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Coordinates: 42°10′N 42°59′E / 42.167°N 42.983°E / 42.167; 42.983
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Overlapping borders of de jure Imereti region and de facto South Ossetia[a]
Overlapping borders of de jure Imereti region and de facto South Ossetia[a]
Country Georgia
 • GovernorZviad Shalamberidze[1] (Georgian Dream)
 • Total6,680 km2 (2,580 sq mi)
 • Total481,473
 • Density72/km2 (190/sq mi)
Gross Regional Product
 • Total 5.51 billion (2022)
 • Per capita 11,444 (2022)
ISO 3166 codeGE-IM
Districts11 districts, 1 city
HDI (2021)0.800 [4]
very high · 3rd

Imereti (Georgian: იმერეთი) is a region of Georgia situated in the central-western part of the republic along the middle and upper reaches of the Rioni River. Imereti is the most populous region in Georgia. It consists of 11 municipalities and the city of Kutaisi, which is the capital of the region.


The Imereti region has one self governing city (Kutaisi) and 11 municipalities with 163 administrative communities (temi), totalling to 549 populated settlements:

Map Municipality
City of Kutaisi
Baghdati Municipality
Vani Municipality
Zestafoni Municipality
Terjola Municipality
Samtredia Municipality
Sachkhere Municipality
Tqibuli Municipality
Chiatura Municipality
Tsqaltubo Municipality
Kharagauli Municipality
Khoni Municipality


Aside from the capital Kutaisi, significant towns and regional centres include Samtredia, Chiatura (manganese production centre), Tkibuli (coal mining centre), Zestafoni (known for metals production), Vani, Khoni, and Sachkhere. Traditionally, Imereti is an agricultural region, known for its mulberries and grapes.


The 800,000[citation needed] Imeretians speak the Imeretian dialect, one of the Northwest dialects of the Georgian language. It is itself subdivided into Upper and Lower Imeretian.[5] They are one of the local culture-groups of the ethnically subdivided Georgian people.

Demographic history of the Imereti region[6]
1959 1970 1979 1989 2002* 2002** 2014 2021
Imereti Increase 651,959 Increase 718,558 Increase 739,189 Increase 772,251 Decrease 699,410 Decrease 632,126 Decrease 533,906 Decrease 481,473
City of Kutaisi Increase 128,203 Increase 162,787 Increase 194,297 Increase 234,870 Decrease 185,965 - Decrease 147,635 Decrease 134,378
Baghdati Municipality Increase 29,560 Increase 30,973 Decrease 30,056 Decrease 29,053 Increase 29,235 - Decrease 21,582 Decrease 18,363
Chiatura Municipality Increase 64,562 Increase 72,059 Decrease 69,582 Decrease 68,501 Decrease 56,341 - Decrease 39,884 Decrease 38,231
Kharagauli Municipality Increase 36,486 Decrease 35,591 Decrease 31,948 Decrease 28,702 Decrease 27,885 - Decrease 19,473 Decrease 18,571
Khoni Municipality Increase 32,548 Increase 32,718 Increase 37,968 Decrease 34,979 Decrease 31,749 - Decrease 23,570 Decrease 21,123
Sachkhere Municipality*** Increase 38,202 Increase 45,552 Decrease 44,859 Increase 44,968 Increase 46,590 - Decrease 37,775 Decrease 34,848
Samtredia Municipality Increase 62,556 Increase 67,141 Decrease 65,400 Decrease 64,504 Decrease 60,456 - Decrease 48,562 Decrease 43,448
Terjola Municipality Increase 43,847 Increase 46,438 Decrease 44,709 Decrease 44,019 Increase 45,496 - Decrease 35,563 Decrease 31,427
Tqibuli Municipality Increase 44,411 Decrease 42,733 Decrease 39,451 Decrease 36,686 Increase 31,132 - Decrease 20,839 Decrease 17,898
Tsqaltubo Municipality Increase 62,389 Increase 67,086 Increase 69,738 Increase 75,061 Increase 73,889 - Decrease 56,883 Decrease 46,803
Vani Municipality Increase 40,999 Increase 41,505 Decrease 38,346 Decrease 35,369 Decrease 34,464 - Decrease 24,512 Decrease 21,241
Zestafoni Municipality Increase 68,196 Increase 73,975 Decrease 72,835 Increase 75,539 Increase 76,208 - Decrease 57,628 Decrease 55,142
* Research after 2014 census showed the 2002 census was inflated by 8-9 percent.[7]
**Corrected data based on retro-projection 1994–2014 in collaboration with UN[8]
*** Part of Sachkhere is outside Georgian government authority and has not been counted since 2002.


Bagrati Cathedral in Kutaisi

In ancient times, the region was a part of the Kingdom of Colchis, until it was conquered by the Kingdom of Pontus. After the Third Mithridatic War, Colchis was under loose Roman control, and unsuccessfully revolted in 69 AD under Anicetus.[9] After the collapse of Colchis, the kingdom of Lazica was established in 131 AD as a Roman vassal. Tzath I was the first Christian king of Lazica,[10] being baptized in Constantinople in 523 AD, and fighting alongside Eastern Roman emperor Justinian I in the Iberian War.[11] In 541 AD, the region became the theatre of the Lazic War between Justinian I and Sasanian Persian emperor Khosrow I.[12]

Between 750 and 985, Imereti was ruled by a dynasty of native princes, but was devastated by hostile incursions, reviving only after it became united to Georgia.[12] After the Mongol invasions of Georgia, Imereti was intermittently part of the independent Kingdom of Western Georgia, until being reunited in 1415 as the Duchy of Samokalako under the united Georgian Kingdom.[13] Since that kingdom's disintegration in the 15th century, Imereti was an independent kingdom from 1466 onwards.[14]

In the 17th–18th centuries, the kingdom of Imereti experienced frequent invasions by the Turks and paid patronage to the Ottoman Empire until 1810, when it was invaded and annexed by the Russian Empire. The last King of Imereti was Solomon II (1789–1810).

From 1918 to 1921, Imereti was part of the independent Democratic Republic of Georgia. Within the USSR, the region was part of the Transcaucasian SFSR from 1922 to 1936, and part of the Georgian SSR from 1936 to 1991. Since Georgian independence in 1991, Imereti has been a region of Georgia with Kutaisi as the regional capital.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ South Ossetia's status is disputed. It considers itself to be an independent state, but this is recognised by only a few other countries. The Georgian government and most of the world's other states consider South Ossetia de jure a part of Georgia's territory.
  2. ^ Nominal area 6,680 km², de facto controlled by Georgia 6,415 km².


  1. ^ "New Governor of Imereti Appointed".
  2. ^ "Population and Demography - Population by cities and boroughs as of 1 January". National Statistics Office of Georgia (Geostat). Retrieved 2021-11-26.
  3. ^ "Regional Gross Domestic Product" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  5. ^ Kevin Tuite (1987). The geography of Georgian q'e (PDF). 5th Conference on the Non-Slavic Languages of the USSR, Chicago. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
  6. ^ "Divisions of Georgia". Population Statistics Eastern Europe and former USSR. Retrieved 2022-02-04.
  7. ^ "Population Dynamics in Georgia - An Overview Based on the 2014 General Population Census Data" (PDF). National Statistics Office of Georgia, Geostat. 2017-11-29. pp. 1–4. Retrieved 2022-02-04.
  8. ^ "Retro-projection of main demographic indicators for the period 1994-2014". National Statistics Office of Georgia, Geostat. 2018-05-18. pp. 3, Table 1. Retrieved 2022-02-04.
  9. ^ Woods, David (2006). "Tacitus, Nero, and the 'Pirate' Anicetus" in Latomus 65(3)
  10. ^ Odisheli 2018, p. 1541.
  11. ^ Greatrex & Lieu 2002, p. 82.
  12. ^ a b  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Imeretia". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 14 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 331.
  13. ^ Brosset, Marie-Félicité (1849). Histoire de la Géorgie, depuis l'Antiquité jusqu'au XIXe siècle - 1re partie. St. Petersburg: Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences.
  14. ^ Brosset, Marie-Félicité (1856). Histoire de la Géorgie depuis l'Antiquité jusqu'au XIXe siècle - IIe partie: Histoire moderne. Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences.


External links[edit]

42°10′N 42°59′E / 42.167°N 42.983°E / 42.167; 42.983