Flag of Azerbaijan

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Azerbaijan - a nation with a Turkic and majority-Muslim population - was briefly independent from 1918 to 1920; it regained its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Despite a 1994 cease-fire, Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict with Armenia over the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh enclave (largely Armenian populated). Azerbaijan has lost 16% of its territory and must support some 528,000 internally displaced persons as a result of the conflict. Corruption is ubiquitous, and the promise of widespread wealth from Azerbaijan's undeveloped petroleum resources remains largely unfulfilled.


Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range

Geographic coordinates:

40 30 N, 47 30 E


total: 86,600 sq km
land: 86,100 sq km
water: 500 sq km
note: includes the exclave of Naxcivan Autonomous Republic and the Nagorno-Karabakh region; the region's autonomy was abolished by Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet on 26 November 1991

Land boundaries:

total: 2,013 km
border countries: Armenia (with Azerbaijan-proper) 566 km, Armenia (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 221 km, Georgia 322 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-proper) 432 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 179 km, Russia 284 km, Turkey 9 km


0 km (landlocked); note - Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea (800 km est.)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


dry, semiarid steppe


large, flat Kur-Araz Ovaligi (Kura-Araks Lowland) (much of it below sea level) with Great Caucasus Mountains to the north, Qarabag Yaylasi (Karabakh Upland) in west; Baku lies on Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) that juts into Caspian Sea

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
highest point: Bazarduzu Dagi 4,485 m

Natural resources:

petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, alumina

Land use:

arable land: 20.62%
permanent crops: 2.61%
other: 76.77% (2005)

Irrigated land:

14,550 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards:


Environment - current issues:

local scientists consider the Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) (including Baku and Sumqayit) and the Caspian Sea to be the ecologically most devastated area in the world because of severe air, soil, and water pollution; soil pollution results from oil spills, from the use of DDT as a pesticide, and from toxic defoliants used in the production of cotton

Geography - note:

both the main area of the country and the Naxcivan exclave are landlocked


7,961,619 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 25.8% (male 1,046,501/female 1,011,492)
15-64 years: 66.3% (male 2,573,134/female 2,706,275)
65 years and over: 7.8% (male 246,556/female 377,661) (2006 est.)

Median age:

total: 27.7 years
male: 26.3 years
female: 29.2 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.66% (2006 est.)

Birth rate:

20.74 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate:

9.75 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate:

-4.38 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.65 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 79 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 81.08 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 76.81 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 63.85 years
male: 59.78 years
female: 68.13 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.46 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.1% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people with HIV/AIDS:

1,400 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

less than 100 (2001 est.)


noun: Azerbaijani(s), Azeri(s)
adjective: Azerbaijani, Azeri

Ethnic groups:

Azeri 90.6%, Dagestani 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%, other 3.9% (1999 census)
note: almost all Armenians live in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region


Muslim 93.4%, Russian Orthodox 2.5%, Armenian Orthodox 2.3%, other 1.8% (1995 est.)
note: religious affiliation is still nominal in Azerbaijan; percentages for actual practicing adherents are much lower


Azerbaijani (Azeri) 89%, Russian 3%, Armenian 2%, other 6% (1995 est.)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.8%
male: 99.5%
female: 98.2% (2003 est.)

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Azerbaijan
conventional short form: Azerbaijan
local long form: Azarbaycan Respublikasi
local short form: none
former: Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type:



Baku (Baki)

Administrative divisions:

59 rayons (rayonlar; rayon - singular), 11 cities (saharlar; sahar - singular), 1 autonomous republic (muxtar respublika)
rayons: Abseron Rayonu, Agcabadi Rayonu, Agdam Rayonu, Agdas Rayonu, Agstafa Rayonu, Agsu Rayonu, Astara Rayonu, Balakan Rayonu, Barda Rayonu, Beylaqan Rayonu, Bilasuvar Rayonu, Cabrayil Rayonu, Calilabad Rayonu, Daskasan Rayonu, Davaci Rayonu, Fuzuli Rayonu, Gadabay Rayonu, Goranboy Rayonu, Goycay Rayonu, Haciqabul Rayonu, Imisli Rayonu, Ismayilli Rayonu, Kalbacar Rayonu, Kurdamir Rayonu, Lacin Rayonu, Lankaran Rayonu, Lerik Rayonu, Masalli Rayonu, Neftcala Rayonu, Oguz Rayonu, Qabala Rayonu, Qax Rayonu, Qazax Rayonu, Qobustan Rayonu, Quba Rayonu, Qubadli Rayonu, Qusar Rayonu, Saatli Rayonu, Sabirabad Rayonu, Saki Rayonu, Salyan Rayonu, Samaxi Rayonu, Samkir Rayonu, Samux Rayonu, Siyazan Rayonu, Susa Rayonu, Tartar Rayonu, Tovuz Rayonu, Ucar Rayonu, Xacmaz Rayonu, Xanlar Rayonu, Xizi Rayonu, Xocali Rayonu, Xocavand Rayonu, Yardimli Rayonu, Yevlax Rayonu, Zangilan Rayonu, Zaqatala Rayonu, Zardab Rayonu
cities: Ali Bayramli Sahari, Baki Sahari, Ganca Sahari, Lankaran Sahari, Mingacevir Sahari, Naftalan Sahari, Saki Sahari, Sumqayit Sahari, Susa Sahari, Xankandi Sahari, Yevlax Sahari
autonomous republic: Naxcivan Muxtar Respublikasi


30 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday:

Founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, 28 May (1918)


adopted 12 November 1995

Legal system:

based on civil law system


18 years of age; universal

Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly or Milli Mejlis (125 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 6 November 2005 (next to be held in November 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Yeni 58, Azadliq coalition 8, CSP 2, YES 2, Motherland 2, other parties with single seats 7, independents 42, undetermined 4

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court

Economy - overview:

Azerbaijan's number one export is oil. Azerbaijan's oil production declined through 1997, but has registered an increase every year since. Negotiation of production-sharing arrangements (PSAs) with foreign firms, which have thus far committed $60 billion to long-term oilfield development, should generate the funds needed to spur future industrial development. Oil production under the first of these PSAs, with the Azerbaijan International Operating Company, began in November 1997. A consortium of Western oil companies is scheduled to begin pumping 1 million barrels a day from a large offshore field in early 2006, through a $4 billion pipeline it built from Baku to Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. Economists estimate that by 2010 revenues from this project will double the country's current GDP. Azerbaijan shares all the formidable problems of the former Soviet republics in making the transition from a command to a market economy, but its considerable energy resources brighten its long-term prospects. Baku has only recently begun making progress on economic reform, and old economic ties and structures are slowly being replaced. Several other obstacles impede Azerbaijan's economic progress: the need for stepped up foreign investment in the non-energy sector, the continuing conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, and the pervasive corruption. Trade with Russia and the other former Soviet republics is declining in importance while trade is building with Turkey and the nations of Europe. Long-term prospects will depend on world oil prices, the location of new pipelines in the region, and Azerbaijan's ability to manage its oil wealth.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$37.03 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$10.67 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

19.7% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$4,700 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 14.1%
industry: 45.7%
services: 40.2% (2002 est.)

Labour force:

5.45 million (2005 est.)

Labour force - by occupation:

agriculture: 41%
industry: 7%
services: 52% (2001)

Unemployment rate:

1.2% official rate (2005 est.)

Population below poverty line:

49% (2002 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 27.8% (1995)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

36.5 (2001)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

12% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):

57.4% of GDP (2005 est.)


revenues: $3.18 billion
expenditures: $2.986 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Public debt:

13.9% of GDP (2005 est.)

Agriculture - products:

cotton, grain, rice, grapes, fruit, vegetables, tea, tobacco; cattle, pigs, sheep, goats


petroleum and natural gas, petroleum products, oilfield equipment; steel, iron ore; cement; chemicals and petrochemicals; textiles

Industrial production growth rate:

25% (2005 est.)

Electricity - production:

20 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - consumption:

20.25 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - exports:

700 million kWh (2003)

Electricity - imports:

2.35 billion kWh (2003)

Oil - production:

477,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - consumption:

123,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:

589 million bbl (1 January 2002)

Natural gas - production:

5.13 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:

9.2 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - imports:

1 billion cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:

849.5 billion cu m (1 January 2002)

Current account balance:

-$1.53 billion (2005 est.)


$6.117 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports - commodities:

oil and gas 90%, machinery, cotton, foodstuffs

Exports - partners:

Italy 26.6%, Czech Republic 11.9%, Germany 8.1%, Indonesia 6.4%, Romania 6.2%, Georgia 6%, Russia 5.3%, Turkey 5.2%, France 4.1% (2004)


$4.656 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, oil products, foodstuffs, metals, chemicals

Imports - partners:

Russia 16.1%, UK 12.5%, Turkey 10.5%, Germany 7.8%, Ukraine 5.6%, Netherlands 4.9%, US 4.1%, Italy 4% (2004)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$1.2 billion (2005 est.)

Debt - external:

$2.253 billion (2005 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:

ODA, $140 million (2000 est.)

Currency (code):

Azerbaijani manat (AZM)

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Telephones - main lines in use:

1,025,400 (2004)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

1,456,500 (2004)

Telephone system:

general assessment: inadequate; requires considerable expansion and modernization; teledensity of 10 main lines per 100 persons is low (2002)
domestic: the majority of telephones are in Baku and other industrial centers - about 700 villages still without public telephone service; satellite service connects Baku to a modern switch in its exclave of Naxcivan
international: country code - 994; the old Soviet system of cable and microwave is still serviceable; satellite earth stations - 2 (2005)

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 10, FM 17, shortwave 1 (1998)

Television broadcast stations:

2 (1997)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

460 (2005)

Internet users:

408,000 (2005)


45 (2005)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 27
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (2005)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 18
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 15 (2005)


2 (2005)


gas 4,451 km; oil 1,518 km (2004)


total: 2,957 km
broad gauge: 2,957 km 1.520-m gauge (1,278 km electrified) (2004)


total: 27,016 km
paved: 12,698 km (including 128 km of expressways)
unpaved: 14,318 km (2003)

Merchant marine:

total: 84 ships (1000 GRT or over) 405,395 GRT/437,088 DWT
by type: cargo 26, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 8, petroleum tanker 43, roll on/roll off 2, specialized tanker 3
registered in other countries: 4 (Georgia 2, Malta 2) (2005)

Ports and terminals:

Baku (Baki)

Military branches:

Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces

Disputes - international:

Armenia supports ethnic Armenian secessionists in Nagorno-Karabakh and since the early 1990s has militarily occupied 16% of Azerbaijan; over 800,000 mostly ethnic Azerbaijanis were driven from the occupied lands and Armenia; about 230,000 ethnic Armenians were driven from their homes in Azerbaijan into Armenia; Azerbaijan seeks transit route through Armenia to connect to Naxcivan exclave; Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) continues to mediate dispute; Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia ratify Caspian seabed delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on an even one-fifth allocation and challenges Azerbaijan's hydrocarbon exploration in disputed waters; bilateral talks continue with Turkmenistan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian; Azerbaijan and Georgia continue to discuss the alignment of their boundary at certain crossing areas

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 8,367 (Russia)
IDPs: 528,000 (conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh) (2005)

Illicit drugs:

limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption; small government eradication program; transit point for Southwest Asian opiates bound for Russia and to a lesser extent the rest of Europe