The PMC research center published a new study on 13 September titled ‘Emigration and Effect of Remittances on Georgian Economy’ which found that between 2010-2020 the number of Georgian emigrants increased by 7% meaning that 23% of the Georgian population has emigrated.
In that context, the report emphasized that overall “emigration from Georgia remains significant and economic dependence on remittances is high.”
PMC highlighted that a “significant proportion” of Georgian labor emigrants reside and work illegally in their host country.
It also underscored that the primary motivation for Georgian emigrants is to support their families in Georgia by sending money back to them.
The report noted that during this time period, emigration flows peaked in 2019, which may be related to the visa liberalization agreement reached between the EU and Georgia.
As far as distribution by country, Russia remains the main destination – 450,000 moved there, followed by Greece (85,000), Ukraine (65,000), Azerbaijan (49,000), the U.S. (39,000), Armenia (38,000), Germany (25,000), Italy (16,000) , and other countries (93,000).
When looking at stock increase among leading destination countries, however, the highest increases were seen in the U.S. (77%), Italy (60%), and Armenia (47%).
Effect of Remittances on the Economy
Considering the significant number of emigrants, the report highlighted that remittance inflows “strongly impact” the Georgian economy. In 2021 for example, remittance inflows in Georgia amounted to USD 2.35 billion or 13% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Significantly, remittances have risen by 76% since 2012.
Accordingly, the report highlighted that when compared with other countries in 2020, Georgia ranked 23rd in remittance inflows to GDP ratio in the world and second among Eastern Partnership countries after Moldova.
Most remittances come from Russia, followed by Italy, the U.S., and Greece. The report noted, however, that remittances from Russia have dropped by 45% since 2012. Meanwhile, remittances from the U.S. grew by 284%, while from other countries they have increased by 310%.
The report emphasized that this reinforces the overall trend of the last decade which has shown a decline in the inflow of remittances from post-Soviet countries, from 59% in 2012 to 27% in 2021, and an increase in remittances from the EU, from 25% to 41%.
Read the full report here.