Islam in Azerbaijan: A Sectarian Approach to Measuring Religiosity
When asked about the importance of religion in their daily lives, however, a remarkable 80% of Azerbaijanis indicated that religion played a "very" or "rather" important role in their lives, while less than 20% stated that religion was "not very" or "not at all" important.
The development of Azerbaijani think tanks and their role in public policy discourse
By Zaur Shiriyev
The lay of the land: An interview with Hans Gutbrod on think tanks in the South Caucasus[Editor's note: This is the second in a series of blog posts co-published with On Think Tanks. The views expressed within this blog series are the authors alone, and do not represent the views of CRRC-Georgia.]
Interview by Dustin Gilbreath
Thinking about think tanks in the South Caucasus
By: Dustin Gilbreath
CRRC’s third annual Methodological Conference: Transformations in the South Caucasus and its Neighbourhood
Trust in institutions in the South Caucasus – generating a combined score
Gender roles in Azerbaijan: A cross-generational continuum
Deserving to be beaten and tolerating violence: Attitudes towards violence against women in Azerbaijan
Trust and Distrust in Political institutions in AzerbaijanThis blog post is based on research on (dis)trust in political institutions in Azerbaijan. Internationally, levels of trust in political institutions often reflect how well these institutions perform in relation to citizens’ expectations.
Internet Usage and Popularity in the South CaucasusMay 31st is often called the Birthday of Internet. It was on this day in 1961 that American engineer and computer scientist Leonard Kleinrock published his first paper entitled "Information Flow in Large Communication Nets". Even though the idea of the internet began being developed in the late 1960s, Kleinroc...
Attitudes towards Homosexuality in the South CaucasusLGBTQ issues are difficult to discuss throughout the South Caucasus. For example, this year’s International Day against Homophobia on May 17th was not without challenges in Georgia. An anti-homophobia rally in Tbilisi was violently met with thousands of anti-g...
Community Support and Volunteerism in the South CaucasusDonating, volunteering or simply helping a relative with daily chores can help strengthen communities and boost trust. Data from the 2012 Caucasus Barometer (CB) shows that helping friends and neighbors with household chores is relatively common, while volunteerism remains low in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan even though the latter is recognized as important and meaningful. A previous blog ...
Comparing Societal Values in the South CaucasusValues and traditions can shape the ways in which people behave and perceive themselves and others within and across societies. Drawing on data from the 2012 Survey on Social Capital, Media, and Gender in Azerbaijan and the 2011 Survey on Social Cohesion in Armenia, this blog explores different values that, according to Azerbaijanis and Armenians, characterize contemporary Azerbaijani and Armenian...
Exploring Emotions and Life Satisfaction in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and GeorgiaFrom 2009 to 2011, Gallup conducted surveys in over 150 countries to compare how people feel about their lives and what emotions they experience during the day. Based on these surveys, Singapore was considered as the least emotional society (ranked 1st) out of 151 countries surveyed, while the Phil...
The Modalities of Azerbaijan's Islamic RevivalIslamic revival on the societal level has become a much-touted subject in Azerbaijan in recent years. Ongoing controversy over an informal state ban on hijabs in the country's public education institutions, along with a number of recent gove...
Armenia and Azerbaijan: Language, Ethnicity, Religion, and National ValuesThis blog looks at public attitudes on whether or not speaking the titular language, belonging to the predominant religion or sharing national values are perceived as necessary to be a member of Armenian or Azerbaijani society. Data from the 2012 survey on Social Capital, Media and Gender conducted in Azerbaijan and the 2011 survey on Social Cohesion conducted in Armenia show that sharing nati...
Trust and Agency in Azerbaijan: Personal Relationships versus Civic InstitutionsCivic engagement in the former Soviet Union has been - with some exceptions - quite low since the breakup of the USSR. Data from the 2012 Social Capital, Media and Gender Survey suggest that Azerbaijanis' trust and membership in civic groups and social organizations remain low, while efficacy in personal and local relationship...
Roads and Safety in the South CaucasusAccording to the World Health Organization (WHO), every year about 1.3 million people die as a result of road accidents worldwide. In 2011, the UN launched the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. A year later, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution A/66/L.43 to improve road safety conditions wo...
Corruption in the South CaucasusCorruption and paying a bribe was not uncommon in the former Soviet Union. However, following the collapse of the USSR, rampant corruption began to permeate virtually every aspect of daily life in newly independent Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia (Sandholtz and Taagepera 2005). Reports by international organization...
Education in Georgia: Results of the 2011 Caucasus BarometerEducation is considered to be a crucial factor for social development. According to the 2011 Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey, much of the Georgian population considers education to be an important factor to get a good job in Georgia. Public interest in education is high and many Georgians think that the quality of secondary education has ...
Changes in the Level of Trust and Political Institutions in GeorgiaThis blog post looks at how reported levels of trust in the president, local government, executive government, parliament, the army, healthcare system, police, educational system and courts have changed over the years in Georgia, using CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey data from 2011 to 2015 and NDI-CRRC polls.
Income Levels in Georgia from 2008 to 2013
Georgia—AbkhaziaThe Olympics in Sochi, Russia, took place about 30 kilometers from Russia’s border with the separatist region of Abkhazia in Georgia. As a security precaution, the Russian government has temporarily moved its border 11 kilometers into Abkhazia to create a “security zone,” at which travelers entering will have to show identification before proceeding to the actual border with Russia.
Knowledge of Russian in Azerbaijan
Trust in Institutions in the South Caucasus
Abortion Rates in Azerbaijan
Smoking in the South Caucasus and tobacco policy in Azerbaijan
Divorce rates in Azerbaijan
Facebook usage in Azerbaijan
Trends in the Data: Public support for democracy is slowly waning in Georgia (Part 2)This blog post describes a number of tendencies that might be related to the declining public support for democracy in Georgia, using the CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey data.
What can CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey tell us about internal migration in Georgia?According to existing estimates, the stock of internal migrants is much larger than the stock of international migrantsworldwide. In Georgia, however, internal migration is largely overlooked and there is very little data available on the number and distribution of internal migrants. Several indicators of internal migration in Georgia can be found in CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey. This blog post discusses one such indicator: whether, at the time of interview, adults in Georgia lived in the same settlement where they were born. Results of the latest, 2015 wave of CB are presented in this blog post.
One step forward, two steps back? European integration in Georgia after the Association Agreement
Emigration, Language, and Remittances in Georgia
A Tangled Path to Europe: A review of Bittersweet Europe
Is xenophobia on the rise in Georgia?
The Wave of the Future: Optimism, Pessimism and Fatalism in Georgia
Active and Employed
Do Armenians Still View Integration with the EU as Part of a Positive-Sum Game?On September 3rd 2013 Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan surprised many observers, including some in his own government, when he announced that Armenia would sign an agreement with Russia to join the Eurasian Customs Union (ECU) and spurn a long-negotiated Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union. The move has been dubbed a “U-Turn” as well as a “sudden shift in policy,” although it was predated by landmark Armenian-Russian agreements in 1997 and 2006.
The recent history of the South Caucasus as seen by the world’s media – Part 1, Armenia and Azerbaijan
Exploring Homophobia in Georgia: Part 3
SME Performance in Georgia and Armenia: Part 1
Does public opinion accurately gauge government performance in the South Caucasus?
Georgia in a turbulent world: 2014 in review
Democracy in Georgia
Brookings Event - Internally Displaced Persons and Host Communities: The Limits of Hospitality?
Blood Donation in Georgia: Obstacles and Opportunities
Third Stage of the Junior Research Fellowship Program at CRRC-Azerbaijan Launched!
CRRC-Azerbaijan Junior Research Fellows Compete for the Best PowerPoint Presentation
The Caucasus Barometer 2010 Dataset Is Available!
Conference on Social Protection and Social Inclusion in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia
PERCEIVED POVERTY IN GEORGIA: RESULTS OF THE 2011 CAUCASUS BAROMETERThe 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?
Georgia Adopts Law on the Status of Religious Minorities
New and Old Media: Trends in AzerbaijanDespite some international criticism on media freedom, nationwide survey data shows that Azerbaijanis seem to be generally satisfied with certain forms of national mass media—although with a few exceptions. The overall picture that emerges from the 2011 Caucasus Barometer in Azerbaijan is that 44% of the population thinks TV journalists inform the population well, 32% are neutral, and 16% say TV journalists do not inform the population well (7% don’t know).
Upswing of Transition in Georgia
Material Deprivation in the South Caucasus
Is the South Caucasus a homogenous region?
Migration from the South Caucasus
Class in the Caucasus | Article by Ken Roberts and Gary Pollock
Gender | How Does the South Caucasus Compare?
A Further Look at Material Deprivation
Graduation Ceremony for the Junior Fellowship Program in Azerbaijan
Labor Migration Article | Zvezda Dermendzhieva
Can a Cut NATO Supply Route Through Russia Benefit Georgia and Azerbaijan?
Boy or Girl? Child Gender Preference in the South Caucasus
Insight to Georgian Households | CRRC Data on Economic Wellbeing in the Caucasus
Social networks in rural and urban Georgia
Gender imbalances | The South Caucasus on the top of the list
2010 Big Mac Index | Increased differences between Baku and Tbilisi
The Level of Trust in Government Institutions in Georgia: The Dynamics of the Past Three Years
Caucasus Barometer | A New Name for the CRRC's Data Initiative
Greatest Threats Facing the World | Data from the 2009 CB & the Global Attitudes Survey
From environmental catastrophe to violence, our world currently faces serious challenges with long-term consequences. In this context, what do people in the Caucasus consider to be the most acute problems?
Post-Soviet States’ Democratic Decline: Results from Freedom House Report
Attitudes toward the West | Caucasus Analytical Digest
Respondent Evaluation | A Great Tool for Looking into Survey Interviews
Winners of the First Stage of the Junior Research Fellowship Program-Azerbaijan Announced
Will You Be My Friend? Gauging Perceptions of Interethnic Friendship in the South Caucasus
Forbidden Love: Attitudes Toward Interethnic Marriage in the South Caucasus
Small changes in corruption rates in the Caucasus
Friends Are Hard To Come By: Friendship Divides by Gender in Azerbaijan
Overcoming Negative Stereotypes in the South Caucasus
Award Ceremony of the JRFP-Azerbaijan
The Media in Armenia and Azerbaijan: Effective or Affective?
PISA 2009 | Results for Azerbaijan
Policy Attitudes towards Women in Azerbaijan: Is Equality Part of the Agenda?
TI: Corruption Reigns Worldwide; Georgia Comes Out on Top
Why do so many Armenians leave Armenia?
The Global Broadband Speed Test
Bertelsmann Transformation Index | Using a New Interactive Tool to Analyze the Caucasus
Book Review | The Post-Soviet Wars: Rebellion, Ethnic Conflict and Nationhood in the Caucasus | Christoph Zürcher
PISA in Azerbaijan | Take 2 | great maths scores
Brookings Index of Regime Weakness | State Rebuilding or State Collapse in the Caucasus | The Annals of Data
Armenia and Azerbaijan’s Performance | Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Meta-Index
Exit Polls | Take Two
Religious practices across the South Caucasus | Take two
European Cup Craze : Who Supports Whom in the Caucasus?
CRRC Publication Research Fellowship 2008 Available
Caucasus Data | Language: Russian versus English?
Caucasus Data: Tolerance towards Others
Georgia: Women's Participation in Politics
Doing business in Azerbaijan: easy in theory
Baku's Urban Change | Commentary and Photography
Focus on non-oil tax policy as oil revenues predicted to decline
South Caucasus Data 2007 on Unemployment
Institutionalization of Ethnic Communities in Azerbaijan
Comparing Civic Participation: Caucasus Data 2007
PISA Test | how are Azerbaijani schools doing?OECD has just published their 2006 PISA results, which stands for "Program for International Student Assessment". In PISA, 15-year olds are tested for basic abilities in various fields. The 2006 round focused primarily on science learning. A little more than 60 countries participated, including Azerbaijan. Georgia and Armenia did not take part.
World Public Opinion: Azerbaijan in Focus
CRRC-Azerbaijan Past Events Summary
Exploring Azerbaijani Views on Alternative Energy
Caucasus Election Programs in the 1990s
Douglas North, and his relevance to Azerbaijan
History vs Public Policy
Reproductive Health in the Caucasus
Student Migration from the South Caucasus
Gabala Radar Station -- local health awareness
Migration between Georgia and Azerbaijan
Unemployment in Azerbaijan: Beyond the Economic Consequences
HIV/AIDS: Azerbaijanis' Attitudes and Knowledge Explored
The Open Budget Index | Georgia, Azerbaijan and the WorldThe Open Budget Index, a project of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, released the first-ever independent and non-governmental Budget Transparency Ratings in October 2006. The index endeavors to provide the practical information needed to analyze the transparency and accessibility of a government’s budgetary processes—and thus better equip citizens and legislators in lobbying for governmental accountability and targeted, effective policymaking.
Prioritizing the personal: People talk more about personal issues than political eventsIn general people are primarily interested in their own lives, rather than in social or political events. In other words, social and political events will, most probably, be overshadowed by events in one’s personal life. CRRC’s 2015 Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey data provides more detailed insights on this. In this blog post, we compare answers to two CB questions: “When you get together with your close relatives and friends, how often do you discuss each other’s private problems?” and “When you get together with your friends and close relatives, how often do you discuss politics / current affairs?” in Armenia and Georgia.
Are Georgians as tolerant as they claim to be?On 15 November, the Ministry of Culture announced it would give ‘Georgian tolerance’ the status of intangible cultural heritage. Historically, Georgia may have exhibited relatively high levels of tolerance, with many pointing to the reign of King David the Builder in the 12th century. David is celebrated for presiding over the start of the country’s golden age, and many point to his encouragement of other ethnicities settling in Georgia as a good example of Georgian tolerance.
Visa liberalization: Which groups in Georgia are expected to benefit most from it?The introduction of visa free travel to the Schengen zone countries for Georgian citizens was one of the most prominent news stories in Georgia in 2017. It was also highly publicized and presented by the country’s government as a significant achievement on the way to European integration. Do people in Georgia agree with this assessment? And which groups of the population does the public think will actually benefit from the opportunity? CRRC’s 2017 Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey results shed some light on these questions.
2017 Caucasus Barometer Data ReleaseThis week, 2017 Caucasus Barometer survey (CB) data will become publicly available on CRRC's online data analysis portal. CB is the longest running survey project in the South Caucasus region, with data available from 2008 to present. It enables the comparison of trends in the region over time. Caucasus Barometer 2017 was carried out in Armenia and Georgia in Fall 2017. To view the data for both countries or download the data sets, check our online data analysis platform from February 1.
What factors help to land a good job? Views in Armenia and GeorgiaWhat are the factors that help one get a good job? The question is important around the world, and arguably even more important in countries with high reported unemployment, like Georgia and Armenia. While it would require an in-depth study of the labor market of a given country to find out what actually helps a person get a good job, what people think about this issue is also interesting. CRRC’s 2017 Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey asked the population of Armenia and Georgia which factors where important for getting a good job in their country.
Debt in Georgia: People living in worse-off households report having personal debt more oftenAccording to CRRC’s 2017 Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey, 46% of the population of Georgia report having personal debt. Although having debt is not necessarily a bad thing, since it can enable investment to help improve a person’s economic conditions, a close look at the CB 2017 data suggests that many people in Georgia take on debt to cover basic expenses.
People in Georgia approve of doing business with Russians, despite interstate hostilityIn the 2017 wave of CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey, 40% of the population of Georgia named Russia as the main enemy of the country. Turkey and the United States garnered the second highest share of responses with 3% each. Yet, no particular animosity towards ethnic Russians is observed in answers to a question about people’s (dis)approval of individuals of their ethnicity doing business with Russians. This blog post examines how answers differ by people’s opinions about whether or not Russia is the main enemy of Georgia.
Changes in public opinion between 2011 and 2017A lot changed in Georgia between 2011 and 2017, including the government. New promises and new regulations have been made and new priorities set by politicians. A visa free regime with the Schengen zone countries came into force. An ultranationalist ‘Georgian March’ was organized. A Georgian priest was charged with conspiracy to murder the Secretary of the Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church, the most trusted institution in Georgia. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does raise questions about whether and how public opinion has changed against the backdrop of these and other events.
Which groups name Russia as Georgia’s main enemy?In 2017, 40% of the population of Georgia named Russia as the main enemy of Georgia. Yet the opinion that Russia is the main enemy of the country is not equally present in different demographic groups. This blog post uses data from CRRC’s 2017 Caucasus Barometer survey to gain a better understanding of the characteristics of those who report Russia is the country’s main enemy.
During Sargsyan’s incumbency, dissatisfaction with government grew and support for protest increasedSerzh Sargsyan, formerly the President and then Prime Minister of Armenia, resigned from office on April 23rd, 2018, following 11 days of peaceful protest. Over the past 10 years, which coincide with Sargsyan’s time in office, Armenians were increasingly dissatisfied with their government. At the same time, the country witnessed growing civic engagement, with “youth-driven, social media-powered, issue-specific civic activism,” referred to as “civic initiatives”. CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer data from 2008 to 2017 reflect both these trends.
Willingness to temporarily emigrate from Armenia and Georgia: Does fatalism matter?Scholarship points to a number of factors that contribute to an individual’s willingness to emigrate, either on a temporary or permanent basis. Political, economic, and social conditions are all important variables in the emigration equation. This blog post uses data from CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey to see whether or not people who express a willingness to temporarily emigrate from Armenia and Georgia differ from others in terms of the reported belief that people shape their fate themselves. Those who believe so may be more inclined to consider actions such as temporary emigration.
Five data points about homophobia in Georgia five years after the IDAHOT riotFive years ago, on May 17, 2013 a homophobic riot took place in Tbilisi in response to a small LGBTQ rights demonstration on the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. Thousands of protestors, including frocked priests, chased the demonstrators through the streets of Tbilisi as police struggled (some say facilely) to protect the demonstrators from violence. In the time since, LGBTQ rights have remained on the agenda in Georgia, with an anti-discrimination law passed in 2014, which gives some protection to LGBTQ people, and the first openly homosexual candidate running for office in the 2017 local elections. Despite this progress, homophobic and transphobic violence still occurs in the country (for example, see here, here, and here). Five years after the events of May 17, 2013, this article presents five findings from CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey about homophobia in Georgia.
Willingness to temporarily emigrate from Armenia and Georgia: Does education matter?A previous CRRC blog post showed how people’s willingness to temporarily emigrate from Armenia and Georgia varied according to their belief in whether everything in life is determined by fate or people shape their fate themselves. The blog post concluded that compared to people who are not interested in temporary emigration from these countries, those who are tended to believe slightly more often that people shape their fate themselves.
Do people in Georgia see the government as a parent or as an employee?Based on CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey data, this blog post describes how people in Georgia see the government, as a “parent” or as an “employee”, and how this differs by settlement type, gender, and education level.
The Caucasus Barometer survey regularly asks people, “Which of the following statements do you agree with: “‘People are like children; the government should take care of them like a parent’ or ‘Government is like an employee; the people should be the bosses who control the government.’” Approximately half of the population of Georgia (52%) agreed in 2017 with the former statement and 40% with the latter. Responses to this question have fluctuated to some extent over time, but overall, attitudes are nearly equally split.
Is Georgia’s Orthodox Christian population losing (trust in) their religion?Surveys conducted in Georgia have repeatedly shown that the Georgian Orthodox Church’s leader Patriarch Ilia II is the most trusted public figure in the country. Yet, CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey data from 2008 to 2017 suggests that both the share of Orthodox Christians in Georgia that trust the Church and the degree to which they trust the Church is on the decline. Although the survey does not provide direct evidence, the scandals surrounding the church in recent years could have contributed to this. For instance, in 2017, a priest was convicted of attempting to poison the Secretary of Ilia II. The government has sold land to the Church at symbolic prices on numerous occasions, often leading to negative media coverage. In 2013, priests were involved in an anti-LGBT rights riot.
Views on marital (in)fidelity in GeorgiaAccording to 86% of adults in Georgia, cheating on one’s spouse can never be justified, according to CRRC’s 2017 Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey findings. Another 12% also reported disapproving of cheating, but refrained from a radical “never” answer and choose relatively softer options. Only about 2% openly agreed, albeit with different strength of agreement, with the position that cheating on one’s spouse can be justified. While these answers are expected to be influenced by social desirability bias, they are still interesting indicators of views on marital (in)fidelity in Georgia. Importantly, the distribution of answers has been quite stable since 2011.
Which questions do people tend to respond “Don’t know” to?On surveys, sometimes the questions asked are hard for some people to answer. As a result, the answer option “Don’t know” is a regular part of any survey dataset. But are some questions particularly likely to elicit these responses? This blog post uses un-weighted 2017 CRRC Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey data for Georgia to look at this question.
How widespread is homophobia in Georgia?Homophobia is widespread in Georgia. The homophobic riots that occurred on the International Day against Homophobia in 2013 and the bedlam that took place surrounding the planning of the 2019 Pride Parade exemplify this.
Know English and how to use a computer?A slightly jeering expression in Georgia when speaking about employment prospects suggests that to get a job, you need to know English and how to use computers. Data from Caucasus Barometer 2019 shows there’s a bit of truth in the jest.
Study suggests large numbers in Georgia to celebrate Easter in churchResearch by CRRC Georgia suggests that a large number of Georgia’s Orthodox Christians intend to celebrate at Church.
As Easter celebrations approach in Georgia, a study by CRRC Georgia suggests that a large number of Georgia’s Orthodox Christians still intend to celebrate at Church. The survey of Facebook users found that around 40% of people who usually celebrate Easter in Church intended to do so again this year despite the pandemic.
Who trusts the healthcare system in Georgia?Trust in healthcare institutions is important, especially during a pandemic like the current COVID-19 outbreak. In the name of public health, numerous individual freedoms and economic activities are restricted.
Without trust in the messages of public health officials, measures aimed at preventing the spread of the virus are less likely to be complied with, exacerbating the spread of the virus.
Why are Georgians Nostalgic about the USSR? Part 1Several surveys in recent years suggest that close to half of the Georgian public considers the dissolution of the USSR a bad thing. After nearly 30 years since gaining independence, why do so many Georgians look back with nostalgia towards the Soviet Union? Reasons for Soviet nostalgia in other contexts are usually associated with how people experienced transition from state socialism to capitalism. The economic hypothesis explaining nostalgia argues that a perception of being part either “a winner” or “a loser” of the transition is associated with nostalgic feelings towards the Soviet Union. Other hypotheses introduce politics into the equation. According to this explanation, those who reject democracy on ideological grounds are more likely to be nostalgic as are those who think that democratic institutions are too feeble in delivering state services. Are these explanations true for Georgian Ostalgie? This series of blog posts explores these and other potential explanations to Soviet nostalgia.
Are Lion’s Whelps Equally Lions?!In Georgia, tradition has it that a son stays in the family and is responsible for taking care of his parents in their old age. Consequently, tradition also gives parents’ property to their sons. This limits women’s access to economic resources. New data from Caucasus Barometer shows that regardless of whether people think that a son or daughter or both equally should take care of their parents in their old age, many believe the son should still get the inheritance.
Lost in the census: Mingrelian and Svan languages face extinction in Georgia
Coming Together and Growing Apart: A Decade of Transformation in the South CaucasusCRRC is excited to announce its 6th Methods Conference, which will be held on June 26-27 and open to public viewing over Facebook and direct participation through signing up here. The conference focuses on a decade of change in the region.
Social capital in Georgia: how trust becomes solidified when words are backed up with deeds
Church scandals have hurt trust in the Georgian Orthodox Church
There is a gap between support for democracy and liberal values in Georgia
Public opinion polls suggest support for democracy is on the decline in Georgia, but does support for democracy correlate to support for liberal values?
An increasing number of Georgians view their country as ‘a democracy with major problems’, with CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey showing the share of people reporting this belief to have increased from 27% in 2011 to 48% in 2019.
In parallel to this growing scepticism towards the country’s democratic situation, surveys show a decline in the proportion of the population believing that democracy is preferable to any other kind of government, falling from 65% in 2011 to 49% in 2019.
Conservative gender mores are changing in Georgia
Gendered norms prevail in Georgian society, which often translates into deprecation of women for smoking, drinking alcohol, having pre-marital sex, and even living with a boyfriend. However, attitudes appear to be shifting.
CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey asked people what they thought about several such activities. The data showed that the public are least accepting of women smoking, with 80% reporting it is never acceptable at any age. Sexual relations (63%) and cohabitating with a man before marriage were also commonly thought to be never acceptable for women (60%).
More Georgians than ever own phones and TVs, but inequalities remain
Gaps remain in mobile phone ownership in Georgia
While mobile phone ownership is widespread in Georgia, gaps still remain among rural, elderly, and ethnic minority populations.
Owning a mobile (cell phone) is considered so important that more widespread ownership is considered a sustainable development goal (SDG 5.b) by the United Nations.
Mobile phone ownership among households has increased significantly over the last decade. Caucasus Barometer data indicates that in 2008, two thirds of households owned a mobile phone. This has steadily increased, reaching 96% of households in 2019, the last year for which Caucasus Barometer data is available.
More people feel healthy during the pandemic
The pandemic has clearly harmed people’s health, yet new data from the Caucasus Barometer Survey suggests that people considered themselves more healthy in 2020.
In 2019, 35% of the public evaluated their health as good. In past years, this had shifted up and down to varying extents, however, the largest change was a decline from 41% to 30% between 2013 and 2014.
In contrast, between 2019 and 2020, the share of people reporting that they were in good health nearly doubled from 35% to 65%.
Almost everyone in Georgia believes in the supernatural
Georgian folklore is filled with stories of demons and devils; yet, everyone knows children’s stories are just that. However, new opinion polling from the ISSP Survey on Religion suggests that the vast majority of Georgians believe in the supernatural.
The study, which was conducted in 2019 by CRRC Georgia, asked about whether people think the following statements are true or false:
- Good luck charms sometimes do bring good luck;
- Some fortunetellers really can foresee the future;
- Some faith healers do have God-given healing powers;
- A person’s star sign at birth or horoscope can affect the course of the future.
War in Nagorno-Karabakh went unnoticed for a quarter of Georgians
The recent war in Nagorno-Karabakh resulted in thousands of deaths and the displacement of tens of thousands. Yet despite there being a brutal war near its borders, many in Georgia were unaware of the conflict.
Data from the Caucasus Barometer survey indicate that awareness of the conflict’s existence increased shortly after the war in 2020 compared to 2013, but only slightly. In 2013, when the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was ‘frozen’, 66% of Georgians reported they had heard of it. Around a third of the population was not aware of it. In December of 2020, shortly after the 44-day long war, 74% of Georgians reported they had heard of it. A whole quarter (26%) of the population, meanwhile, was not aware of military operations between the country’s two direct neighbours.