Photos of Azerbaijan

Introduction

Background

Azerbaijan - a secular 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. Since 1991, Azerbaijan has had a protracted conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, populated largely by ethnic Armenians but incorporated into Soviet Azerbaijan as an autonomous oblast in the early 1920s. In the late Soviet period, an ethnic-Armenian separatist movement developed that sought to end Azerbaijani control over the region. Fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh began in 1988 and escalated after Armenia and Azerbaijan attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By the time a ceasefire took effect in May 1994, separatists, with Armenian support, controlled Nagorno‑Karabakh and seven surrounding Azerbaijani territories.

Efforts to negotiate a peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia began in the mid-1990s under the aegis of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group, which was co-chaired by France, Russia, and the United States. At the same time, cease-fire violations and sporadic flare-ups continued. In September 2020, a second sustained conflict began when Azerbaijan took action to try to regain the territories it had lost in the 1990s. After six weeks of fighting that saw significant Azerbaijani gains, Russia brokered a cease-fire.  Armenia returned to Azerbaijan the seven territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh that it had previously occupied and also the southern part of Nagorno-Karabakh. Despite Azerbaijan’s territorial gains, peace in the region remains elusive because of unsettled issues concerning the delimitation of borders, the opening of regional transportation and communication links, the status of ethnic enclaves near border regions, and the final status of the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Russian peacekeepers deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh to supervise the cease-fire for a minimum five-year term have not prevented the outbreak of sporadic, low-level military clashes along the Azerbaijan-Armenia border and in Nagorno-Karabakh; in September 2023, Azerbaijan took military action to regain control over Nagorno-Karabakh; after a conflict of approximately 24 hours, nearly the entire ethnic Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh fled to Armenia

In the three decades since its independence in 1991, Azerbaijan has significantly reduced the poverty rate and has directed some revenue from its oil and gas production to develop the country’s infrastructure. However, corruption remains a burden on the economy, and Western observers and members of the country’s political opposition have accused the government of authoritarianism, pointing to elections that are neither free nor fair, state control of the media, and the systematic abuse of human rights targeting individuals and groups who are perceived as threats to the administration. The country’s leadership has remained in the ALIYEV family since Heydar ALIYEV, formerly the most highly ranked Azerbaijani member of the Communist Party during the Soviet period, became president in the midst of the first Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1993. Heydar ALIYEV groomed his son to succeed him, and Ilham ALIYEV subsequently became president in 2003. As a result of two national referendums that eliminated presidential term limits and extended the presidential term from 5 to 7 years, President ALIYEV secured a fourth term in April 2018 in an election that international observers noted had serious shortcomings. The Azerbaijani government announced that the next presidential election will take place in February 2024. Reforms are underway to diversify the country’s economy away from its dependence on oil and gas; additional reforms are needed to address weaknesses in government institutions, particularly in the education and health sectors, and the court system.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

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: 82,629 sq km

water: 3,971 sq km

note: includes the exclave of Naxcivan Autonomous Republic and the Nagorno-Karabakh region; the final status of the region has yet to be determined

comparison ranking: total 113

Area - comparative

about three-quarters the size of Pennsylvania; slightly smaller than Maine

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 2,468 km

border countries (5): Armenia 996 km; Georgia 428 km; Iran 689 km; Russia 338 km; Turkey 17 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked); note - Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea (713 km)

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) to the west; Baku lies on Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) that juts into Caspian Sea

Elevation

highest point: Bazarduzu Dagi 4,466 m

lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m

mean elevation: 384 m

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, bauxite

Land use

agricultural land: 57.6% (2018 est.)

arable land: 22.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 2.7% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 32.1% (2018 est.)

forest: 11.3% (2018 est.)

other: 31.1% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

14,649 sq km (2020)

Major lakes (area sq km)

salt water lake(s): Caspian Sea (shared with Iran, Russia, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan) - 374,000 sq km

Population distribution

highest population density is found in the far eastern area of the country, in and around Baku; apart from smaller urbanized areas, the rest of the country has a fairly light and evenly distributed population

Geography - note

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

People and Society

Population

10,420,515 (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 90

Nationality

noun: Azerbaijani(s)

adjective: Azerbaijani

Ethnic groups

Azerbaijani 91.6%, Lezghin 2%, Russian 1.3%, Armenian 1.3%, Talysh 1.3%, other 2.4% (2009 est.)

note: the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is part of Azerbaijan on the basis of the borders recognized when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, was populated almost entirely by ethnic Armenians; Azerbaijan has over 80 ethnic groups

Languages

Azerbaijani (Azeri) (official) 92.5%, Russian 1.4%, Armenian 1.4%, other 4.7% (2009 est.)

major-language sample(s):
Dünya fakt kitabı, əsas məlumatlar üçün əvəz olunmaz mənbədir (Azerbaijani)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

note: Russian is widely spoken

Religions

Muslim 97.3% (predominantly Shia), Christian 2.6%, other <0.1, unaffiliated <0.1 (2020 est.)

note: religious affiliation for the majority of Azerbaijanis is largely nominal, percentages for actual practicing adherents are probably much lower

Demographic profile

Azerbaijan’s citizenry has over 80 ethnic groups. The far eastern part of the country has the highest population density, particularly in and around Baku. Apart from smaller urbanized areas, the rest of the country has a fairly light and evenly distributed population. Approximately 57% of the country’s inhabitants lives in urban areas.  While the population is continuing to grow, it is in the early stages of aging. The declining fertility rate – which has decreased from about 5.5 children per woman in the 1950s to less than the 2.1 replacement level in 2022 – combined with increasing life expectancy has resulted in the elderly making up a larger share of Azerbaijan’s populace. The percentage of elderly residents and the slowed growth and eventual shrinkage of the working-age population could put pressure on the country’s pension and healthcare systems. 

Age structure

0-14 years: 21.78% (male 1,192,608/female 1,077,302)

15-64 years: 69.64% (male 3,619,341/female 3,637,494)

65 years and over: 8.58% (2023 est.) (male 356,184/female 537,586)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 44.2

youth dependency ratio: 34.7

elderly dependency ratio: 9.7

potential support ratio: 10.3 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 33.8 years (2023 est.)

male: 32.2 years

female: 35.4 years

comparison ranking: total 105

Population growth rate

0.43% (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 159

Birth rate

11.5 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 159

Death rate

6.8 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 129

Net migration rate

-0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 124

Population distribution

highest population density is found in the far eastern area of the country, in and around Baku; apart from smaller urbanized areas, the rest of the country has a fairly light and evenly distributed population

Urbanization

urban population: 57.6% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.38% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

note: data include Nagorno-Karabakh

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

2.432 million BAKU (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.15 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.11 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

41 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 102

Infant mortality rate

total: 11.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 13.8 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 9.7 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 113

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 74.9 years (2023 est.)

male: 72.4 years

female: 77.8 years

comparison ranking: total population 128

Total fertility rate

1.69 children born/woman (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 167

Gross reproduction rate

0.78 (2023 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 93.3% of population

total: 97.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 6.7% of population

total: 2.9% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

4.6% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

3.17 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Hospital bed density

4.8 beds/1,000 population (2014)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: NA

total: NA

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: NA

total: (2020 est.) NA

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

19.9% (2016)

comparison ranking: 107

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 1.38 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.36 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.06 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.94 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.01 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 143

Tobacco use

total: 24% (2020 est.)

male: 47.9% (2020 est.)

female: 0.1% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 58

Education expenditures

4.3% of GDP (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 108

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.8%

male: 99.9%

female: 99.7% (2019)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 14 years

male: 13 years

female: 14 years (2021)

Environment

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 pesticide, and from toxic defoliants used in the production of cotton; surface and underground water are polluted by untreated municipal and industrial wastewater and agricultural run-off

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Climate

dry, semiarid steppe

Land use

agricultural land: 57.6% (2018 est.)

arable land: 22.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 2.7% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 32.1% (2018 est.)

forest: 11.3% (2018 est.)

other: 31.1% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 57.6% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.38% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

note: data include Nagorno-Karabakh

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0.02% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 139

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 123

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 24.64 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 37.62 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 44.87 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 2,930,349 tons (2015 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

salt water lake(s): Caspian Sea (shared with Iran, Russia, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan) - 374,000 sq km

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 400 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 570 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 11.6 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

34.68 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Azerbaijan

conventional short form: Azerbaijan

local long form: Azarbaycan Respublikasi

local short form: Azarbaycan

former: Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic

etymology: the name translates as "Land of Fire" and refers to naturally occurring surface fires on ancient oil pools or from natural gas discharges

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

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: does not observe daylight savings time

etymology: the name derives from the Persian designation of the city "bad-kube" meaning "wind-pounded city" and refers to the harsh winds and severe snow storms that can hit the city

note: at approximately 28 m below sea level, Baku's elevation makes it the lowest capital city in the world

Administrative divisions

66 districts (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

Independence

30 August 1991 (declared from the Soviet Union); 18 October 1991 (adopted by the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan)

National holiday

Republic Day (founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan), 28 May (1918)

Constitution

history: several previous; latest adopted 12 November 1995

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by at least 63 members of the National Assembly; passage requires at least 95 votes of Assembly members in two separate readings of the draft amendment six months apart and requires presidential approval after each of the two Assembly votes, followed by presidential signature; constitutional articles on the authority, sovereignty, and unity of the people cannot be amended; amended 2002, 2009, 2016

Legal system

civil law system

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: yes

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Ilham ALIYEV (since 31 October 2003); First Vice President Mehriban ALIYEVA (since 21 February 2017)

head of government: Prime Minister Ali ASADOV (since 8 October 2019); First Deputy Prime Minister Yaqub EYYUBOV (since 13 February 2003)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds (if needed) for a 7-year term; a single individual is eligible for unlimited terms; election last held on 7 February 2024 (next to be held in 2031); prime minister and first deputy prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly; note - a constitutional amendment approved in a September 2016 referendum extended the presidential term from 5 to 7 years; a separate constitutional amendment approved in the same referendum also introduced the post of first vice president and additional vice-presidents, who are directly appointed by the president; however, no additional vice presidents have been appointed since the constitutional amendment was passed

election results:
2024:
Ilham ALIYEV reelected president; percent of vote - Ilham ALIYEV (YAP) 92.1%, Zahid ORUJ (independent) 2.2%; on 16 February 2024, Ali ASADOV reappointed prime minister by parliamentary vote, 105-1

2018:
Ilham ALIYEV reelected president in first round; percent of vote - Ilham ALIYEV (YAP) 86%, Zahid ORUJ (independent) 3.1%, other 10.9%

note: OSCE observers noted shortcomings in the election, including a restrictive political environment, limits on fundamental freedoms, a lack of genuine competition, and ballot box stuffing

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Milli Mejlis (125 seats, current 116; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held early on 9 February 2020 (next to be held in 2025)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - YAP 69, CSP 3, AVP 1, CUP 1, ADMP 1, PDR 1, Great Order 1, National Front Party 1, REAL 1, VP 1, Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front 1, party unknown 1, independent 41; composition as of August 2023 - men 94, women 22, percent of women 19%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chairman, vice chairman, and 23 judges in plenum sessions and organized into civil, economic affairs, criminal, and rights violations chambers); 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; judges appointed for 10 years; 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

Political parties and leaders

Azerbaijan Democratic Enlightenment Party or ADMP [Elshan MASAYEV]
Civic Solidarity Party or VHP [Sabir RUSTAMKHANLI]
Civic Unity Party or VBP [Sabir HAJIYEV]
Great Order Party [Fazil MUSTAFA]
Islamic Party of Azerbaijan or AiP [Mavsum SAMADOV]
Musavat (Equity) Party [Arif HAJILI]
Popular Front Party [Ali KARIMLI]
Motherland Party or AVP [Fazail AGAMALI]
National Front Party [Razi NURULLAYEV]
National Revival Movement Party [Faraj GULIYEV]
Party for Democratic Reforms or DIP [Asim MOLLAZADE]
Republican Alternative Party or REAL [Ilgar MAMMADOV]
Social Democratic Party [Ayaz MUTALIBOV]
Social Prosperity Party [Asli KAZIMOVA]
Unity Party or VP [Tahir KARIMLI]
Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front Party [Gudrat HASANGULIYEV]
New Azerbaijan Party (Yeni Azərbaycan Partiyasi) or YAP [Ilham ALIYEV]

International organization participation

ADB, BSEC, CD, CE, CICA, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Kahzar IBRAHIM (since 15 September 2021)

chancery: 2741 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 337-3500

FAX: [1] (202) 337-5911

email address and website:
azerbaijan@azembassy.us

https://washington.mfa.gov.az/en

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Chargé d'Affaires Hugo GUEVARA (since 29 June 2022)

embassy: 111 Azadlig Avenue, AZ1007 Baku

mailing address: 7050 Baku Place, Washington, DC 20521-7050

telephone: [994] (12) 488-3300

FAX: [994] (12) 488-3330

email address and website:
BakuACS@state.gov

https://az.usembassy.gov/

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of sky blue (top), red, and green; a vertical crescent moon and an 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 and star are a Turkic insignia; the eight star points represent the eight Turkic peoples of the world

National symbol(s)

flames of fire; national colors: blue, red, green

National anthem

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

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 5 (4 cultural, 1 natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Walled City of Baku; Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape; Historic Center of Sheki; Cultural Landscape of Khinalig People and "Koc Yolu" Transhumance Route

Economy

Economic overview

oil-based economy; macroeconomic instabilities due to demand shocks; recent state bailout of largest lender; potential economic gains from Nagorno-Karabakh conflict; negatively impacted by COVID-19; investing in human capital to diversify and retain younger generation

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$146.305 billion (2021 est.)
$138.546 billion (2020 est.)
$144.771 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 80

Real GDP growth rate

5.6% (2021 est.)
-4.3% (2020 est.)
2.5% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 80

Real GDP per capita

$14,400 (2021 est.)
$13,700 (2020 est.)
$14,400 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 114

GDP (official exchange rate)

$48.104 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

6.65% (2021 est.)
2.76% (2020 est.)
2.61% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 179

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BB+ (2016)

Moody's rating: Ba2 (2017)

Standard & Poors rating: BB+ (2016)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 6.1% (2017 est.)

industry: 53.5% (2017 est.)

services: 40.4% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 211; industry 7; agriculture 119

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 57.6% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 11.5% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 23.6% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.5% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 48.7% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -42% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, wheat, potatoes, barley, tomatoes, watermelons, cotton, apples, maize, onions

Industries

petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, oilfield equipment; steel, iron ore; cement; chemicals and petrochemicals; textiles

Industrial production growth rate

1.95% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 135

Labor force

4.919 million (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 87

Unemployment rate

6.58% (2021 est.)
6.46% (2020 est.)
4.85% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 110

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 16.5% (2021 est.)

male: 14.4%

female: 18.9%

comparison ranking: total 105

Average household expenditures

on food: 38.6% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 1.6% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.4%

highest 10%: 27.4% (2008)

Remittances

2.79% of GDP (2021 est.)
3.29% of GDP (2020 est.)
2.65% of GDP (2019 est.)

Budget

revenues: $19.95 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $16.001 billion (2019 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 93

Public debt

54.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
50.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 92

Taxes and other revenues

14.22% (of GDP) (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 157

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

$8.292 billion (2021 est.)
-$227.568 million (2020 est.)
$4.365 billion (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 29

Exports

$25.488 billion (2021 est.)
$15.209 billion (2020 est.)
$23.63 billion (2019 est.)

note: Data are in current year dollars and do not include illicit exports or re-exports.

comparison ranking: 78

Exports - partners

Italy 28%, Turkey 15%, Israel 7%, Germany 5%, India 5% (2017)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, natural gas, refined petroleum, cotton, gold (2021)

Imports

$16.337 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$15.538 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$17.712 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

comparison ranking: 97

Imports - partners

United Kingdom 17%, Russia 17%, Turkey 12%, China 6% (2019)

Imports - commodities

gold, cars, refined petroleum, wheat, packaged medical supplies (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$8.307 billion (31 December 2021 est.)
$7.634 billion (31 December 2020 est.)
$7.043 billion (31 December 2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 90

Debt - external

$17.41 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$13.83 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 99

Exchange rates

Azerbaijani manats (AZN) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
1.7 (2021 est.)
1.7 (2020 est.)
1.7 (2019 est.)
1.7 (2018 est.)
1.721 (2017 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 7.677 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 21.027 billion kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 1.491 billion kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 137 million kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 2.226 billion kWh (2019 est.)

comparison rankings: imports 105; exports 55; installed generating capacity 74; transmission/distribution losses 130; consumption 71

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 94.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 4.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Coal

production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 19,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 19,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 711,700 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 107,500 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 679,900 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 7 billion barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

138,900 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 61

Refined petroleum products - exports

46,480 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 57

Refined petroleum products - imports

5,576 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 168

Natural gas

production: 23.075 billion cubic meters (2019 est.)

consumption: 11.468 billion cubic meters (2019 est.)

exports: 11.586 billion cubic meters (2019 est.)

imports: 1.233 billion cubic meters (2019 est.)

proven reserves: 1.699 trillion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

35.389 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 29,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 12.863 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 22.497 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 72

Energy consumption per capita

64.416 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 86

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 1,641,150 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 16 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 58

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 10,817,071 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 105 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 90

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: in spite of the telecom sector being one of the major contributors to Azerbaijan’s non-oil GDP, overall development, growth, and investment in the sector has been held back by years of political and civil unrest coupled with endemic corruption; mobile penetration rates reached 100% as far back as 2011 but have largely stagnated since then; the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are slowly extending the reach of their LTE networks around the country, and this increased coverage (along with access to faster data-based services) is expected to produce a moderate resurgence for both mobile and mobile broadband over the next few years as customers migrate from 3G to 4G. 5G services are still some ways off, as the demand for high-speed data and fast broadband can easily be met by existing capacity on LTE networks; fixed-line teledensity continues to drop down each year as customers consolidate their telecommunications services around the mobile platform; the rate of decline is comparatively slower than other countries, since Azerbaijan has a relatively high proportion of (87%) of fixed-line broadband customers still on DSL; fiber is gradually being rolled out in urban areas, and this makes up the bulk of the growth being seen in the overall fixed broadband market; DSL’s predominance, however, will serve to keep Azerbaijan’s average access speeds in the sub-10Mbps range for the foreseeable future (2020)

domestic: 16 fixed-lines subscriptions per 100 persons; mobile-cellular subscriptions of 105 telephones per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 994; Azerbaijan’s largest mobile network operator (MNO)  launched trial 5G mobile services in Baku on 27 December 2022 (2023)

Broadcast media

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; note - all broadcast media is pro-government, and most private broadcast media outlets are owned by entities directly linked to the government

Internet users

total: 8.6 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 86% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 68

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 1,995,474 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 20 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 58

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 42 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 44

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 2,279,546 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 44.09 million (2018) mt-km

Airports

32 (2024)

comparison ranking: 117

Heliports

5 (2024)

Pipelines

89 km condensate, 3,890 km gas, 2,446 km oil (2013)

Railways

total: 2,944.3 km (2017)

broad gauge: 2,944.3 km (2017) 1.520-m gauge (approx. 1,767 km electrified)

comparison ranking: total 59

Roadways

total: 24,981 km (2013)

note: total roadway length has increased significantly and continues to grow due to the recovery of Armenian-held territories and related reconstruction efforts. No updated figure is currently available.

comparison ranking: total 107

Merchant marine

total: 312 (2023)

by type: general cargo 40, oil tanker 44, other 228

comparison ranking: total 56

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Baku (Baki) located on the Caspian Sea

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Azerbaijan Armed Forces: Land Forces, Air Forces, Navy Forces, State Border Service, Coast Guard

Ministry of Internal Affairs: Internal Troops, local police forces; Special State Protection Service (SSPS): National Guard (2024)

note: the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Security Service (intelligence, counterterrorism) are responsible for internal security; the SSPS is under the president and provides protective services to senior officials, foreign missions, significant state assets, government buildings, etc; the National Guard also serves as a reserve for the Army

Military expenditures

4.5% of GDP (2022 est.)
5% of GDP (2021 est.)
5% of GDP (2020 est.)
3.8% of GDP (2019 est.)
3.6% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 11

Military and security service personnel strengths

estimates vary; approximately 60-75,000 active armed forces; approximately 15,000 Ministry of Internal Affairs troops (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

Baku has been actively upgrading its equipment for over a decade with purchases from Belarus, Israel, Russia, and Turkey; while most of the military's equipment was once Soviet-era material, it now fields quantities of advanced equipment, including armored vehicles, artillery systems, air defense systems, tanks, and UAVs (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18-25 years of age for compulsory military service for men; 17-35 years of age for voluntary service for men and women; 18 months service for conscripts (2023)

note: most of the military is made up of professional contract soldiers; as of 2018, women made up an estimated 3% of the active duty military

Military - note

the Azerbaijani military was established in 1991, although its origins go back to 1918; much of the military’s original equipment was acquired from former Soviet military forces that left Azerbaijan by 1992; territorial defense is the military’s primary focus, particularly with regards to neighboring Armenia; a secondary focus is guarding against Iran; the Ground Forces have five army corps, plus an independent combined arms army, which is assigned to the Azerbaijani exclave of Naxicvan (Nakhichevan); between them, the corps and the combined arms army have more than 20 mechanized or motorized combat brigades; the Ground Forces also have separate brigades of artillery, battlefield rockets, and special forces; the Air Force has a few dozen Russian-origin fighters and ground attack aircraft, as well as some combat helicopters; the Navy patrols the Caspian Sea with a corvette and several coastal patrol craft

Armenia and Azerbaijan engaged in open conflicts over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave in 1991-94 and 2020, plus a brief flare-up in 2016; tensions continued following the 2020 conflict; Azerbaijan seized the entire enclave in 2023 

Turkey is Azerbaijan’s strongest military partner, a relationship that has included weapons transfers, technical advice, bilateral training exercises, and key support during the 2020 conflict with Armenia; Azerbaijan is not part of NATO but has had a cooperative relationship with it dating back to when it joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace program in 1994 and has provided troops to NATO-led missions in Kosovo (1999-2008) and Afghanistan (2002-2014) (2023)

Space

Space agency/agencies

Azerbaijan National Aerospace Agency (NASA; Azərbaycan Milli Aerokosmik Agentliyi, MAKA; established in 1992 from the Kaspiy Scientific Center, established 1974); Space Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (Azercosmos; established 2010 as a state-owned satellite operating company)  (2023)

Space program overview

national space program largely focused on the acquisition and operation of satellites; operates foreign-built communications and remote sensing (RS) satellites; has two satellite ground control stations; cooperates with a variety of foreign space agencies and commercial entities, including those of China, the European Space Agency (and individual member states such as France), Russia, and the US; Azercosmos is the largest satellite operator in the Caucasus region (2023)

note: further details about the key activities, programs, and milestones of the country’s space program, as well as government spending estimates on the space sector, appear in Appendix S

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Terrorist group(s): Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS); Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)/Qods Force

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Armenia-Azerbaijan: tensions existed for years over Nagorno-Karabakh region and the Armenian military occupation of surrounding lands in Azerbaijan; Azerbaijan seized part of the enclave during six weeks of fighting in 2020 and the remainder in a short conflict in September 2023; Baku and Yerevan have since had discussions on a peace treaty, the demarcation of borders, and full normalization of relations, although bi-lateral tensions remain

Azerbaijan-Georgia: a joint boundary commission agrees on most of the alignment, leaving only small areas at certain crossing points in dispute; consequently, the two states have yet to agree on a delimitation or demarcation of their common boundary; one area of contention is where the international boundary should run through the 6th-13th Century David-Gareja monastery complex

Azerbaijan-Iran: in recent years, tensions between Azerbajian and Iran have sometimes been high in part because of ties between Azerbaijan and Israel, and Baku's claims that Tehran has backed Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh

Azerbaijan-Turkey: none identified; as of 2023, Turkey and Armenia were discussing normalizing relations

Caspian Sea (Maritime Boundary): 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; bilateral talks continue with Turkmenistan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian

local border forces struggle to control the illegal transit of goods and people across the porous, undemarcated Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian borders

Refugees and internally displaced persons

IDPs: 659,000 (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; 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) (2022)

stateless persons: 3,585 (2022)

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