TBILISI, DFWatch–New figures show that Georgia’s increase in population continued an upward trend in 2014, but the growth rate is still barely above zero.
The number of live births minus the number of deaths, which scientists call the natural increase, was 11,548 in 2014.
Although this was 24 percent more than the year before, it translates into a near-zero growth rate, when compared to the size of the population, which is around four million. (The exact size of Georgia’s population has been unknown since the last years of the Soviet Union, but a new census is underway.)
Looking only at the natural growth also does not take into account people leaving the country or immigrating.
The number of live births grew by 4.8 percent in Georgia last year.
Out of the total number of live births 60,635, 31,325 were boys and 29,310 girls, according to a new short report published Tuesday by the National Statistics Department, GeoStat.
The number of third and more child births has increased since 2008, while the number of first child births went down, the report shows.
Compared to 2013, the number of first child births was reduced by 1.8 percent, while third and more child births increased by 1.7 percent.
The number of deaths grew by 1.1 percent in 2014 to 49,087.
Georgia saw the natural growth of its population peak in 2009. The following years it slumped, but recovered from 2013 on (see figure).
Fewer marriages, more divorces
Another trend in the population data is that there are fewer marriages and more divorces.
The country had a significant drop in the number of registered marriages last year. This was down 9.1 percent to 31,526.
Meanwhile, the divorce rate shot up 12.7 percent to 9,119. The number of divorces has been increasing every year since 2005, when there were 1,928 marriage breakups. In 2013 there were 8,089 divorces, in 2012 7,136 and in 2011 5,850.