosphere in the country. According to Transparency International's 2015 report, Georgia is the least corrupt nation in the Black Sea region, outperforming all of its immediate neighbors, as well as nearby European Union states. With a mixed news media environment, Georgia is also the only country in its immediate neighborhood where the press is not deemed unfree.

Since 2014, Georgia is part of the European Union's Free Trade Area, with the EU continuing to be the country's largest trading partner, accounting for over a quarter of Georgia's total trade turnover.[22] Following the EU trade pact, 2015 was marked by further increase in bilateral trade, whereas trade with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) decreased precipitously.">The economy of Georgia is an emerging free market. Its gross domestic product fell sharply following the collapse of the Soviet Union but recovered in the mid-2000s, growing in double digits thanks to the economic and democratic reforms brought by the peaceful Rose Revolution. Georgia continued its economic progress since, "moving from a near-failed state in 2003 to a relatively well-functioning market economy in 2014".

In 2007, the World Bank named Georgia the World's number one economic reformer and has consistently ranked the country at the top of its ease of doing business index.

Georgia's economy is supported by a relatively free and transparent atmosphere in the country. According to Transparency International's 2015 report, Georgia is the least corrupt nation in the Black Sea region, outperforming all of its immediate neighbors, as well as nearby European Union states. With a mixed news media environment, Georgia is also the only country in its immediate neighborhood where the press is not deemed unfree.

Since 2014, Georgia is part of the European Union's Free Trade Area, with the EU continuing to be the country's largest trading partner, accounting for over a quarter of Georgia's total trade turnover.[22] Following the EU trade pact, 2015 was marked by further increase in bilateral trade, whereas trade with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) decreased precipitously.

Ethnic groups

Ethnic Groups(%)

Georgian

3115851

Azeri

241683

Armenian

211937

Other

92955

Russian

55773

Religion

Religion(%)

Georgian Orthodox

3119569

Islam

368101

Armenian Apostolic

145009

Roman Catholic

29745

Other

29745

None

26027

Languages

  • 71%%

    Georgian

  • 9%%

    Russian

  • 7%%

    Armenian

  • 6%%

    Azeri

  • 7%%

    Other