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Who do Georgian women bear children for?2010-06-30 17:57
One surely feels happy for Georgia with its increasing amount of newborn babies. Demographic summaries are resent, reread and copied with enthusiasm. 25 thousand babies were born in the country in the period from January to May. That is the same pace at which Georgian women kept delivered of their children last year. Does not the fact speak of the government's economic success? That would be good, indeed. But the birth rate grows simultaneously with the rate of emigration. Will these children want to stay in their native country?
The religious of Georgia attribute the birth rate growth to the magic worked by Patriarch Ilia the Second. It has been three years already that he baptizes Georgian babies from large families. There was the twelfth mass christening 10 days ago. In aggregate, Ilia has already got over five thousand godchildren.
This baby boom has got a more prosaic explanation, though. The current birth rate growth throughout the entire post-Soviet space is the last "greeting" of the former USSR. The babies of the 1988-91 perestroika epoch have entered the child-bearing age; they were born by mothers who strongly believed in an apartment for each Soviet family and a happy future awaiting them.
It is a custom in Georgia to marry early, so the generation of the end of the 80s started giving birth two years earlier than in Russia. The baby boom was first mentioned at the end of 2008. It seemed surprising that so many children were born in the country that survived a war with South Ossetia. The point is that those children were conceived long before the August events. Thus, only at the end of 2009 was it possible to judge whether the economical crisis and military actions affected the birth rate.
Eventually, the statistics department provided reassuring information: the birth rate in Georgia increased by 12 percent compared to 2008 and amounted to 63 377. This is the highest figure after 1992-1993.
The data received after the first months of 2010 confirm this tendency. By May, 25 133 new citizens were born in Georgia, while a year and a half ago the experts were sounding an alarm about the demographic catastrophe, the ageing of the nation and the extinction of Georgians. Chairman of Public Geography Department Georgiy Gogsadze also paid attention to the fact that there were no resources left to increase the birthrate level, so long as the young were emigrating and the number of aborts had grown up to 22 thousand per year.