Often regarded as the southeastern border of Europe, the Caucasus Mts stretch from the Black Sea (left) to the Caspian Sea (right). The mountain range spans 1,125 km (700 mi), forming part of the southern Russian border, and crossing Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan from left to right respectively. With a snowline of approximately 3,350 m (11,000 ft) and many peaks over 4,500 m (14,760 ft), much of the snow seen in this image is present year round. Also visible in this photo are apparent phytoplankton blooms in the Caspian Sea, marked by blue-green swirls. Image credit: NASA.
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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. Azerbaijan remains involved in the protracted Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Armenia. Nagorno-Karabakh was a primarily ethnic Armenian region that Moscow recognized in 1923 as an autonomous oblast within Soviet Azerbaijan. In the late Soviet period, a separatist movement developed which 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. Following a Second Nagorno-Karabakh War that took place in September-November 2020, Azerbaijan recaptured much of the territory it had lost a quarter century earlier and under the terms of a cease fire agreement, Armenia returned the remaining territories it occupied to Azerbaijan.

In the 25 years following its independence, Azerbaijan succeeded in significantly reducing the poverty rate and has directed revenues from its oil and gas production to develop the country’s infrastructure. However, corruption remains a problem, and the government has been accused of authoritarianism. The country’s leadership has remained in the Aliyev family since Heydar ALIYEV became president in 1993 and was succeeded by his son, President Ilham ALIYEV in 2003. Following two national referendums in the past several years that eliminated presidential term limits and extended presidential terms from 5 to 7 years, President ALIYEV secured a fourth term as president in April 2018 in an election that international observers noted had serious shortcomings. Reforms are underway to diversify the country’s non-oil economy and 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 region's autonomy was abolished by Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet on 26 November 1991

country comparison to the world: 113

Area - comparative

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

<p>about three-quarters the size of Pennsylvania; slightly smaller than Maine</p>

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

14,277 sq km (2012)

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

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 separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region is populated almost entirely by ethnic Armenians

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

Age structure

0-14 years: 22.84% (male 1,235,292/female 1,095,308)

15-24 years: 13.17% (male 714,718/female 629,494)

25-54 years: 45.29% (male 2,291,600/female 2,330,843)

55-64 years: 11.41% (male 530,046/female 634,136)

65 years and over: 7.29% (male 289,604/female 454,769) (2020 est.)

This is the population pyramid for Azerbaijan. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends. <br/><br/>For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 43.4

youth dependency ratio: 33.7

elderly dependency ratio: 9.7

potential support ratio: 10.3 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 32.6 years

male: 31.1 years

female: 34.2 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 108

Birth rate

14.03 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 130

Death rate

6.93 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 120

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 78

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: 56.8% of total population (2021)

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

note: data include Nagorno-Karabakh

Major urban areas - population

2.371 million BAKU (capital) (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.13 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.14 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

26 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 120

Infant mortality rate

total: 24.1 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 25.23 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 22.91 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 71

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 73.88 years

male: 70.79 years

female: 77.15 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 144

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 87.4% of population

total: 94.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 12.6% of population

total: 4.9% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

3.45 physicians/1,000 population (2014)

Hospital bed density

4.8 beds/1,000 population (2014)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 89.1% of population

total: 95.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 10.9% of population

total: 4.9% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

<200 (2020 est.)

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 (2020)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 12.4%

male: 10.9%

female: 14.2% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 122

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

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 18.2 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 37.62 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 44.87 megatons (2020 est.)

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: 56.8% of total population (2021)

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

note: data include Nagorno-Karabakh

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 60

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: 449.6 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 3.062 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 9.27 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

34.675 billion cubic meters (2017 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 June 2006)

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 (eligible for unlimited terms); election last held on 11 April 2018 (next to be held in 2025); 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 expanded presidential terms 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

election results: 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; 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 70, CSP 3, AVP 1, CUP 1, Democratic Enlightenment 1, PDR 1, Great Order 1, VP 1, Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front 1, independent 41, vacant 4; composition - men 103, women 22, percent of women 17.6%

Judicial branch

highest courts: 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
Civil Solidarity Party or CSP [Sabir RUSTAMKHANLI]
Civil Unity Party or CUP [Sabir HAJIYEV]
Great Order Party
Islamic Party of Azerbaijan [Mavsum SAMADOV]
Musavat [Arif HAJILI]
Popular Front Party [Ali KARIMLI]
Motherland Party or AVP [Fazail AGAMALI]
National Renaissance Party
Party for Democratic Reforms (PDR)
Social Democratic Party [Ayaz MUTALIBOV]
Social Prosperity Party [Khanhusein KAZIMLI]
Unity Party (VP) [Tahir KARIMLI]
Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front Party [Gudrat HASANGULIYEV]
Yeni (New) Azerbaijan Party or YAP [President 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 (vacant); note - Ambassador Elin SULEYMANOV left in early August 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; consul@azembassy.us

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

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Lee LITZENBERGER (since 12 March 2019)

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

Economy

Economic overview

Prior to the decline in global oil prices since 2014, Azerbaijan's high economic growth was attributable to rising energy exports and to some non-export sectors. 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 expected completion of the geopolitically important Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) between Azerbaijan and Europe will open up another source of revenue from gas exports. First gas to Turkey through the SGC is expected in 2018 with project completion expected by 2020-21.

Declining oil prices caused a 3.1% contraction in GDP in 2016, and a 0.8% decline in 2017, highlighted by a sharp reduction in the construction sector. The economic decline was accompanied by higher inflation, a weakened banking sector, and two sharp currency devaluations in 2015. Azerbaijan’s financial sector continued to struggle. In May 2017, Baku allowed the majority state-owed International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA), the nation’s largest bank, to default on some of its outstanding debt and file for restructuring in Azerbaijani courts; IBA also filed in US and UK bankruptcy courts to have its restructuring recognized in their respective jurisdictions.

Azerbaijan has made limited progress with 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. The government has, however, made efforts to combat corruption, particularly in customs and government services. Several other obstacles impede Azerbaijan's economic progress, including the need for more foreign investment in the non-energy sector and the continuing conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. While trade with Russia and the other former Soviet republics remains important, Azerbaijan has expanded trade with Turkey and Europe and is seeking new markets for non-oil/gas exports - mainly in the agricultural sector - with Gulf Cooperation Council member countries, the US, and others. It is also improving Baku airport and the Caspian Sea port of Alat for use as a regional transportation and logistics hub.

Long-term prospects depend on world oil prices, Azerbaijan's ability to develop export routes for its growing gas production, and its ability to improve the business environment and diversify the economy. In late 2016, the president approved a strategic roadmap for economic reforms that identified key non-energy segments of the economy for development, such as agriculture, logistics, information technology, and tourism. In October 2017, the long-awaited Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, stretching from the Azerbaijani capital to Kars in north-eastern Turkey, began limited service.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$138.51 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)

$144.74 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)

$141.24 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 78

Real GDP growth rate

0.1% (2017 est.)

-3.1% (2016 est.)

0.6% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 188

Real GDP per capita

$13,700 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)

$14,400 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)

$14,200 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 112

GDP (official exchange rate)

$48.104 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.6% (2019 est.)

2.3% (2018 est.)

12.8% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 129

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BB+ (2016)

Moody's rating: Ba2 (2017)

Standard & Poors rating: BB+ (2016)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 6.1% (2017 est.)

industry: 53.5% (2017 est.)

services: 40.4% (2017 est.)

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

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 37%

industry: 14.3%

services: 48.9% (2014)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.4%

highest 10%: 27.4% (2008)

Budget

revenues: 9.556 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 10.22 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

54.1% of GDP (2017 est.)

50.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 85

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

$1.685 billion (2017 est.)

-$1.363 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 44

Exports

$15.21 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2020 est.)

$23.63 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2019 est.)

$25.48 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 91

Exports - partners

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

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, natural gas, refined petroleum, tomatoes, gold (2019)

Imports

$15.54 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2020 est.)

$17.71 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2019 est.)

$17.71 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 95

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

$6.681 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$7.142 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 88

Debt - external

$17.41 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$13.83 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 99

Exchange rates

Azerbaijani manats (AZN) per US dollar -

1.723 (2017 est.)

1.5957 (2016 est.)

1.5957 (2015 est.)

1.0246 (2014 est.)

0.7844 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 1,652,688 (2020)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 16.3 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 61

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 10,344,300 (2020)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 102 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 86

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: a landlocked country with historically poor infrastructure; state control of telecom systems; progress with Digital Hub project despite economic contraction in 2020; government launched e-school and e-service programs; risk of delays in infrastructure and launch of new technologies, including 5G due to slow market demand; LTE supports most data traffic while mobile broadband subscribership grows rapidly; fixed-line broadband market has slight upward trend; Internet access is expensive and suffers from outages and intentional government disruption; importer of broadcasting equipment from Russia (2020)

domestic: teledensity of some 17 fixed-lines per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity has increased to 107 telephones per 100 persons; satellite service connects Baku to a modern switch in its exclave of Naxcivan (Nakhchivan) (2019)

international: country code - 994; the 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 (2019)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

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: 8,017,120

percent of population: 79.8% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 60

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 1,995,474 (2020)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 19.68 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 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 mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

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 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 7

under 914 m: 7 (2013)

Heliports

1 (2012)

Pipelines

89 km condensate, 3890 km gas, 2446 km oil (2013)

Railways

total: 2,944 km (2017)

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

country comparison to the world: 62

Merchant marine

total: 305

by type: general cargo 38, oil tanker 43, other 224 (2021)

country comparison to the world: 54

Ports and terminals

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

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Land Forces (Combined Arms Army), Air Forces, Navy Forces; Ministry of Internal Affairs: State Border Service (includes Coast Guard), Internal Security Troops (2021)

Military expenditures

5.4% of GDP (2020 est.)

4% of GDP (2019)

3.6% of GDP (2018)

3.8% of GDP (2017)

3.7% of GDP (2016)

country comparison to the world: 6

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; approximately 65,000 total active troops (55,000 Army; 2,000 Navy; 8,000 Air Force); approximately 15,000 Ministry of Internal Affairs troops (2020)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the inventory of the Azerbaijan military is comprised mostly of Russian and Soviet-era weapons systems with a smaller mix of equipment from other countries; since 2010, Russia is the leading supplier of arms to Azerbaijan, followed by Israel and Turkey (2020)

Military deployments

120 Afghanistan (NATO) (2021)

Military service age and obligation

18-35 years of age for compulsory 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 (2020)

Military - note

since November 2020, Russia has deployed about 2,000 peacekeeping troops to the area in and around Nagorno-Karabakh as part of a cease-fire agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan; fighting erupted between the two countries over the Nagorno-Karabakh region in September of 2020; Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces (the "Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army") backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994; six weeks of fighting resulted in about 6,000 deaths and ended after Armenia ceded swathes of Nagorno-Karabakh territory; tensions remained high through 2021, and both sides have accused the other of provocations since the fighting ended; Armenia has accused Azerbaijani forces of a series of border intrusions and of seizing pockets of territory

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS)

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

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

Refugees and internally displaced persons

IDPs: 735,000 (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) (2020)

stateless persons: 3,585 (2020)

Trafficking in persons

current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Azerbaijan and exploit Azerbaijanis abroad; Azerbaijani men and boys experience forced labor domestically and in Qatar, Russia, and the UAE; Azerbaijani women and children are subjected to sex trafficking domestically and in Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Turkey, and the UAE; Azerbaijan is a destination country for sex and forced labor trafficking victims from China, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan; some children are exploited domestically for forced begging and forced labor as roadside vendors and at tea houses and wedding venues

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Azerbaijan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; more traffickers were convicted and judges received guidance to issue stricter sentences; the government significantly increased funding for victim protection by establishing grants for civil society; however, authorities identified fewer victims than in the previous year, did not regularly screen vulnerable populations, and continued to lack proactive identification methods, resulting in victims being penalized for unlawful acts traffickers compelled them to commit (2020)

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