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Flag of Azerbaijan
Map of Azerbaijan
Introduction Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan - a nation with a Turkic and majority-Muslim population - 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 800,000 refugees and 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 Azerbaijan
Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia
Geographic coordinates:
40 30 N, 47 30 E
Map references:
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
Land use:
arable land: 19.31%
permanent crops: 3.04%
other: 77.65% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
14,550 sq km (1998 est.)
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
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
both the main area of the country and the Naxcivan exclave are landlocked
People Azerbaijan
7,798,497 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 28.3% (male 1,122,340; female 1,082,355)
15-64 years: 64.3% (male 2,441,830; female 2,577,109)
65 years and over: 7.4% (male 228,735; female 346,128) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.38% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
18.84 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
9.61 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
-5.41 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 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: 0.66 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
82.74 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 63.06 years
female: 67.53 years (2002 est.)
male: 58.8 years
Total fertility rate:
2.29 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.01% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
less than 500 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 100 (1999 est.)
noun: Azerbaijani(s)
adjective: Azerbaijani
Ethnic groups:
Azeri 90%, Dagestani 3.2%, Russian 2.5%, Armenian 2%, other 2.3% (1998 est.)
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: 97%
male: 99%
female: 96% (1989 est.)
Government Azerbaijan
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Azerbaijan
conventional short form: Azerbaijan
local short form: none
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); Abseron Rayonu, Agcabadi Rayonu, Agdam Rayonu, Agdas Rayonu, Agstafa Rayonu, Agsu Rayonu, Ali Bayramli Sahari*, Astara Rayonu, Baki Sahari*, Balakan Rayonu, Barda Rayonu, Beylaqan Rayonu, Bilasuvar Rayonu, Cabrayil Rayonu, Calilabad Rayonu, Daskasan Rayonu, Davaci Rayonu, Fuzuli Rayonu, Gadabay Rayonu, Ganca Sahari*, Goranboy Rayonu, Goycay Rayonu, Haciqabul Rayonu, Imisli Rayonu, Ismayilli Rayonu, Kalbacar Rayonu, Kurdamir Rayonu, Lacin Rayonu, Lankaran Rayonu, Lankaran Sahari*, Lerik Rayonu, Masalli Rayonu, Mingacevir Sahari*, Naftalan Sahari*, Naxcivan Muxtar Respublikasi**, Neftcala Rayonu, Oguz Rayonu, Qabala Rayonu, Qax Rayonu, Qazax Rayonu, Qobustan Rayonu, Quba Rayonu, Qubadli Rayonu, Qusar Rayonu, Saatli Rayonu, Sabirabad Rayonu, Saki Rayonu, Saki Sahari*, Salyan Rayonu, Samaxi Rayonu, Samkir Rayonu, Samux Rayonu, Siyazan Rayonu, Sumqayit Sahari*, Susa Rayonu, Susa Sahari*, Tartar Rayonu, Tovuz Rayonu, Ucar Rayonu, Xacmaz Rayonu, Xankandi Sahari*, Xanlar Rayonu, Xizi Rayonu, Xocali Rayonu, Xocavand Rayonu, Yardimli Rayonu, Yevlax Rayonu, Yevlax Sahari*, Zangilan Rayonu, Zaqatala Rayonu, Zardab Rayonu
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 Heydar ALIYEV (since 18 June 1993)
head of government: Prime Minister Artur RASIZADE (since 26 November 1996)
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; election last held 11 October 1998 (next to be held NA October 2003); prime minister and first deputy prime ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly
election results: Heydar ALIYEV reelected president; percent of vote - Heydar ALIYEV 77.6%, Etibar MAMEDOV 11.8%, Nizami SULEYMANOV 8.2%
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Milli Mejlis (125 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 4 November 2000 (next to be held NA November 2005)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NAP and allies 108, APF "Reform" 6, CSP 3, PNIA 2, Musavat Party 2, CPA 2, APF "Classic" 1, Compatriot Party 1
note: PNIA, Musavat, and APF "Classic" parties refused to take their seats
note: 100 members of the curent parliament were elected on the basis of single mandate constituencies, while 25 were elected based on proportional balloting; as a result of a 24 August 2002 national referendum on changes to the constitution, all 125 members of the next parliament will be elected from single mandate constituencies
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders:
Azerbaijan Popular Front or APF [Ali KARIMLI, leader of "Reform faction"; Mirmahmud MIRALI-OGLU, leader of "Classic" faction]; Civic Solidarity Party or CSP [Sabir RUSTAMKHANLY]; Civic Union Party [Ayaz MUTALIBOV]; Communist Party of Azerbaijan or CPA [Ramiz AHMADOV]; Compatriot Party [Mais SAFARLI]; Democratic Party for Azerbaijan or DPA [Rasul QULIYEV, chairman]; Justice Party [Ilyas ISMAILOV]; Liberal Party of Azerbaijan [Lala Shvkat HACIYEVA]; Musavat [Isa GAMBAR, chairman]; New Azerbaijan Party or NAP [Heydar ALIYEV, chairman]; Party for National Independence of Azerbaijan or PNIA [Etibar MAMMADLIV, chairman]; Social Democratic Party of Azerbaijan or SDP [Zardust ALIZADE]
note: opposition parties regularly factionalize and form new parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Sadval, Lezgin movement; self-proclaimed Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh Republic; Talysh independence movement
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Elmar MAMEDYAROV
FAX: [1] (202) 337-5911
telephone: [1] (202) 337-3500
chancery: 2741 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ross L. WILSON
embassy: 83 Azadliq Avenue, Baku 370007
mailing address: American Embassy Baku, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-7050
telephone: [9] (9412) 98-03-35, 36, 37
FAX: [9] (9412) 90-66-71
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), red, and green; a crescent and eight-pointed star in white are centered in red band
Economy Azerbaijan
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 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. 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. An obstacle to economic progress, including stepped up foreign investment in the non-energy sector, is the continuing conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. 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.
purchasing power parity - $27 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
6.1% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $3,300 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 20%
industry: 33%
services: 47% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
49% (2002)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 28% (1995)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
36 (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.6% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
3.7 million (1997) (2001)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture and forestry 41%, industry 7%, services 53% (1997) (2001)
Unemployment rate:
16% (official rate is 1.1% for 2002) (2001 est.)
revenues: $786 million
expenditures: $807 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001)
petroleum and natural gas, petroleum products, oilfield equipment; steel, iron ore, cement; chemicals and petrochemicals; textiles
Industrial production growth rate:
6% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
17.6 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 91%
hydro: 9%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
16.7 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
900 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
1.25 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
cotton, grain, rice, grapes, fruit, vegetables, tea, tobacco; cattle, pigs, sheep, goats
$2 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
oil and gas 90%, machinery, cotton, foodstuffs
Exports - partners:
Italy 57.2%, Israel 7.1%, Georgia 4.5%, Russia 3.4%, Turkey 2.9% (2001)
$1.8 billion f.o.b. (2002)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, oil products, foodstuffs, metals, chemicals
Imports - partners:
US 16.1%, Russia 10.7%, Turkey 10.4%, Kazakhstan 7.0%, Germany 5.1% (2001)
Debt - external:
$1.4 billion (2002)
Economic aid - recipient:
ODA, $140 million (1996) (2000 est.)
Azerbaijani manat (AZM)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Azerbaijani manats per US dollar - 4,804 (11 February 2002), 4,656.58 (2001), 4,474.15 (2000), 4,120.17 (1999), 3,869 (1998), 3,985.38 (1997)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Azerbaijan
Telephones - main lines in use:
865,000 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
800,000 (2002)
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: the old Soviet system of cable and microwave is still serviceable; a satellite connection to Turkey enables Baku to reach about 200 additional countries, some of which are directly connected to Baku by satellite providers other than Turkey (1997)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 10, FM 17, shortwave 1 (1998)
175,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
2 (1997)
170,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
2 (2000)
Internet users:
25,000 (2002)
Transportation Azerbaijan
total: 2,125 km in common carrier service; does not include industrial lines
broad gauge: 2,125 km 1.520-m gauge (1,278 km electrified) (1993 est.)
total: 36,700 km
paved: 31,800 km (includes some all-weather gravel-surfaced roads)
unpaved: 4,900 km (these roads are made of unstabilized earth and are difficult to negotiate in wet weather) (1990)
crude oil 1,130 km; petroleum products 630 km; natural gas 1,240 km
Ports and harbors:
Baku (Baki)
Merchant marine:
total: 54 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 246,051 GRT/306,756 DWT
ships by type: cargo 12, petroleum tanker 40, roll on/roll off 2 (2002 est.)
52 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 9
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 43
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 8
under 914 m: 28 (2002)
Military Azerbaijan
Military branches:
Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces
Military manpower - military age:
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 2,131,331 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 1,706,325 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 77,099 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$121 million (FY99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
2.6% (FY99)
Transnational Issues Azerbaijan
Disputes - international:
Armenia supports ethnic Armenian secessionists in Nagorno-Karabakh and militarily occupies about one-sixth of Azerbaijan - Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) continues to mediate dispute; Azerbaijan signed bilateral agreements with Russia delimiting the Caspian seabed, but littoral states are far from multilateral agreement on dividing the waters and seabed regimes - Iran insists on division of Caspian Sea into five equal sectors while Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan have generally agreed upon equidistant seabed boundaries; Iran threatens to conduct oil exploration in Azerbaijani-claimed waters, while interdicting Azerbaijani activities; Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan await ICJ decision to resolve sovereignty dispute over oilfields in the Caspian Sea
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

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003