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Middle East :: Azerbaijan
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  • Introduction :: AZERBAIJAN

  • Azerbaijan - a nation with a majority-Turkic and majority-Shia Muslim population - was briefly independent (from 1918 to 1920) following the collapse of the Russian Empire; it was subsequently incorporated into the Soviet Union for seven decades. Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region that Moscow recognized in 1923 as an autonomous republic within Soviet Azerbaijan after Armenia and Azerbaijan disputed the territory's status. 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. The OSCE Minsk Group, co-chaired by the United States, France, and Russia, is the framework established to mediate a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Corruption in the country is widespread, and the government, which eliminated presidential term limits in a 2009 referendum, has been accused of authoritarianism. Although the poverty rate has been reduced and infrastructure investment has increased substantially in recent years due to revenue from oil and gas production, reforms have not adequately addressed weaknesses in most government institutions, particularly in the education and health sectors, as well as the court system.
  • Geography :: 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
    land: 82,629 sq km
    water: 3,971 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
    slightly smaller than Maine
    total: 2,468 km
    border countries (5): Armenia 996 km, Georgia 428 km, Iran 689 km, Russia 338 km, Turkey 17 km
    0 km (landlocked); note - Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea (713 km)
    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
    lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
    highest point: Bazarduzu Dagi 4,485 m
    petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, bauxite
    agricultural land: 57.6%
    arable land 22.8%; permanent crops 2.7%; permanent pasture 32.1%
    forest: 11.3%
    other: 31.1% (2011 est.)
    14,250 sq km (2010)
    34.68 cu km (2011)
    total: 12.21 cu km/yr (4%/18%/78%)
    per capita: 1,384 cu m/yr (2010)
    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 pesticide, and from toxic defoliants used in the production of cotton
    party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    both the main area of the country and the Naxcivan exclave are landlocked
  • People and Society :: AZERBAIJAN

  • noun: Azerbaijani(s)
    adjective: Azerbaijani
    Azerbaijani 91.6%, Lezgian 2%, Russian 1.3%, Armenian 1.3%, Talysh 1.3%, other 2.4%
    note: almost all Armenians live in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region (2009 est.)
    Azerbaijani (Azeri) (official) 92.5%, Russian 1.4%, Armenian 1.4%, other 4.7% (2009 est.)
    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
    9,686,210 (July 2014 est.)
    0-14 years: 22.7% (male 1,176,438/female 1,017,926)
    15-24 years: 17.5% (male 877,773/female 818,380)
    25-54 years: 45.1% (male 2,127,239/female 2,236,520)
    55-64 years: 8.5% (male 379,081/female 442,970)
    65 years and over: 6.3% (male 232,297/female 377,586) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 38.4%
    youth dependency ratio: 30.7%
    elderly dependency ratio: 7.7%
    potential support ratio: 13% (2014 est.)
    total: 30.1 years
    male: 28.5 years
    female: 31.9 years (2014 est.)
    0.99% (2014 est.)
    16.96 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    7.09 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    urban population: 54.4% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 1.56% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    BAKU (capital) 2.317 million (2014)
    at birth: 1.12 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.16 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    23.4 (2011 est.)
    26 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total: 26.67 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 27.47 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 25.76 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    total population: 71.91 years
    male: 68.92 years
    female: 75.26 years (2014 est.)
    1.91 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    51.1% (2006)
    5.6% of GDP (2013)
    3.4 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
    4.7 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    urban: 88.4% of population
    rural: 70.7% of population
    total: 80.2% of population
    urban: 11.6% of population
    rural: 29.3% of population
    total: 19.8% of population (2012 est.)
    urban: 85.9% of population
    rural: 77.5% of population
    total: 82% of population
    urban: 14.1% of population
    rural: 22.5% of population
    total: 18% of population (2012 est.)
    0.16% (2013 est.)
    9,200 (2013 est.)
    500 (2013 est.)
    22.2% (2014)
    8.4% (2006)
    2.4% of GDP (2011)
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 99.8%
    male: 99.9%
    female: 99.8% (2015 est.)
    total: 12 years
    male: 12 years
    female: 12 years (2012)
    total number: 144,397
    percentage: 7%
    note: data represents children ages 5-17 (2005 est.)
    total: 14.2%
    male: 12.2%
    female: 16.3% (2012 est.)
  • Government :: AZERBAIJAN

  • conventional long form: Republic of Azerbaijan
    conventional short form: Azerbaijan
    local long form: Azarbaycan Respublikasi
    local short form: Azarbaycan
    former: Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic
    note: the name translates as "The Land of Fire"
    name: Baku (Baki, Baky)
    geographic coordinates: 40 23 N, 49 52 E
    time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    66 rayons (rayonlar; rayon - singular), 11 cities (saharlar; sahar - singular);
    rayons: Abseron, Agcabadi, Agdam, Agdas, Agstafa, Agsu, Astara, Babak, Balakan, Barda, Beylaqan, Bilasuvar, Cabrayil, Calilabad, Culfa, Daskasan, Fuzuli, Gadabay, Goranboy, Goycay, Goygol, Haciqabul, Imisli, Ismayilli, Kalbacar, Kangarli, Kurdamir, Lacin, Lankaran, Lerik, Masalli, Neftcala, Oguz, Ordubad, Qabala, Qax, Qazax, Qobustan, Quba, Qubadli, Qusar, Saatli, Sabirabad, Sabran, Sadarak, Sahbuz, Saki, Salyan, Samaxi, Samkir, Samux, Sarur, Siyazan, Susa, Tartar, Tovuz, Ucar, Xacmaz, Xizi, Xocali, Xocavand, Yardimli, Yevlax, Zangilan, Zaqatala, Zardab
    cities: Baku, Ganca, Lankaran, Mingacevir, Naftalan, Naxcivan (Nakhichevan), Saki, Sirvan, Sumqayit, Xankandi, Yevlax
    30 August 1991 (declared from the Soviet Union); 18 October 1991 (adopted by the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan)
    Founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, 28 May (1918)
    several previous; latest adopted 12 November 1995; amended 1996, 2002, 2009 (2015)
    civil law system
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age; universal
    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); note - RASIZADE was previously prime minister from 20 July 1996-4 August 2003
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for unlimited terms); election last held on 9 October 2013 (next to be held in October 2018); prime minister and first deputy prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly
    election results: Ilham ALIYEV reelected president; percent of vote - Ilham ALIYEV 84.5%, Jamil HASANLI 5.5%, other 10%
    note: OSCE observers concluded that the election did not meet international standards
    description: unicameral National Assembly or Milli Mejlis (125 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)
    elections: last held on 7 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2015)
    election results: percent of vote by party - YAP 45.8%, CSP 1.6%, Motherland 1.4%, independents 48.2%, other 3.1%; seats by party - YAP 71, CSP 3, Motherland 2, Civil Unity 1, Democratic Reforms 1, Great Creation 1, Hope Party 1, Justice 1, Social Welfare 1, Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front 1, independents 42
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chairman, deputy chairman, and at least 24 judges in plenum sessions); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the president and appointed by the Milli Majlis; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Court chairman and deputy chairman appointed by the president; other court judges nominated by the president and appointed by the Milli Majlis to serve single 15-year terms
    subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal (replaced the Economic Court in 2002); district and municipal courts;
    Azerbaijan Democratic Party or ADP [Sardar JALALOGLU]
    Azerbaijan Popular Front or AXCP [Ali KARIMLI]
    Civil Solidarity Party or CSP [Sabir RUSTAMKHANLI]
    Civil Unity Party [Sabir HAJIYEV]
    Classical Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan [Mirmahmud MIRALI-OGLU]
    Democratic Reforms Party [Asim MOLLAZADE]
    Great Creation Party [Fazil Gazanfaroglu MUSTAFAYEV]
    Hope (Umid) Party [Igbal AGAZADE]
    Justice Party [Ilyas ISMAILOV]
    Liberal Party of Azerbaijan [Lala Shovkat HACIYEVA, Avaz TEMIRKHAN]
    Motherland Party [Fazail AGAMALI]
    Musavat (Equality) [Arif HAJILI]
    Social Democratic Party of Azerbaijan or SDP [Araz ALIZADE]
    Social Welfare Party [Khanhusein KAZIMLI]
    Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front Party [Gudrat HASANGULIYEV]
    Yeni (New) Azerbaijan Party or YAP [President Ilham ALIYEV]
    Club-125 [Ilhamia RZAYEVA]
    Ireli Youth Movement [MirHasan SEYIDOV]
    National Council of Democratic Forces [Jamil HASANLI]
    NIDA Youth Movement [Turgut GAMBAR, Zaur GURBANLI]
    Positive Change Youth Movement [Bakhtiyar HAJIYEV]
    Republican Alternative (REAL) [Ilgar MAMMADOV (in jail)]
    chief of mission: Ambassador Elin SULEYMANOV (since 5 December 2011)
    chancery: 2741 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 337-3500
    FAX: [1] (202) 337-5911
    consulate(s) general: Los Angeles
    chief of mission: Ambassador Robert CEKUTA (since 16 February 2015)
    embassy: 111 Azadlig Prospecti, Baku AZ1007
    mailing address: American Embassy Baku, US Department of State, 7050 Baku Place, Washington, DC 20521-7050
    telephone: [994] (12) 488-3300
    FAX: [994] (12) 488-3320
    three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), red, and green; a crescent and eight-pointed star in white are centered in the red band; the blue band recalls Azerbaijan's Turkic heritage, red stands for modernization and progress, and green refers to Islam; the crescent moon is an Islamic symbol, while the eight-pointed star represents the eight Turkic peoples of the world
    flames of fire; national colors: blue, red, green
    name: "Azerbaijan Marsi" (March of Azerbaijan)
    lyrics/music: Ahmed JAVAD/Uzeyir HAJIBEYOV
    note: adopted 1992; although originally written in 1919 during a brief period of independence, "Azerbaijan Marsi" did not become the official anthem until after the dissolution of the Soviet Union
  • Economy :: AZERBAIJAN

  • Azerbaijan's high economic growth has been attributable to large and growing oil and gas exports, but some non-export sectors also featured double-digit growth, including construction, banking, and real estate. Oil exports through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline, the Baku-Novorossiysk, and the Baku-Supsa pipelines remain the main economic driver, but efforts to boost Azerbaijan's gas production are underway. The eventual completion of the geopolitically important Southern Gas Corridor between Azerbaijan and Europe will open up another, albeit, smaller source of revenue from gas exports. Azerbaijan has made only limited progress on instituting market-based economic reforms. Pervasive public and private sector corruption and structural economic inefficiencies remain a drag on long-term growth, particularly in non-energy sectors. Several other obstacles impede Azerbaijan's economic progress, including the need for stepped up foreign investment in the non-energy sector and 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 depend on world oil prices, Azerbaijan's ability to negotiate export routes for its growing gas production, and its ability to use its energy wealth to promote growth and spur employment in non-energy sectors of the economy.
    $168.4 billion (2014 est.)
    $161.2 billion (2013 est.)
    $152.3 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    $77.91 billion (2014 est.)
    4.5% (2014 est.)
    5.8% (2013 est.)
    2.2% (2012 est.)
    $17,900 (2014 est.)
    $17,300 (2013 est.)
    $16,500 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 91
    38.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
    40.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
    44.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
    household consumption: 43.3%
    government consumption: 11.1%
    investment in fixed capital: 26.3%
    investment in inventories: 0.1%
    exports of goods and services: 46%
    imports of goods and services: -26.7%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 5.7%
    industry: 61.2%
    services: 33.2% (2014 est.)
    fruit, vegetables, grain, rice, grapes, , tea, cotton, tobacco; cattle, pigs, sheep, goats
    petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, oilfield equipment; steel, iron ore; cement; chemicals and petrochemicals; textiles
    1.2% (2014 est.)
    4.821 million (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 38.3%
    industry: 12.1%
    services: 49.6% (2008)
    5.4% (2014 est.)
    4.7% (2013 est.)
    6% (2012 est.)
    lowest 10%: 3.4%
    highest 10%: 27.4% (2008)
    33.7 (2008)
    36.5 (2001)
    revenues: $24.25 billion
    expenditures: $25.24 billion (2014 est.)
    31.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
    -1.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    10.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
    9.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
    calendar year
    1.4% (2014 est.)
    2.5% (2013 est.)
    5% (31 December 2012)
    5.25% (31 December 2011)
    note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key policy rate for the National Bank of Azerbaijan
    18% (31 December 2014 est.)
    18.25% (31 December 2013 est.)
    $18.01 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $16.24 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $24.18 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $20.95 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $22.85 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $18.76 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $11.19 billion (2014 est.)
    $13.08 billion (2013 est.)
    $30.89 billion (2014 est.)
    $31.7 billion (2013 est.)
    oil and gas 90%, machinery, foodstuffs, cotton
    Italy 25.6%, Indonesia 11.1%, Thailand 7.4%, Germany 6.1%, France 5.5%, India 4.4%, Russia 4.2%, Israel 4.1% (2013)
    $10.68 billion (2014 est.)
    $10.32 billion (2013 est.)
    machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, metals, chemicals
    Turkey 15.8%, Russia 14.1%, UK 11.1%, Germany 7.8%, China 6%, Ukraine 5.5% (2013)
    $17.71 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $15.01 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $12.91 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $10.64 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $57.47 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $50.97 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $10.41 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $9.007 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    Azerbaijani manats (AZN) per US dollar -
    0.78 (2014 est.)
    0.78 (2013 est.)
    0.79 (2012 est.)
    0.79 (2011 est.)
    0.8 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: AZERBAIJAN

  • 22.99 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    20.29 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    805 million kWh (2011 est.)
    128 million kWh (2011 est.)
    6.398 million kW (2011 est.)
    84.4% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    15.6% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    874,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    821,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    7 billion bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    133,500 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    93,430 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    53,440 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    498.6 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    17.18 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    10.74 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    6.99 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    250 million cu m (2011 est.)
    991.1 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    35.14 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: AZERBAIJAN

  • 1.734 million (2012)
    10.125 million (2012)
    general assessment: requires considerable expansion and modernization; fixed-line telephone and a broad range of other telecom services are controlled by a state-owned telecommunications monopoly and growth has been stagnant; more competition exists in the mobile-cellular market with four providers in 2009
    domestic: teledensity of 17 fixed lines per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity has increased and now exceeds 100 telephones per 100 persons; satellite service connects Baku to a modern switch in its exclave of Naxcivan (Nakhichevan)
    international: country code - 994; the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic link transits Azerbaijan providing international connectivity to neighboring countries; the old Soviet system of cable and microwave is still serviceable; satellite earth stations - 2 (2011)
    3 state-run and 1 public TV channels; 4 domestic commercial TV stations and about 15 regional TV stations; cable TV services are available in Baku; 1 state-run and 1 public radio network operating; a small number of private commercial radio stations broadcasting; local FM relays of Baku commercial stations are available in many localities; local relays of several international broadcasters had been available until late 2008 when their broadcasts were banned from FM frequencies (2010)
    AM 10, FM 11, shortwave 1 (2010)
    10 (2010)
    46,856 (2012)
    2.42 million (2009)
  • Transportation :: AZERBAIJAN

  • 37 (2013)
    total: 30
    over 3,047 m: 5
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
    914 to 1,523 m: 4
    under 914 m: 3 (2013)
    total: 7
    under 914 m:
    7 (2013)
    1 (2012)
    condensate 89 km; gas 3,890 km; oil 2,446 km (2013)
    total: 2,918 km
    broad gauge: 2,918 km 1.520-m gauge (1,278 km electrified) (2009)
    total: 52,942 km
    paved: 26,789 km
    unpaved: 26,153 km (2006)
    total: 90
    by type: cargo 27, chemical tanker 1, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 8, petroleum tanker 47, roll on/roll off 3, specialized tanker 2
    foreign-owned: 1 (Turkey 1)
    registered in other countries: 2 (Malta 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2010)
    major seaport(s): Baku (Baki) located on the Caspian Sea
  • Military :: AZERBAIJAN

  • Army, Navy, Air, and Air Defense Forces (2010)
    18-35 years of age for cumpulsory military service; service obligation 18 months or 12 months for university graduates; 17 years of age for voluntary service; 17 year olds are considered to be on active service at cadet military schools (2012)
    males age 16-49: 2,354,249
    females age 16-49: 2,334,632 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 1,773,993
    females age 16-49: 1,964,012 (2010 est.)
    male: 76,923
    female: 71,024 (2010 est.)
    4.7% of GDP (2013)
    4.64% of GDP (2012)
    4.67% of GDP (2011)
    4.64% of GDP (2010)
  • Transnational Issues :: AZERBAIJAN

  • Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia ratified the Caspian seabed delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on a one-fifth slice of the sea; the dispute over the break-away Nagorno-Karabakh region and the Armenian military occupation of surrounding lands in Azerbaijan remains the primary focus of regional instability; residents have evacuated the former Soviet-era small ethnic enclaves in Armenia and Azerbaijan; local border forces struggle to control the illegal transit of goods and people across the porous, undemarcated Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian borders; bilateral talks continue with Turkmenistan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian
    IDPs: up to 568,900 (conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh; IDPs are mainly ethnic Azerbaijanis but also include ethnic Kurds, Russians, and Turks predominantly from occupied territories around Nagorno-Karabakh; number includes IDPs' descendants, returned IDPs, and people living in insecure areas and excludes people displaced by natural disasters; around half the IDPs live in the capital Baku) (2014)
    stateless persons: 3,585 (2014)
    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