Some Demographic Trends in Borderline Regions of East Caucasus Mountains (Georgia)
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It is known that demographic trends in Georgia has been drastically changing in recent decades. Particular attention is drawn to the mountainous regions. Borderline regions of east Caucasus Mountains (Khevi, Khevsureti and Tusheti) are facing many demographic challenges that are developed by the various environmental, social and economic circumstances such as complicated terrain, climate, migration, low birth rate, unemployment, insufficient communication. The purpose of the study is to process and analyze the statistical data of the census materials (1989, 2002, 2014) available in the study area (in the border regions of Eastern Georgia - Khevi, Khevsureti, Tusheti); Identifying existing some demographic trends based on these materials; Identifying the causes of negative demographic processes; Develop recommendations to address the demographic problems identified in the study; The study area includes 148 settlements of present day Stepantsminda, Dusheti and Akhmeta municipalities. National Statistics Office of Georgia (GEOSTAT) is the main source of the statistical data (three national censuses: 1989, 2002, 2014) used in the paper. In addition, the outcomes of the field works conducted in 2015 were also used. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was used for spatial and temporal analyses of the demographic changes and future trends. The dramatic demographic trends were observed in the study area. This investigation has demonstrated that the situation between these three regions is clearly different from each other. In spite of relatively similar environment, the comparatively better demographic situation is in Khevi, which could be explained by the fact that the Military Road of Georgia goes through here. The results include the similarities as well as differences among the study regions. We summarized these patterns in the paper below. This framework can be used to evaluate demographic trends in the borderline regions of east Caucasus Mountains and answer above mentioned questions.