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Migration from Georgia increasing

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, November 4
There are no reliable official statistics about the number of emigrants from Georgia. Unofficially analysts estimate that this figure is as high as 1.5 million. It is also believed that around 80% of Georgian emigrants live and work illegally in their host countries.

Based on unofficial data there are approximately 30-100,000 Georgians in the USA at present. Most are in New York and New Jersey. There are probably 800,000 plus Georgians in Russia and CIS countries, and over 150,000 in Greece. According to research carried out in 2008 only 5% of emigrants work in the professions they trained for and up to 70% of emigrants do manual work.

Most Georgian families who have a family member abroad do not officially admit that they are outside the country. They generally say that they are away for a very short period of time, whereas they could be away for several years, working illegally.

There has been a big outflow of Georgian emigrants from the conflict regions of Georgia, Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region, and considerable internal migration from these areas too.