Recent marital trends in Georgia

Tamar Shinjiashvili, Institute of Demography and Sociology

Substantial changes in nuptiality have been observed in Georgia in the last 15 years. The transition to market economy has an enormous impact on the demographic behavior of the population. Georgia is leaving the traditional marriage pattern for a new one. Two-three decades later than the western European countries, Georgia is entering the Second Demographic Transition. Today there is a high spread of the European style of marriage taking place in Georgia. Contemporary type of marriage in Georgia is characterized by late marriages, decrease of the number of marriages, spread of cohabitation, low fertility, increase of extra marital births. Marital structure of the population has changed greatly. The number of marriages has decreased considerably. The difficult economic situation begun in 1990s has caused a certain delay of marriages. The main priority of young people is not the creation of the family, but the development of the economic basis. More and more people enter marriage at later ages, compared to the years before. The mean age at marriage is increasing constantly. This means that marriage “gets old”. In Georgia decrease of number of officially registered marriages are compensated by non-registered relations. Since 1990s marriage forms have been changing in Georgia, especially in recent years and among young people. It will be shown what forms of marriage Georgian youth prefer according the results of the demo-sociological research. It will be also shown the role of the migration processes in the transformation of a marriage pattern in Georgia. The paper will present the analysis of the family and marriage institution changes, whereas focusing on positive and negative consequences of family transformation. The research is mainly based on different quantitative and qualitative resources, including statistical yearbooks and surveys, the First National Population Census of Georgia 2002 and demo-sociological research held in January-February, 2006 by the author of this paper.

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Presented in Poster Session 1