After independence from the Soviet Union, Georgia started experiencing a significant rise in the number of boys born compared with the number of girls, the sex ratio at birth. As of 2004, Georgia had one of the highest sex ratios at birth rates in the world, but by 2016 the ratio was at the biologically normal level. The country’s unique position provides valuable knowledge and experience. This country profile offers an updated review of how the practice of son preference and gender-biased sex selection has been evolving in Georgia and explores different aspects influencing the sex ratio at birth behavior. It identifies the root causes, determinants, and consequences of the practice of son preference and gender-biased sex selection, as well as policy measures are taken to eliminate this harmful practice and its root cause, which is gender inequality and the discrimination of girls.
It is difficult and too early to conclusively state that the transition period is over and that Georgia is back to normal sex ratio at birth levels. The skewed sex ratio at birth towards boys still remains at a high level for third-order births, as most of the couples are reluctant to have more than three children, and giving birth to a third child is the last chance for families to have a boy. Furthermore, the sex ratio at birth is skewed among people with low economic income, in rural populations, and among ethnic minorities, as these groups are the least affected by the factors decreasing demand for gender-biased sex selection.