The FINANCIAL -- In January 2014, the volume of money transfers from abroad constituted USD 98.7 million (GEL 173.6 million), which is USD 4.6 million (GEL 8.0 million), or 4.9 percent more than the amount for January 2013. With USD 46.6 million, the Russian Federation leads the list of the top countries from which the largest share of remittances are sent to Georgia.
93.2 percent of the total money transfers from abroad came from the 12 big donor countries, with the volume of transfers from these countries each exceeding USD 1 million in January 2014. In January 2013 the share of these 12 countries constituted 94.0 percent of the total volume of money transfers.
The top 12 countries are as follows: the Russian Federation (with USD 46.6 million); Greece (USD 14.9 million); Italy (9.2); the U.S. (5.5); Ukraine (3.7); Turkey (3.4); Spain (2.0); Germany (1.6); Israel (1.4); the UK (1.4); Kazakhstan (1.2); and, Azerbaijan (1.2).
In January 2014, USD 12.2 million (or GEL 21.5 million) was transferred from Georgia, as compared to USD 9.5 million (or GEL 15.7 million) in January 2013.
The transfer of money to Georgia has continued unabated year by year. The total volume of inflow amounted to USD 1,476,661 thousand in 2013, up from USD 1,334,174 in 2012, and USD 1,268,127 in 2011.
The growth has applied to outflow as well, however the 2013 figure made up just 10.5% of the amount of inflow. USD 155,349 thousand was transferred from Georgia in 2013, up from USD 108,191 thousand in 2012, and USD 100,255 thousand in 2011.
The Russian Federation, Greece and Ukraine have been the top three countries to which the largest amount of money has been transferred from Georgia. USD 51,276.4 thousand was transferred to the Russian Federation, USD 17,036 thousand to Greece, and USD 22,318 thousand to Ukraine.
According to the migration policy centre of the European Union 2013 report, looking at destination countries’ statistics, 767,489 or 198,904 Georgian migrants resided abroad in the years around 2012 (table 1), who represent respectively 17.1% or 4.4% of the total population residing in Georgia.
Immigration stocks in Georgia show relatively small flows in comparison to other countries in the CIS region. However, in the past decade flows have steadily increased. Labour immigrants move to Georgia mostly from India, Turkey and China.
Georgian consular statistics found stocks to amount to 405,433 emigrants. Based on the country of citizenship criterion, these statistics likely include a number of irregular migrants - who want to be in a regular position at least with the institutions of their countries of origin - and some second generation migrants. According to these figures over half of all migrant stocks are in Russia.
Migrants are heavily distributed across the working ages. As to their gender composition, males are much more represented in other former Soviet republics (64.0%), while a more gender balanced profile is observed in other countries (males make up 49.2%). Georgian migrants tend to be medium-highly educated with 45.3% holding a secondary diploma and 32.8% tertiary education.
Migrants in OECD countries tend however to be higher skilled with the same percentage being at 35.7% and 38.7% compared with those staying in other former Soviet republics (where the same values stand at 53.8% and 27.7%, respectively).
In OECD countries, there are three main occupational shares for Georgian emigrants - professionals (18.4%), service workers and shop and market sales workers (16.4%), and craft and related trades workers (14.8%).
The main motivation to migrate for 78.4% of all emigrants was to improve their current economic situation. Study (6.6%) and asylum (1.1%) were the other motivations of note.
Skills mismatch is a likely trend amongst Georgian stocks, as one in four potential migrants has been found not to have a particular job preference. Instead, gaining employment is their major aim. For example, potential emigrants are willing to accept lowly qualified jobs such as domestic help/care giving.