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.

The Caucasus Barometer 2019 survey shows that around 10% of the Georgian population is interested in permanent emigration, while 50% would temporarily leave Georgian to live somewhere else. These figures have been relatively stable over time, and there was no significant change between the 2017 and 2019 Caucasus Barometer surveys.

This leads to the question who is more or less likely to be interested in temporary and permanent migration? A logistic regression suggests that those living in the capital, younger people, and ethnic minorities have higher chances of considering permanent emigration, controlling for other factors. There are no statistically significant differences for other demographic factors.

Household wealth is also associated with intention to migrate. Those with less wealth are more likely to be interested in emigrating from Georgia on a permanent basis.

When it comes to the temporary migration, the same analysis suggests a number of findings. Younger people are more interested in temporary migration than older people. In addition, males are more likely to say they want to leave the country temporarily. Internet use is also associated with thinking about leaving the country temporarily. Having a close relative abroad is associated with a nine percentage point higher likelihood of being interested in temporary migration. There are no statistically significant differences for other demographic factors.

Overall, Georgians are less enthusiastic about leaving the country permanently than temporarily. Being interested in emigration is associated with several factors. When it comes to the permanent emigration settlement type, ethnicity, and economic well-being matter. While for temporary migration internet use and having relatives abroad matter. In both cases age is a significant factor for emigration. In this regard, permanent migration might have more to do with poverty and temporary migration an interest in seeing the world and being in good enough health to do so.

To explore more the Caucasus Barometer 2019 survey findings for Georgia, visit CRRC’s Online Data Analysis portal. Replication code for the data analysis is available at CRRC’s GitHub repository here.

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