What do the surveys tell us about migration in Georgia?

The migration dimensions of emigration and return were left to chance in the sampling of migrant households. Their numbers therefore reflect their relative importance. Figure 3.1 shows the prevalence of emigrant and return migrants by area, based on the household-level data. The capital Tbilisi and to a lesser extent rural areas have a relatively larger sample of return migrants compared to urban areas.

Figure 3.1. Return migration is most prevalent in Tbilisi

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

StatLYnk-*^^» http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888933457748

Overall, the 2 260 household surveys collected data on 8 754 individuals, as well as another 980 former household members who had emigrated. A total of 804 households had emigrants - 36% of all households in the sample (Figure 3.2, left-hand pie chart). Among the individuals currently living in the country, 308 were return migrants, and specific data about their migration experience were also collected. The 258 households with return migrants formed 11% of all households in the sample (Figure 3.2, right-hand pie chart). Ninety households (4% of the sample) have both emigrants (one or more) and return migrants (one or more).

Figure 3.2. Share of households, by migration experience

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

StatLYnk-*^^» http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888933457754

Table 3.5 shows how household characteristics differ depending on their migration status. Households with emigrants have typically fewer members than other households, which is not surprising given that they have lost at least one member. Households receiving remittances are more likely to be in rural areas than other households. In addition, households with return migrants have lower dependency ratios than all other groups. They are also less likely to have a female household head, because most return migrants are men, who generally re-assume the position of household head on their return. Among households with no migration experience, a higher share of households have at least one member who has completed post-secondary education compared to households with emigrants, but this is probably because people who emigrate tend to be the most educated in the household.16

For the purposes of this project, a household-level wealth indicator was constructed based on questions in the household survey concerning the number of assets owned by the household, ranging from cell phones to real estate. The wealth indicator is created using principal component analysis (PCA)17 and suggests that households with migration experience tend to be wealthier.

The IPPMD survey also included a question on whether individual household members aged 15 or over planned to emigrate. The data show that plans to emigrate are more prevalent when households have migration experience. A large part of this difference can be attributed to returned migrants themselves, as 20% of them plan to emigrate again within the next 12 months.

Table 3.5. Migrant households are wealthier on average than non-migrant households

Characteristics of sampled households

Total sample

Households without migrants

Households with emigrants

Households

receiving

remittances

Households with returnees

Number of households

2 260

1 288

804

604

258

(57%)

(36%)

(27%)

(11%)

Households in rural areas (%)

46

45

47

50

48

Household size

3.4

3.6

3.1

3.3

3.7

Dependency ratio

0.54

0.55

0.54

0.56

0.48

Households with children

37

38

34

38

40

(0-14 years, %)

Households with female household

35

35

39

38

26

heads (%)

Households with at least one member

49

50

46

48

52

having completed post-secondary

education (%)

Wealth indicator

17.9

17.2

18.6

19.9

20.2

Households with members planning

8

5

10

13

23

to emigrate (%)

Note: The categories are not necessarily mutually exclusive, e.g. a household with both an emigrant and a return migrant is included both as a household with an emigrant, and a household with a return migrant. The dependency ratio is the number of children and elderly persons divided by the number of people of working age (15-65). The share of households with a member planning to emigrate is based on a direct question to all adults (15 years or older) whether or not they have plans to live and or work in another country in the future. The wealth indicator is standardised ranging from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating wealthier households.

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

Table 3.6 summarises the characteristics of adult individuals (15+) from the sampled households, broken down by whether they are non-migrants, returned migrants or current emigrants. Non-migrants are the oldest group, with an average age of 47, compared to current emigrants (42) and return migrants (44). Women made up 53% of the sample. While emigration seems to be a gender-balanced phenomenon with an equal share of men and women, return migrants are more often men; only 35% of returnees are women. More men than women plan to emigrate, with women accounting for only 43% of those planning to emigrate.

Among individuals without migration experience, 33% have finished post-secondary education. The share is slightly higher for emigrants (34%), while 36% of return migrants have completed post-secondary education. This may be because some of them have received education in the country of destination. Those planning to emigrate have the highest education levels, with 43% of them having completed post-secondary education.

Table 3.6. Return migrants are more likely to be male

Characteristics of sampled individuals

Non-migrants

Return migrants

Emigrants

Number of respondents

6 108

308

980

Average age

47

44

42

Share of women (%)

55

35

50

Share (25+) having completed post-secondary education (%)

33

36

34

Note: The group of non-migrants includes individuals in households with and without migrants. Only adults (15+) are included. To calculate education status, the analysis only included individuals aged 25 or over - the age by which they would have completed post-secondary level education.

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

 
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