The geographical location of the region
Guria is located in the southwestern part of Georgia, mainly in the Kolkheti Lowlands. Guria is bordered by the Black Sea to the west, the Adjara-Guria Ridge, the Choloki River and the Autonomous Republic of Adjara – to the south, Imereti to the north and Samegrelo to the north-west. Guria has an area of 2,033 km2, which is 2.9% of the country’s territory. Guria has a population of 139,800 inhabitants, which accounts for 3.1% of the total population of Georgia. There are 189 populated areas in the region, including 2 cities, 5 small towns and 182 villages. 26.4% of the region’s population lives in towns and cities, while 73.6% in rural areas. The population density is 69 people per 1 km2. The highland settlements include a dozen villages in the Ozurgeti and Chokhatauri Municipalities. 96% of Guria's population are ethnic Georgians. The Guria region is made up of three self-governing units: Lanchkhuti Municipality, Ozurgeti Municipality and Chokhatauri Municipality. At the regional level, the executive power is exercised by the governor as a state representative, with the city of Ozurgeti as the administration centre. Ozurgeti is located 325 km away from the capital of Georgia. The region’s seaside location, proximity to the Poti Sea Port and the free industrial zone, as well as to Kutaisi Airport and Batumi Airport, fosters its economic and social development. In terms of natural conditions, the Guria region is divided into two parts: plains and mountains. The plains have a humid subtropical climate. In the plains of Guria, summers are moderately hot and winters moderately cool. The mountain climate has the advantage of clean air. A distinctive feature of the mountain climate is its unique healing properties due to the combined effect of sea and mountain air. In the mountains, summers are moderately warm and winters moderately cold.
The region is affected by adverse demographic and social trends. The region has a negative migration and birth rate. The region is experiencing both low fertility rates and high outward migration.
According to official data, Guria’s population is 139,800 people. The region is experiencing an adverse demographic change due to the inward and outward migration. Migration processes are primarily triggered by difficult social conditions, poor social infrastructure and unfavourable employment prospects. The working population is moving to large cities in Georgia and travelling abroad in search of work.
In 2012, the birth rate for the region was -2.8% (-388 people). The main reason for the negative population growth is the out-migration of young people from the region and the changing age structure of the population.