Tbilisi is among the fastest growing Eastern European cities, with real GDP growth of 31% over 2011-2016. In 2016, the city had 1.4 million inhabitants, and accounted for almost two thirds of Georgia's total GDP. Consumer expenditure growth (+42%) was the main component behind booming commercial real estate market in Tbilisi over 2011-2016). The capital city has been receiving huge flows of international investment into the hospitality and tourism markets.
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Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is the powerhouse of the country's economy, and serves as its primary industrial, commercial and cultural centre. Mainly due to the positive impact of a developed, progressive infrastructure and a highly educated labour force (45% of residents aged 15+ have higher education in Tbilisi), labour productivity in the city was more than five times higher than in the rest of the country in 2016.
Despite its significant labour productivity advantage, Tbilisi recorded only 29% higher disposable income per household than elsewhere in the country as of 2016. A lower employment rate in the capital (43% versus 88% in the rest of Georgia in 2016) offsets the positive labour productivity impact on household earnings.
Consumer expenditure per household (excluding transport and housing) was 22% higher in Tbilisi than in the rest of the country in 2016. However, compared to other major Eastern European cities, a particularly large share of consumer spending in Tbilisi goes on food and non-alcoholic beverages (28% in 2016), indicating the poor standard of living in the city.
Compared to other regions of Georgia, Tbilisi is a rather expensive city to live in. Combined expenditure on transport and housing per household was 36% higher in the city than in the rest of the country in 2016.