Most return migrants are happy to have come home

The shares of return migrants living in Georgia who had returned from Greece and Turkey are higher than the shares of emigrants currently living there. As with emigrants, the former countries of residence among return migrants differ by gender (Figure 3.8). Men return from a wider range of countries; three quarters of women return from a total of three countries, whereas only 58% of men do. The share of women who had returned from Russia is slightly higher than for men, and is much higher than the share of female emigrants living in Russia. Men mainly return from Russia, but the share is much lower than the share of emigrants currently living in Russia (as a percentage of all emigrants).

Figure 3.7. Women remit more than men on average

Remittances by sender’s gender and education level (yearly, in uSD)

Note: The number of emigrants with either primary education only or no formal education at all was too low to be included in this figure. Remittance amounts were provided by respondents in Georgian lari (GEL), the exchange rate at 1 July 2014 was used to calculate the amount in uSD. lower secondary education includes basic education (grade 7 to 9), and upper secondary education includes general secondary education (grade 10-12) in the Georgian education system. Significance tests are indicated as follows: ***: 99%, **: 95%, *: 90%.

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.


The reasons return migrants had emigrated are similar to those mentioned by current emigrants. The majority of returned migrants emigrated for work or financial reasons. On average, return migrants spent almost four years abroad before returning. About half of the return migrants came back because they preferred to be in Georgia. This includes returning for family reasons, for marriage, to retire or for health reasons (Figure 3.9). The survey asked return migrants whether they were satisfied to be back in in Georgia; 60% of returned migrants claim to be satisfied, although around 9% of those that claimed so plan to emigrate again in the coming year. Among those return migrants who are not satisfied, this figure rises to 37%.

Figure 3.8. Men return from a wider range of countries than women

Return migrants’ former countries of residence, by gender

Note: The main countries in the ‘other’ category are Germany, Spain, Ukraine and the United States of America.

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.


Figure 3.9. Most return migrants came home because they prefer to be in Georgia

Relative share of reasons return migrants left (%)

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.


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