Tuesday | 04 March, 2014

Health in the South Caucasus

With the recently concluded Olympics in Sochi and the controversies surrounding them, one might be interested in understanding how populations in the South Caucasus think about health and sport. What factors are related to perceptions of health in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia? This blog explores perceptions of health, economic well-being, as well as whether a household limits its consumption of beef as one of many indicators related to a household’s economic situation.

South Caucasians who say they exercise for at least two hours a week are more likely to rate their health better than those who do not exercise at least two hours per week. The following graph depicts this trend in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, and consistently shows that those who believe they are in good health are much more likely to say they exercise for at least two hours a week compared to those who report poor health.

Note: In this and following charts, the original five-point scale for the question, “Overall, how would you rate your health,” has been collapsed to a three-point scale by merging “very poor” and “poor”, and “very good” and “good.”

Additionally, people who consider their households to be on a higher economic rung in society tend to rate their health more positively. Respondents were asked to imagine there is a 10-step ladder reflecting the economic standing of all households in their country, such that the first rung corresponds to the lowest possible economic position in society, while the highest rung refers to the highest possible position. The following graph demonstrates this trend in the South Caucasus. In Georgia, where the trend is most pronounced, only 27% and 34% of families who report being on either the first or second rung report being in good health, whereas 91% and 59% of families who reported being on the fifth or fourth rung respectively, reported being in good health. This trend can be seen throughout the South Caucasus and suggests that the higher economic rung a family perceives itself to be on, the more likely they are to report good health.

Note: The first rung corresponds to the lowest possible economic position in society, while the highest rung refers to the highest possible economic position in society. Results were collapsed from an original 10-point scale.

Whether a family owns or consumes a number of consumer goods is a common indicator of well-being. The following graph looks at whether a household limits its consumption of beef and perceptions of health. As the graph indicates, families that are less likely to limit the amount of beef they eat are also more likely to report being in good health. Furthermore, the trend also largely holds for the consumption of many other foods and consumer products, as well as whether a family owns certain durable goods such as a personal computer.

This blog shows that health and perceptions of one’s household economic situation are related. Higher perceived economic status is related to more positive feelings about one’s health in the South Caucasus. What other factors might be at work when looking at how healthy one feels and how often one exercises? We encourage you to explore our data to find out more about health and exercise in the South Caucasus with our online data analysis tool here.
13.05.2014 | Tuesday

Common Challenges Facing the Elderly in Georgia

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Multiple social, psychological, and biological factors determine the level of mental health of a person at any point in time. In addition to the typical life stressors common to all people, older people are more likely to experience events such as bereavement, a drop in socioeconomic status with retirement, or a disability.” 
19.05.2014 | Monday

Paternalism in Georgia

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, paternalism is “the interference of a state or an individual with another person against their will motivated by a claim that the person interfered with will be better off or protected from harm” (from the Latin pater for father). Simply put, paternalism refers to treating people as if they were children. The Caucasus Barometer (CB) assesses attitudes toward governance among Georgians. Who thinks citizens should be treated like children by the government (i.e. the paternalistic view) rather than as employers? Using data from the CB 2013, this blog post focuses on the following qualities of citizens: education level, economic condition and source of household income in order to better understand this paternalistic view in Georgia.
28.05.2014 | Wednesday

Smoking in the South Caucasus and tobacco policy in Azerbaijan

May 31st is World No Tobacco Day as declared by the United Nations. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco usage is the primary reason for chronic diseases including “cancer, lung diseases, cardiovascular diseases” among other diseases.
07.10.2014 | Tuesday

The Wave of the Future: Optimism, Pessimism and Fatalism in Georgia

A recent CRRC regional blog post analyzed the presence of fatalism in Georgia. The post cited CRRC Caucasus Barometer (CB) data which shows that in 2013, 28% of Georgians agreed that “everything in life is determined by fate.” While the CB findings demonstrate that a sizeable portion of the adult population is fatalistic about the future, Georgians are increasingly likely to see that future in a positive light, whether it be determined by fate or not.
27.10.2014 | Monday

Don’t worry, exercise, and be happy

It has become common knowledge that those who exercise regularly are healthier than those who do not, but are those who exercise also happier? According to research conducted by the University of Bristol, people who regularly exercise are happier, more productive at work, and less stressed than those who are not engaged in regular physical activities.
04.12.2014 | Thursday

SME Performance in Georgia and Armenia: Part 2

As discussed in the first blog post of this series, the results of the CRRC Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey show that Georgians demonstrate higher levels of interpersonal and institutional trust than Armenians. These types of trust are important indicators of social capital, which is often taken as a necessary condition for the presence of a robust, productive entrepreneurial class and small and medium enterprise (SME) sector.
05.09.2016 | Monday

Trends in the Data: Declining trust in the banks in Georgia

The last few years have been turbulent for Georgia’s national currency, the Lari (GEL), the value of which started to decline in November 2014. While in October 2014 one US dollar traded for GEL 1.75, since February 2015 to date, the exchange rate has fluctuated between GEL 2 and 2.5 per dollar. Needless to say, the depreciation of the Lari has been widely covered by the media, and although it had numerous causes, a number of organizations and people were blamed for the devaluation. With this background in mind, this blog post looks at how reported trust in banks has changed in recent years in Georgia, using CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey data.
09.11.2015 | Monday

Household income and consumption patterns in Georgia

After the collapse of the Georgian economy in the 1990s, the country slowly started to recover, and between 2000 and 2014, the gross national income grew from $3.4 billion to $16.7 billion (in current USD). According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the official unemployment rate in Georgia was 12.4% in 2014, but according to numerous surveys the rate is much higher.
29.03.2012 | Thursday

Blood Donation in Georgia: Obstacles and Opportunities

According to a report by the World Health Organization, blood donations in Georgia fall below the estimated need for patients. Approximately 60,000 donations are necessary per year to cover Georgian patients’ needs, while the number of actual blood donation does not exceed 37,000. Moreover, 95% of blood donations come from paid donors.
13.07.2012 | Friday


The 2011 Caucasus Barometer asked the Georgian population, “Relative to most of the households around you, would you describe the current economic condition of your household as very good, good, fair, poor or very poor? 
02.11.2011 | Wednesday

A Further Look at Material Deprivation

Continuing to explore standards of living in the South Caucasus, this blog looks at the between four sources of household income and material deprivation using data from the 2010 Caucasus Barometer. Each of the four sources of income (salaries, pensions or government transfers, sales from agricultural goods, and remittances) are categorized by their importance to the household and then cross tabulated with material deprivation. The findings suggest that families reliant on salaries and remittances are better off, while families receiving pensions and government transfers, or those who sell agricultural products as their primary source of income have higher than average rates of material deprivation. 
27.02.2008 | Wednesday

Inflation in Armenia? | Lecture by IMF Representative

Readers here may not be aware that actually our Armenian CRRC also runs its own blog, to announce and describe CRRC's events. One of the most recent events was a lecture by the IMF Resident Representative in Armenia, Dr. Nienke Oomes.
12.09.2008 | Friday

Doing business in Azerbaijan: easy in theory

Results of the World Bank’s Doing Business 2009 project, claims to present "objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 181 economies and selected cities at the sub-national and regional level", were made public today.
11.12.2006 | Monday

Gabala Radar Station -- local health awareness

Rashida Abdullayeva examined a curious relic from Cold War days: in Gabala, Northern Azerbaijan, there is a giant radar station, which is leased out to Russia until 2012. According to reports citing the Russian Ministry of Defence the radar station has a range of up to 6000 km, was designed to detect missile launches from the Indian Ocean, and hosts around 1200 Russian servicemen.