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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, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range
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.)
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: Air Pollution, 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
7,868,385 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 27% (male 1,081,579; female 1,046,270)
15-64 years: 65.2% (male 2,499,618; female 2,630,386)
65 years and over: 7.8% (male 242,253; female 368,279) (2004 est.)
Median age:
total: 27.3 years
male: 25.9 years
female: 28.8 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.52% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
19.81 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
9.76 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
-4.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 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 (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 82.07 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 80.06 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
male: 83.99 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 63.25 years
male: 59.09 years
female: 67.62 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.39 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
less than 1,400 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 100 (2001 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 Ilham ALIYEV (since 31 October 2003)
head of government: Prime Minister Artur RASIZADE (since 4 November 2003); First Deputy Prime Minister Abbas ABBASOV (since 10 November 2003)
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 15 October 2003 (next to be held NA October 2008); prime minister and first deputy prime ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly
election results: Ilham ALIYEV elected president; percent of vote - Ilham ALIYEV 76.8%, Isa GAMBAR 14%
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 current 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 Shovkat HACIYEVA]; Musavat [Isa GAMBAR, chairman]; New Azerbaijan Party or NAP [vacant]; Party for National Independence of Azerbaijan or PNIA [Etibar MAMMADLI, 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; Union of Pro-Azerbaijani Forces (UPAF)
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Hafiz PASHAYEV
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 Reno HARNISH
embassy: 83 Azadliq Prospekt, Baku 370007
mailing address: American Embassy Baku, Department of State, 7050 Baku Place, 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 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. 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. One obstacle to economic progress is the need for stepped up foreign investment in the non-energy sector. A second obstacle 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 - $26.34 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
9.9% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $3,400 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 14.1%
industry: 45.7%
services: 40.2% (2002 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 (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.9% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
3.7 million (2001)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture and forestry 41%, industry 7%, services 52% (2001)
Unemployment rate:
16% (official rate is 1.2%) (2003 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:
5% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
18.23 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 89.7%
hydro: 10.3%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
16.65 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
700 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
400 million kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
307,200 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
140,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Oil - imports:
Oil - proved reserves:
589 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
5.72 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
6.72 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
1 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
62.3 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Agriculture - products:
cotton, grain, rice, grapes, fruit, vegetables, tea, tobacco; cattle, pigs, sheep, goats
$2.605 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
oil and gas 90%, machinery, cotton, foodstuffs
Exports - partners:
Italy 30.1%, Germany 15.5%, Czech Republic 10.8%, France 8.8%, Georgia 7%, Russia 4.9% (2002)
$2.498 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, oil products, foodstuffs, metals, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Russia 16.8%, Turkey 13.5%, Germany 7.4%, Kazakhstan 6.8%, France 6.5%, Ukraine 6.3%, China 5.7%, UK 5.1%, US 4.2% (2002)
Debt - external:
$1.5 billion (2003)
Economic aid - recipient:
ODA, $140 million (2000 est.)
Azerbaijani manat (AZM)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Azerbaijani manats per US dollar - 4,910.73 (2003), 4,860.82 (2002), 4,656.58 (2001), 4,474.15 (2000), 4,120.17 (1999)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Azerbaijan
Telephones - main lines in use:
923,800 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
870,000 (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: country code - 994; 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 hosts:
1,139 (2002)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
2 (2000)
Internet users:
300,000 (2002)
Transportation Azerbaijan
total: 2,957 km
broad gauge: 2,957 km 1.520-m gauge (1,278 km electrified) (2003)
total: 24,981 km
paved: 23,057 km
unpaved: 1,924 km (2000)
gas 5,001 km; oil 1,631 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Baku (Baki)
Merchant marine:
total: 56 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 253,004 GRT/318,922 DWT
by type: cargo 14, petroleum tanker 40, roll on/roll off 2
foreign-owned: Russia 1 (2003 est.)
67 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 27
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (2003 est.)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 40
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 32 (2003 est.)
914 to 1,523 m: 6
2 (2003 est.)
Military Azerbaijan
Military branches:
Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces
Military manpower - military age:
18 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 2,187,847 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 1,748,567 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 83,131 (2004 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, 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; talks resume with Turkmenistan on dividing the seabed in 2004 as both sides await an ICJ decision on contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian; Azerbaijan protests Georgian constructions at the Red Bridge crossing and several other small segments of boundary, which remain unresolved until delimitation
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