Georgia, a country in western Asia. Georgia is bounded by the Black Sea, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Turkey. It has an area of 26,911 square miles (69,700 km2), about that of West Virginia. Its area includes the autonomous republics of Abkhazia and Adjaria. During 1922–91 Georgia was a part of the Soviet Union.
|Facts in brief about Georgia|
|Official language: Georgian.|
|Area: 26,911 mi2 (69,700 km2). Greatest distances—north-south, 175 mi (280 km); east-west, 350 mi (565 km).|
|Elevation: Highest—Mount Shkhara, 17,163 ft (5,201 m) above sea level. Lowest—sea level along the coast.|
|Population: Current estimate—4,421,000; density, 164 per mi2 (63 per km2); distribution, 52 percent urban, 48 percent rural. 2002 census—4,371,535.|
|Chief products: Agriculture—citrus fruit, corn, grapes, silk, tea, tobacco, tung oil, wheat. Manufacturing and processing—food products. Mining—barite, coal, copper, manganese.|
|Flag: A red cross divides a white field into four quadrants. A small red cross is centered in each quadrant.|
|Money: Basic unit—lari. One hundred tetri equal one lari.|
Facts in brief about Georgia
Georgia is a mountainous country. The northern part is dominated by the Greater Caucasus, a high, rugged range. The greatest elevations here are along the Georgian-Russian border, where many peaks rise to more than 16,000 feet (4,900 m). There are several important mountain passes leading to Russia, including the Daryal and Mamison passes. The Lesser Caucasus Mountains are the main topographical feature of southern Georgia. This range is somewhat lower than the Greater Caucasus; the highest peak rises to about 10,900 feet (3,300 m). Between the two ranges lie plateaus, picturesque river valleys, and, along the Black Sea, a coastal lowland.
Georgia has several large rivers, some of which are used to generate electric power. The main rivers are the Kura and the Rioni. There are many small lakes in the Lesser Caucasus.
Georgia's climate is influenced largely by the Black Sea and the mountainous terrain. The Black Sea lowland has a Mediterranean climate. Average temperatures range from 41° F. (5° C.) in the winter to 72° F. (22° C.) in the summer. Rainfall here averages 40 to 80 inches (1,000 to 2,000 mm). The valleys and plateaus have colder winters and less precipitation. In the mountains, snow and ice are present the year round above 11,800 feet (3,600 m).
Georgia's economy is based largely on manufacturing and mining. The country is a major producer of manganese, which is mined in central Georgia, east of Kutaisi. Other mineral products include copper, iron, tungsten, molybdenum, and gold. Coal is the main mineral fuel produced.
Manufacturing developed in the 1950's. Metallurgy and the manufacture of machinery are the chief industries. Manufactured products include iron and steel, smelted copper, trucks, locomotives, agricultural machinery, chemicals, cement, clothing, and processed foods. Tbilisi and its suburbs constitute the largest manufacturing center. Other centers include Rustavi, Kutaisi, Batumi, and Sukhumi.
About a fifth of the land is farmed and about a fourth of the workforce is engaged in farming. Crops grown include tea, citrus fruits, vegetables, grains, and grapes. Wine is one of the country's chief agricultural products. Winemaking is concentrated in western Georgia.
Georgia has a well-developed road network. Rail lines link most of the larger cities. Near Tbilisi is the country's chief airport. Poti and Batumi are the main ports.
Georgia's basic currency unit is the lari.
In 1989 the population of Georgia was 5,449,000. Tbilisi, the capital and largest city, had 1,194,000 inhabitants. Other cities include Kutaisi, Batumi, Sukhumi, and Rustavi. Most of the people are Georgians, an ancient people whose language belongs to the small Caucasian language family; the rest are mainly Armenians, Russians, and Azerbaijanis. Most of the people are Orthodox Christians; some are Muslims. Tbilisi State University was founded in 1918.
Under the constitution of 1995 Georgia is a republic. The president, who is directly elected for a five-year term, is the head of state. The minister of state, who is appointed by the president, is the head of government. The legislature consists of a one-house parliament made up of 235 members. Members are directly elected for four-year terms.