Map Azerbaijan
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of Azerbaijan


Background: Azerbaijan - a nation with a majority-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 Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region that Moscow recognized as part of Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s after Armenia and Azerbaijan disputed the status of the territory. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, ethnic Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also seven surrounding provinces in the territory of Azerbaijan. Corruption in the country is ubiquitous, and the government, which eliminated presidential term limits in a 2009 referendum, has been accused of authoritarianism. Although the poverty rate has been reduced in recent years due to revenue from oil production, the promise of widespread wealth resulting from the continued development of Azerbaijan's energy sector remains largely unfulfilled.
Location: Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range
Area land: 82,629 sq km
Area water: 3,971 sq km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked); note - Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea (713 km)
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Azerbaijan
Country name conventional short form: Azerbaijan
Country name former: Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic
Population: 8,372,373 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 23.2% (male 1,029,931/female 912,639); 15-64 years: 70.3% (male 2,896,785/female 2,993,092); 65 years and over: 6.4% (male 195,853/female 344,073) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 0.846% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 17.85 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 8.25 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.14 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.116 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.58 male(s)/female; total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 51.08 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 56.55 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 44.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 67.36 years; male: 63.2 years; female: 72.01 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 2.02 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 3,600 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 200 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Azerbaijani(s); adjective: Azerbaijani;
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) (official) 90.3%, Lezgi 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%, other 3.3%, unspecified 1% (1999 census);
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 98.8%; male: 99.5%; female: 98.2% (1999 census);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $90.15 billion (2010 est.); $86.93 billion (2009 est.); $79.54 billion (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $52.17 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 3.7% (2010 est.); 9.3% (2009 est.); 10.8% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $11,000 (2010 est.); $10,600 (2009 est.); $9,700 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 5.5%; industry: 61.4%; services: 33.1% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 11% (2009 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 6.1%; highest 10%: 17.5% (2005);
Labor force: 5.874 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 38.3%; industry: 12.1%; services: 49.6% (2008);
Unemployment rate: 0.9% (2010 est.); 6% (2009 est.);
Budget: revenues: $14.19 billion; expenditures: $14.64 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: petroleum and natural gas, petroleum products, oilfield equipment; steel, iron ore; cement; chemicals and petrochemicals; textiles;
Industrial production growth rate: 3.5% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 18.6 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 18 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 786 million kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - imports: 548 million kWh (2007 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.

Azerbaijan in the News

Azerbaijan: The Harder They Come

Fear and unease are growing in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, following the recent collapse of the nation’s long-standing leader, Haidar Aliyev, at a ceremony in the capital. Chloe Arnold reports from Baku.

Azerbaijan's Forgotten Refugees

Seven years after the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, hundreds of thousands of Azeris still live in squalid refugee camps. Chloe Arnold reports from Azerbaijan.

A Rocky Adolescence?

It has been ten years since Georgia and Azerbaijan became independent. Chloe Arnold reports on the challenges they face.

Azerbaijan: Newly Independent but Mired in Corruption

World Press Review - Azerbaijan: newly independent but mired in corruption.