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Number of emigrants increases

By Messenger Staff
Monday, April 27
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, hundreds of thousands of Georgians have emigrated from the country because of the dire social situation. After the Rose Revolution in 2003 some returned, cheered by the possible positive changes and optimistic promises of the new administration. But unfortunately many of these grew frustrated and emigrated again.

Although there is no precise statistical information, rough estimates suggest that more than 1.5 million Georgians are currently living outside the country. As Georgia had a population of less than 5 million at the end of the 80s of the last century, this is almost one third of its population. Furthermore it is the most physically and intellectually active people who are abroad.

Research carried out by the Demographic Society shows that over the last 6 years around 200,000 more people have left Georgia than entered it. In 2001 this figure was 35,000, in 2002 36,000, in 2003 35,000, in 2004 31,000, in 2005 30,000 and in 2006 28,000.

International Migration Organization representatives think that the change of administration did not result in a decrease in the number of emigrants, but rather the contrary. In 2009 there have almost 7,000 applications for asylum from Georgians to date and most probably this number will increase. There are thousands of Georgians living elsewhere as illegal immigrants as well.