Georgia’s Average Lifespan to Increase by 2035

TBILISI – According to a recently released survey carried out by the United Nations in 2012, the average life expectancy of Georgia’s population is expected to increase by 2035.

The average lifespan for Georgian women in 2012 was 79 years; 70 years for men. By 2035, those numbers are expected to increase to 80.6 years for women and 74.1 years for men.

The UN’s statistics, however, pointed to a troubling trend that indicated Georgia’s over-65 population would sharply increase by 7.5 per cent to 22.2 per cent of the total population of the country over the next 10 years.

On 18 March, Georgian parliament members and representatives of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Office, USAID’s Good Governance Initiative (GGI) project and the Demographic Renaissance Foundation of Georgia discussed the development of a 2015 National Action Plan developed by the Healthcare and Social Issues Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, aimed at managing issues associated with an aging population.

The participants mostly focused on the main social and economic challenges that would come about in the event of a major shift in the country’s demographics, including healthcare and budget resources.

According to the United Nations’ estimates and the preliminary results of Georgia’s last national census in 2014, the current population stands at just under 4 million, which is 14.7 per cent lower than in the 2002 census when the total population stood at 4,371,535.

Despite a somewhat positive trend in the country’s birth rate in recent years, demographic experts expect the number to sharply decline in the immediate future as the generation born after the economic and social chaos of the 1990s – a period when Georgia had an extremely low birth rate – is expected to continue having fewer children.

In 2007, the World Bank included Georgia on its list of countries with the highest percentage of emigrants. Georgia’s 2002 census revealed a net migration loss of 1.1 million people, or 20 per cent of the overall population since the early 1990s.

The World Bank said at the time that it agreed with the UN’s findings, concluding that Georgia's population decrease is mainly caused by mass emigration and a sharp fall in birth rates.

By Tamar Svanidze

Edited by Nicholas Waller

19 March 2016 15:47