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სამშაბათი | 04 მარტი, 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 | სამშაბათი

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 | ორშაბათი

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 | ოთხშაბათი

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 | სამშაბათი

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.
04.12.2014 | ხუთშაბათი

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.
09.11.2015 | ორშაბათი

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 | ხუთშაბათი

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 | პარასკევი

PERCEIVED POVERTY IN GEORGIA: RESULTS OF THE 2011 CAUCASUS BAROMETER

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 | ოთხშაბათი

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 | ოთხშაბათი

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 | პარასკევი

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 | ორშაბათი

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.
26.03.2018 | ორშაბათი

Women Significantly Less Likely to Go Out to Eat in Georgia

Busy restaurants and cafes are a common sight in Georgia, and CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer data suggest that restaurants and cafes have become busier over the last five years. While 27% of Georgia’s population reported going to a restaurant in 2012, five years later 50% did. There is an upward trend for both men and women, yet the data also suggests there is a significant gender gap. Taking into account other social and demographic characteristics, women are significantly less likely to go to restaurants than men.
09.09.2019 | ორშაბათი

The Easterlin Paradox and Happiness U-curve in Georgia

Two of the more prominent findings from the study of happiness are that money does not buy it (up to a point) and that young and old people are happier than those in between. That money does not buy happiness is often referred to as the Easterlin Paradox. It highlights that between and within countries happiness increases with wealth, but only up to a certain point, at which increases in wealth are associated with marginal gains in happiness. That the elderly and young are happier is referred to as the happiness U-curve. This finding has been found to hold in the West, but not in the former Soviet space, where the elderly are the least happy. This blog looks at these phenomenon in Georgia.
04.11.2019 | ორშაბათი

წამლები დესერტად? ოჯახის ყველაზე დიდი ყოველთვიური ხარჯები საქართველოში

საქართველოს მოსახლეობისთვის მთავარ სატკივრად კვლავ ეკონომიკა რჩება. სამომხმარებლო ფასის ინდექსის და დოლარის ლართან გაცვლის კურსის ზრდასთან ერთად, ბოლო წლების განმავლობაში შინამეურნეობების საშუალო ხარჯებიც გაიზარდა. ამასთანავე, უახლესი მონაცემების მიხედვით, მოსახლეობის მხოლოდ 10%-ს აქვს რაიმე დანაზოგი. შინამეურნეობის საშუალო ხარჯების გაზრდასთან ერთად, საინტერესოა, რაში ხარჯავს ხალხი ფულს საქართველოში. CRRC-NDI-ის ბოლო, 2019 წლის ზაფხულის კვლევაში დაისვა კითხვები ოჯახის ხარჯებთან დაკავშირებით, რაც გარკვეულ წარმოდგენას გვიქმნის იმის შესახებ, თუ რაში ხარჯავენ ფულს საქართველოში და ვინ უფრო მეტს ხარჯავს გარკვეული სახის პროდუქტებსა და მომსახურებაში.
25.11.2019 | ორშაბათი

Attitudes towards the new banking regulations

The share of the public with loans from formal financial institutions doubled from 2011 to 2016 according to World Bank Group’s analysis based on Integrated Household Survey in Georgia. The July 2019 CRRC/NDI survey data suggests that about half of the population has a loan. To address perceived over-indebtedness, on 1 January, 2019 the National Bank of Georgia introduced new regulations, restricting lending without more extensive analysis of a consumer’s solvency. The analysis includes looking at an individual’s income, expenses and total obligations, and determination of debtors’ capacity to service their loans without significant financial difficulties.
16.12.2019 | ორშაბათი

Perceptions of healthcare quality in Georgia

Affordable healthcare remains one of the main national issues for people in Georgia: 18% of people considered it one of the most important issues in the July 2019 CRRC and NDI survey. The salience of this issue was at its highest in 2012 (35%), and has decreased over the years, particularly in light of the passage of the universal health insurance program. Nonetheless, affordable healthcare remains one of the most important issues for the public and particularly the cost of medicine, which is one of the three largest costs for over a third of families in Georgia. In this regard, it is unsurprising that over half of the population name the cost of medicine or the cost of care/doctor visits as the largest ones facing the healthcare system in Georgia. The second most common issue, which 24% of respondents named on the question about issues in the healthcare system, was a concern over the lack of professionalism of doctors and medical personnel, something associated with the quality of care.
17.02.2020 | ორშაბათი

Grit in Georgia

Grit, the idea that passion and perseverance are important determinants of success aside from intelligence, has gained widespread attention in recent years. This stems from the fact that grit is a strong predictor of a number of outcomes like employment and income in life. Previous analysis on this blog suggests that the grit scale is also a strong predictor of employment in Georgia among young people in a select number of rural areas. Whether this works on a nationally representative sample is however an open question. So too is the question what predicts grit in Georgia. This blog uses data from CRRC Georgia’s January 2020 omnibus survey to address these questions.
24.02.2020 | ორშაბათი

Who’s thinking about temporary and permanent migrating?

The population of Georgia has declined after the dissolution of Soviet Union from 5.4 million to 3.7 million according to the latest estimates provided by the Georgian National Statistical Office. The mass emigration of the Georgian population in the 1990s has been attributed to the decline of the economy and military conflicts in the country. Even though the economic situation stabilized starting in the 2000s, the migration flow has not stopped and interest in emigration is quite widespread in Georgia. This blog shows that interest in both temporary and permanent migration is associated with age. In contrast, settlement type, ethnicity and wealth of the household is associated with interest in permanent migration but not temporary and sex, internet usage, and having a relative living abroad with temporary but not permanent migration.
27.07.2020 | ორშაბათი

Analysis | Georgia has a vaccine misinformation problem

Many experts believe that to fully remove the restrictions which have emerged because of the COVID-19 crisis, a vaccine is needed. While vaccines are only expected in the medium term, if and when they are available, Georgia may face large challenges with implementing a large scale vaccination program. 

08.09.2020 | სამშაბათი

Lockdown vs re-opening the economy in Georgia

As the number of new daily confirmed cases is again on the rise, we look at how people felt about the anti-coronavirus restrictions in May.

Aside from the public health situation, COVID-19 has led to rising unemploymentreduced incomes, and food insecurity in Georgia. As the number of new daily confirmed cases is again on the rise, the Caucasus Datablog takes a look at how people felt about the anti-coronavirus restrictions when they were at their height.