Regions of Georgia

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Updates: 

The latest version of the FIPS standard is called "Geopolitical Entities and Codes", published in 2010-04. It shows Georgia divided into regions rather than districts. I've added the FIPS-related codes below.

Risto Nykänen drew my attention to an article stating that telephones in Abkhazia will be dialed internationally using the +7 access code (same as Russia) instead of Georgia's +995, effective 2010-01-01.

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter Number I-9 was published on 2007-11-28. The only change for Georgia is the insertion of some diacritical marks in subdivision names. The inserted marks are all right-leaning single quotation marks. They are part of the new Romanization system  for Georgian.

Teimuraz Abashidze wrote to the time zone mailing list that the "Government of Georgia...decided to NOT CHANGE daylight savings time [on 2005-10-30], as it was done before during last more than 10 years. Currently, we are in fact GMT +4:00.... The problem is, there is NO FORMAL LAW or governmental document about it. As far as I can find, ...there is no document, because we just DIDN'T ISSUE document about switching to winter time."

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter number I-4, dated 2002-12-10, changes the status of Tbilisi from region to city.

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter Number I-2 was published on 2002-05-21. It completely replaces the old subdivision list, consisting of two autonomous republics, thirteen cities, and 63 rayons, with a new list consisting of two autonomous republics and ten regions. This new list is the same as the one below, based on the Georgian Parliament Web page, which I posted here over a year ago. The update assigns ISO codes to the regions, which I have added to the table. The code for Tbilisi was changed from TBS to TB.

The Georgian Parliament  says that there are four levels of local and regional government in Georgia. On the top level are the two autonomous republics (Abkhazia and Adjaria). On the next level are regions, then districts, followed by village councils and district towns. Closer scrutiny reveals that the autonomous republics are subdivided into districts, not regions; and the part of Georgia which is not included in the autonomous republics has no name of its own, but is subdivided into regions. I think it's most reasonable to say that the primary divisions of Georgia are the two autonomous republics, nine regions, and one independent city (Tbilisi). The secondary divisions are the districts, and a small number of cities with district status.

South Ossetia used to be an autonomous region within Georgia. In the current administrative division of Georgia, South Ossetia corresponds to Java and Tskhinvali districts of Shida Kartli region, along with small parts of other districts in other regions. A news item dated 2005-07-10 states that Georgia is willing to consider granting an autonomous status to South Ossetia. This means little, because South Ossetia has not responded to the overture.

Abkhazia, although internationally considered part of Georgia, has been operating as an independent entity since 1993.

For a while, I listed the districts as primary divisions of Georgia. The list was based on the international standard ISO 3166-2 and the U.S. standard FIPS PUB 10-4, although I had to reconcile some significant differences between them. (See the Districts of Georgia page for more details.) But there was also evidence for a set of regions, as listed in the main table below. In 2001, I decided that the evidence was sufficient to change the table. The ISO standard followed along in 2002, and the FIPS standard in 2010. However, I don't have any documentation showing when the regions were created.

Country overview: 

Short nameGEORGIA
ISO codeGE
FIPS codeGG
LanguageGeorgian (ka)
Time zone+4
CapitalTbilisi

 

Modern Georgia corresponds to the Russian districts of Kars, Kutais, and Tiflis at the start of the 20th century. A substantial part of Kars was lost to Turkey in World War I. Georgia declared independence on 1918-05-26. Russia invaded and annexed it on 1921-02-25. It became part of the Transcaucasian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic on 1922-12-15, and remained so until the dissolution of that republic in 1936. Georgia declared its independence once again on 1991-04-09, in the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Georgien
  2. Dutch: Georgië
  3. English: Republic of Georgia (formal)
  4. Finnish: Georgia, Gruusia
  5. French: Géorgie f
  6. Georgian: Sakartvelos Respublika (formal)
  7. German: Georgien n, Grusinien
  8. Icelandic: Georgía
  9. Italian: Georgia f
  10. Norwegian: Georgia, Republikken Georgia (formal)
  11. Portuguese: Geórgia f
  12. Russian: Gruziya
  13. Russian: Грузия
  14. Spanish: Georgia
  15. Swedish: Georgien
  16. Turkish: Gürcistan, Gürcistan Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

Persians called the inhabitants "Gorj"

Primary subdivisions: 

Georgia is divided into nine regions, two avtonomiuri respublika (autonomous republics), and one k'alak'i (city).

RegionHASCISOFIPSPopulationArea(km.²)Area(mi.²)Capital
AbkhaziaGE.ABABGG021,9568834Sokhumi
AjariaGE.AJAJGG04376,0162,9001,120Batumi
GuriaGE.GUGUGG65143,3572,033785Ozurgeti
ImeretiGE.IMIMGG66699,6666,5522,530Kutaisi
KakhetiGE.KAKAGG67407,18211,3104,367Telavi
Kvemo KartliGE.KKKKGG68497,5306,5282,520Rustavi
Mtskheta-MtianetiGE.MMMMGG69125,4436,7862,620Mtskheta
Racha-Lochkhumi-Kvemo SvanetiGE.RKRLGG7050,9694,9541,913Ambrolauri
Samegrelo-Zemo SvateniGE.SZSZGG71466,1007,4422,873Zugdidi
Samtskhe-JavakhetiGE.SJSJGG72207,5986,4132,476Akhaltsikhe
Shida KartliGE.SDSKGG73314,0394,8081,856Gori
TbilisiGE.TBTBGG511,081,67924494Tbilisi
12 divisions4,371,53560,10623,207
  • Region: Abkhazia and Ajaria have the status of autonomous republic; Tbilisi is a city.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Region codes from ISO 3166-2. For full identification in a global context, prefix
    "GE-" to the code (ex: GE-TB represents Tbilisi).
  • FIPS: "Geopolitical Entities and Codes."
  • Population, area: From 2002-01-17 census report . Excludes areas not under
    central government control.

Postal codes: 

Georgia appears still to be using Soviet-era postal codes, six-digit numbers always beginning with '38'.

Further subdivisions:

See the Districts of Georgia page.

FIPS shows a division into 53 raioni (districts), 9 cities, and the two autonomous republics.

Origins of names: 

  1. Abkhazia: Georgian abkhazi: good men, or from Ancient Greek Abaskos: ethnic name
  2. South Ossetia: Southern part of Ossetia, from Georgian osi: ethnic name
  3. Tbilisi: Georgian tbili: hot, for hot springs

Change history: 

  1. 1918-03: all of present-day North and South Ossetia declared an Autonomous Soviet Republic.
  2. 1921-01: Mountain Autonomous Republic formed, containing Balkar, Chechen, Ingush, Kabard, Karachai, and Osset districts and Dagestan autonomous soviet republic.
  3. 1922-04-20: South Ossetia became part of Georgia.
  4. 1924-07: North Ossetia became an autonomous region in the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic.
  5. 1934: Name of the capital of South Ossetia changed from Tskhinvali to Staliniri.
  6. 1936-12-05: North Ossetia became an autonomous republic.
  7. 1961: Name of Staliniri changed back to Tskhinvali.
  8. 1990-12-11: Georgian Supreme Soviet passed an act changing South Ossetia Autonomous Region to an ordinary region.
  9. 1992-04: Status of South Ossetia was restored to autonomous region.
  10. 1995-08-24: Under the new constitution, name of South Ossetia was changed to Tskhinvali.

Other names of subdivisions: 

In the past, Tbilisi was often rendered into European languages as Tiflis.

  1. Abkhazia: Abkhásia (Portuguese); Abkhazian A.S.S.R., Ap'khazet'is ASSR, Sukhum, Sukhumskiy Okrug (obsolete); Abkhazie (French); Ap'khazet'is Avtonomiuri Respublika (Georgian); Apsny (Abkhaz); Республика Абхазия (Russian-formal)
  2. Adjaria: Acharis ASSR, Adzhar A.S.S.R., Batum, Batumskaya Oblast' (obsolete); Acharis Avtonomiuri Respublika (Georgian); Adjarie (French)
  3. South Ossetia: Ossétia Meridional (Portuguese); Ossétie du Sud (French); Samachablo, Samkhret' Oset'i (Georgian); Süd-Ossetien (German); Xussar Iryston (Ossetian); Южная Осетия, Юго-Осетия (Russian)
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