Introduction

Background
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.
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Geography

Location
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

Area
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

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

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

Maritime Claims
none (landlocked)

Climate
dry, semiarid steppe

Terrain
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 (1998 est.)

Natural Hazards
droughts

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

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

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People

Population
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 Living with HIV/AIDS
1,400 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths
less than 100 (2001 est.)

Nationality
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

Religions
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

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

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

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Government

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
republic

Capital
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

Independence
30 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

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

Constitution
adopted 12 November 1995

Legal System
based on civil law system

Suffrage
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 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 6 November 2005 (next to be held in November 2010); election results: percent of vote by party – NA%; seats by party – NAP 58, Azadliq coalition 8, CSP 2, YES 2, Motherland 2, other parties with single seats 7, independents 42, undetermined 4

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]; Motherland Party [leader NA]; 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 [Araz ALIZADE and Ayaz MUTALIBOV]; 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
AsDB, BSEC, CE, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic Representation in the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Hafiz PASHAYEV; chancery: 2741 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008; telephone: [1] (202) 337-3500; FAX: [1] (202) 337-5911

Diplomatic Representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Reno L. HARNISH III; embassy: 83 Azadlyg Prospecti, Baku AZ1007; mailing address: American Embassy Baku, Department of State, 7050 Baku Place, Washington, DC 20521-7050; telephone: [994] (12) 4980-335 through 337; FAX: [994] (12) 4983-755

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

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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.)

Labor Force
5.45 million (2005 est.)

Labor Force – By Occupation
agriculture and forestry 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.)

Budget
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

Industries
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 – Exports
NA bbl/day

Oil – Imports
NA bbl/day

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 – Exports
0 cu m (2001 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.)

Exports
$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)

Imports
$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 Exhange 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)

Exchange Rates
Azerbaijani manats per US dollar – 4,727.1 (2005), 4,913.48 (2004), 4,910.73 (2003), 4,860.82 (2002), 4,656.58 (2001)

Fiscal Year
calendar year

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Communications

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
.az

Internet Hosts
460 (2005)

Internet Users
408,000 (2005)

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Transportation

Airports
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)

Heliports
2 (2005)

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

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

Waterways
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)

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Military

Military Branches
Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces

Military Service Age and Obligation
18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; law passed December 2001 raises maximum conscription age from 28 to 35 (December 2001)

Manpower Available for Military Service
males age 18-49: 1,961,973 (2005 est.)

Manpower Fit for Military Service
males age 18-49: 1,314,955 (2005 est.)

Manpower Reaching Military Service Age Annually
males: 82,358 (2005 est.)

Military Expenditures – Dollar Figure
$121 million (FY99)

Military Expenditures – Percent of GDP
2.6% (FY99)

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Transnational Issues

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

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