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Significantly more boys than girls have been born in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia since 1995 as a result of a societal preference for boys, a desire for smaller households and improved pre-natal technology. In the mid-term, this may lead to higher consumer spending, as men have higher incomes than women.
However, with women’s longer life expectancy, the sex imbalance shifts, with older, female-only households often affected by poverty.
Fertility rates (children born per female) dropped in all three countries after the collapse of the Soviet Union as the socio-economic situation deteriorated:
Since abortion laws in the Caucasus are some of the most liberal in the world, it is believed that induced abortions are used to control the sex of the child, especially in second or third births. This trend is not present in other post-Soviet countries.
Sex imbalances will affect consumer spending patterns and companies who want to target different age groups.
Source: Euromonitor International from national statistics/UN.
Men earn more than women so the sex imbalance will affect consumer spending as well as overall demographics;
Source: Euromonitor from trade sources/national statisticsNote: Economic activity rate is calculated as a share of economically active population aged 15-64 in total population aged 15-64. Armenia’s rate is based on 2007 figures – latest available.
The sex imbalance will contribute to a decline in birth rates and population. This will create pressure on the labour force and threaten economic growth. Ageing will also be more visible, putting a strain on public spending. For example, the 65+ share of the population will increase between 2005 and 2020 from 4.3% to 16.0% in Georgia.