Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gender | How Does the South Caucasus Compare?

CRRC’s report “How Does the South Caucasus Compare?” aims to put attitudes towards gender in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, the three countries of the South Caucasus region, into a global context. Comparing data from the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project 2010 with that of the CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer (CB), the report shows that on several crucial questions of gender equality, there are significant cleavages between the South Caucasus neighbors.

To read how Caucasian gender attitudes compare, click here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fancy Living Abroad? 39% of Young Armenians Say "Preferably Forever"

Last year, Ani Navasardyan asked, “Why do so many Armenians leave Armenia?” Migration is also an issue in Georgia and Azerbaijan. Data from the CB 2010 reveals that around half of the respondents in Georgia (47%) and Azerbaijan (52%) are interested in temporary migration. Still, Armenia stands out since 64% of the adult population is open to the idea of temporarily leaving the country.

With regard to permanent migration, only 7% of Georgians are interested in leaving the country, compared to 17% of Azerbaijanis and 29% of Armenians who say that they would be interested in leaving their country for good.

The analysis by age group shows that younger people in all 3 countries prefer to migrate temporarily. Three out of four young Armenians (77%) between the ages of 18 to 35 are interested in going abroad temporarily. Equally striking, in its own way, is that many people 56 years and older would leave (38%). In Azerbaijan and Georgia too, interest in temporary migration declines with age. Interestingly, young and middle aged Georgians show a similar interest in temporary migration with affirmation rates of 58% and 52%, respectively.

When looking at the interest in permanent migration by age category, there is also a trend where younger people have more of a desire permanently migrate abroad. Georgia has the lowest percentage of young people (9%) who are interested in permanent migration. There are more than twice as many young Azerbaijanis (24%) who would leave permanently, and more than four times as many young Armenians (39%).

If you are interested in slicing CRRC's data on migration by gender, settlement type, income, knowledge of English or other aspects, we welcome you to analyze our data online.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Armenian attitudes towards opening the border with Turkey

During the 20th anniversary of Armenian independence from the Soviet Union on September 21, 2011, the Armenian news service Hetq reported that the organizers of celebratory events were delivering commemorative T-shirts made in Turkey – which has had closed borders with Armenia since 1993. Despite the fact that trade between Armenia and Turkey flourishes via Georgia, the border between the two countries remains closed. What does the population of Armenia actually think about opening the border with Turkey?

While a majority of Armenians do not support opening the border with Turkey without preconditions and think that opening the border may be harmful for both Armenia’s internal political processes and national security, a large proportion of the Armenian population thinks that opening the border will be beneficial for the Armenian economy.

Data from the 2010 Caucasus Barometer shows that 50% of Armenians do not support the Armenian government opening the border with Turkey without preconditions, while 34% support this action.

In addition, there is a significant difference in opinions on how opening the border with Turkey will affect internal political processes and national security in Armenia. 44% of Armenians think it may be harmful for internal political processes in Armenia, while only 12% see opening the border as beneficial. Moreover, more than half (58%) of the adult Armenian population thinks that opening the borders will have a harmful effect on Armenian national security, in contrast to only 7% who think this will be beneficial.

Unlike internal political processes and national security, 49% of Armenians think that opening the borders with Turkey will be beneficial for Armenian economy. This is 17% more than those who claim opening the border will be harmful.

Similarly, 45% of Armenians approve doing business with Turks (CB 2010). Thus, while there is still a perception of potential threat from Turkey for the internal political processes and national security of Armenia, economic expectations raise the amount support for opening the border between Armenia and Turkey.

For more information, check out the CB 2010 dataset for Armenia which is available online.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Class in the Caucasus | Article by Ken Roberts and Gary Pollock

Using data from the Caucasus Barometer, Ken Roberts and Gary Pollock argue that "in economic and socio-political terms there are as yet just two real classes among actual and potential employees in the South Caucasus – middle classes and lower classes – and that although these classes differ in their standards of living and political dispositions, these are unlikely to become bases for conflict between them."

Interested in more detail? Check the abstract online.

Migration from the South Caucasus

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the “Iron Curtain” opened new prospects for migration for people in the South Caucasus. Comparing data from all three countries in the region shows a tendency that Armenians have a greater interest in both temporary and permanent emigration than Azerbaijanis and Georgians. The blog covers different aspects which may influence the emigration. These are: number of trips abroad, education level, unemployment, average monthly income, family members and close friends currently residing abroad.

According to the 2010 Caucasus Barometer (CB), 64% of Armenians would leave Armenia for a certain period (i.e. temporarily), while fewer Azerbaijanis (52%) and Georgians (47%) would do the same. CRRC data also shows that Armenians are more willing to permanently leave their country (29%), than the Azerbaijanis (17%) and Georgians (7%).

Interestingly, ethnic Armenians within Georgia alone are also more likely to permanently emigrate from the country than the other internal ethnic groups. 42% of the ethnic Armenian population in Georgia reported the desire to leave Georgia forever compared to 7% of ethnic Azerbaijanis and 6% of ethnic Georgians within the country.

Additionally, there is a pattern in which people who have travelled abroad are more inclined to emigrate in all three countries. Nearly eight-in-ten Azerbaijanis (78%) who have once travelled abroad would temporarily leave the country followed by 71% who travelled abroad twice or more and 48% for those who have never travelled abroad. Similarly, 71% Armenians who have been at least once abroad are more interested in temporary migration than their compatriots who have never travelled (48%) outside Armenia. Again, Georgians favor temporary migration the least, but still follow the same pattern in which those who reported at least one trip outside Georgia are more interested to emigrate temporarily than the Georgians who have never been abroad.

Apart from number of trips abroad, education level influences the desire for temporary migration. In all three countries, people with higher education are more interested in temporary emigration. Specifically, this figure is 68% in Armenia, 63% in Azerbaijan and 56% in Georgia. There is no difference in results between people with secondary or technical and lower than secondary education; however, there is a trend in which Armenians with secondary and lower than secondary education (62% and 61%) are more willing to leave Armenia compared to Azerbaijanis (54% and 48%) and Georgians (43% and 42%).

In addition, the fact that unemployment is considered to be most important issue in Georgia (52%) and Armenia (46%), as well as low incomes in both countries, may be some of some of the reasons why people may want to emigrate from the South Caucasus. According to 2010 CB, 47% of Armenians reported that number of available jobs decreased within the past year. This figure is 44% in Azerbaijan and 41% in Georgia. Additionally, according to state statistical agencies in the three countries, the average monthly nominal salary in Armenia in 2010 was equivalent to $292 while it was $335 in Georgia (2009) and $421 in Azerbaijan (2010).

There are also a variety of other political and social issues that may influence the desire to emigrate. For example, more Armenians have family members (63%) or friends (47%) currently living abroad, compared to 41% of Azerbaijanis 41% of Georgians who say the same for family members and 30% of Azerbaijanis and 21% of Georgians who say the same for friends.

There are various reasons why people want to emigrate from the South Caucasus. Despite similar patterns there is a tendency that Armenians are more interested in emigration than the Azerbaijanis and Georgians.