Facts about Azerbaijan

World Facts Index

AzerbaijanAzerbaijan - 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.

Geography of Azerbaijan

Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range
40 30 N, 47 30 E
total: 86,600 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
water: 500 sq km
land: 86,100 sq km
Area comparative:
slightly smaller than Maine
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
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

More Geography

Population of Azerbaijan

8,177,717 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 24.6% (male 1,061,318/female 947,607)
15-64 years: 68.6% (male 2,753,277/female 2,855,406)
65 years and over: 6.8% (male 208,293/female 351,816)
Median age:
27.9 years
Growth rate:
0.52% (2004 est.), 0.66% (2006 est.), 0.723% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
19.81 births/1,000
Death rate:
9.76 deaths/1,000
Net migration rate:
-4.9 migrant(s)/1,000
Infant mortality:
56.43 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 66.31 years
male: 62.2 years
female: 71 years
Total fertility rate:
2.46 children born/woman
noun: Azerbaijani(s)
adjective: Azerbaijani
Ethnic groups:
Azeri 90.6%, Dagestani 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%, other 3.9%
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%
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%
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.8%
male: 99.5%
female: 98.2%


Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Azerbaijan
former: Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic
local long form: Azarbaycan Respublikasi
Government type:
Baku (Baki)
Administrative divisions:
59 rayons (rayonlar; rayon - singular), 11 cities* (saharlar; sahar - singular), 1 autonomous republic** (muxtar respublika)
30 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday:
Founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaidzhan, 28 May (1918)
adopted 12 November 1995
Legal system:
based on civil law system
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Ilham ALIYEV (since 31 October 2003)
head of government: Prime Minister Artur RASIZADE (since 4 November 2003); First Deputy Prime Minister Yaqub EYYUBOV (since June 2006)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly
elections: president elected by popular vote to a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 15 October 2003 (next to be held in October 2008); prime minister and first deputy prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Milli Mejlis (125 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Sadval, Lezgin movement; self-proclaimed Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh Republic; Talysh independence movement; Union of Pro-Azerbaijani Forces (UPAF)


Azerbaijan's high economic growth in 2006 and 2007 is attributable to large and growing oil exports. 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 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 began 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. 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, pervasive corruption, and elevated inflation. 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 oil and gas pipelines in the region, and Azerbaijan's ability to manage its energy wealth.

$64.66 billion (2007 est.)
GDP growth rate:
9.9% (2003 est.), 26.4% (2005 est.), 23.4% (2007 est.)
GDP per capita:
$4,800 (2005 est.), $8,000 (2007 est.)
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: 6.2%
industry: 63.3%
services: 30.5%
Population below poverty line:
49% (2002 est.), 24% (2005 est.)
Inflation rate:
2.9% (2003 est.), 9.6% (2005 est.), 16.7% (2007 est.)
Labor force:
3.7 million (2001), 5.45 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture and forestry 41%, industry 7%, services 52% (2001)
16% (official rate is 1.2%)
revenues: $6.755 billion
expenditures: $8.572 billion
petroleum and natural gas, petroleum products, oilfield equipment; steel, iron ore, cement; chemicals and petrochemicals; textiles
Electricity production by source:
fossil fuel: 89.7%
hydro: 10.3%
nuclear: 0%
cotton, grain, rice, grapes, fruit, vegetables, tea, tobacco; cattle, pigs, sheep, goats
oil and gas 90%, machinery, cotton, foodstuffs
Export partners:
Italy 25.2%, France 15.4%, US 13.1%, Germany 10.2%, Czech Republic 6.9%, UK 4.2% (2007)
machinery and equipment, oil products, foodstuffs, metals, chemicals
Import partners:
Russia 17.7%, Turkey 14.7%, Germany 8.5%, UK 6.7%, China 6.7%, Turkmenistan 5.8%, Ukraine 5% (2007)
Debt - external:
$1.873 billion
Azerbaijani manat (AZM)

SOURCES: The CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State, Area Handbook of the US Library of Congress

Copyright 2004 - 2008 worldfacts.us