Azerbaijan in Asia
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The information on this page comes from the CIA Web site and is presented here and updated for 1996 as a reference resource by Adil Baguirov.

World Factbook 1995

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Note: Azerbaijan continues to be plagued by an unresolved seven-year-old conflict with Armenian separatists over its Qarabag (Nagorno-Karabakh) region. The Qarabag Armenians have declared independence, not recognized by anyone in the world, and seized almost 20% of the country's territory, creating almost 1.1 million Azerbaijanis displaced in the process. Both sides have generally observed a Russian-mediated cease-fire in place since May 1994, and support the OSCE-mediated peace process, now entering its fifth year. Nevertheless, Baku and Xankandi (Stepanakert) remain far apart on most substantive issues from the placement and composition of a peacekeeping force to the enclave's ultimate political status, and prospects for a negotiated settlement remain dim.


Location: Southeastern Europe and Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia
Geopolitics: South-Eastern Europe
Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States - European States, Former Soviet Union
total area: 86,600 sq km
land area: 86,100 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than Maine
note: includes the exclave of Naxcivan Autonomous Republic and the Qarabag (Nagorno-Karabakh) region; the region's autonomy was abolished by Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet on 26 November 1991
Land boundaries: total 2,013 km, Armenia (west) 566 km, Armenia (southwest) 221 km, Georgia 322 km, Iran (south) 432 km, Iran (southwest) 179 km, Russia 284 km, Turkey 9 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
note: Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea (800 km, est.)
Maritime claims: none; landlocked
International disputes: violent and longstanding dispute with ethnic Armenians of Qarabag (Nagorno-Karabakh) over its status; Caspian Sea boundaries are not yet determined
Climate: dry, semiarid steppe. Azerbaijan features 9 climatic zones out of 13 existing.
Terrain: large, flat Kur-Araz Lowland (much of it below sea level) with Great Caucasus Mountains to the north, Qarabag Upland in west; Baku lies on Abseron (Apsheron) Peninsula that juts into Caspian Sea
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, alumina, small deposits of gold, mineral water
Land use:
arable land: 18%
permanent crops: 4%
meadows and pastures: 25%
forest and woodland: 0%
other: 53%
Irrigated land: 14,010 sq km (1990)
current issues: local scientists consider the Abseron (Apsheron) Peninsula (including Baku and Sumqayit) and the Caspian Sea to be the ecologically most devastated area in the world because of severe air, water, and soil pollution; soil pollution results from the use of DDT as a pesticide and also from toxic defoliants used in the production of cotton
natural hazards: droughts; some lowland areas threatened by rising levels of the Caspian Sea
international agreements: signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Climate Change
Note: landlocked


Population: 7,565,000 (December 1, 1996 estimate by the State Statistical Board of Azerbaijan Republic. The old CIA estimate was 7,789,886 on July 1995)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 33% (female 1,241,952; male 1,315,313)
15-64 years: 61% (female 2,437,810; male 2,307,496)
65 years and over: 6% (female 303,926; male 183,389) (July 1995 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.32% (1995 est.)
Birth rate: 22.05 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Death rate: 6.56 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Net migration rate: -2.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 33.9 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.09 years
male: 67.4 years
female: 74.97 years (1995 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.64 children born/woman (1995 est.)
noun: Azerbaijani(s)
adjective: Azerbaijani
Ethnic divisions: Azeri 90%, Dagestani Peoples 3.2%, Russian 2.5%, Armenian 2.3%, other 2% (1995 est.)
note: almost all Armenians live in the separatist Qarabag (Nagorno-Karabakh) region
Religions: Muslim 93.4%, Russian Orthodox 2.5%, Armenian Orthodox 2.3%, other 1.8% (1995 est.)
note: freedom of religion, no official state religion recognized; religious affiliation is still nominal in Azerbaijan; actual practicing adherents are much lower
Languages: Azeri 89%, Russian 3%, Armenian 2%, other 6% (1995 est.)
Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1989)
total population: 97%
male: 99%
female: 96%
Labor force: 2.789 million
by occupation: agriculture and forestry 32%, industry and construction 26%, other 42% (1990)


conventional long form: Azerbaijan Republic
conventional short form: Azerbaijan
local long form: Azarbaycan Respublikasi
local short form: Azarbaycan
former: Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic
Digraph: AJ (AZ)
Type: Republic
Capital: Baku (Baki)
Administrative divisions: 59 rayons (rayonlar; rayon - singular), 11 cities* (saharlar; sahar - singular), 1 autonomous republic** (muxtar respublika); Abscron Rayonu, Agcabadi Rayonu, Agdam Rayonu, Agdas Rayonu, Agstafa Rayonu, Agsu Rayonu , AliBayramli Sahari*, Astara Rayonu, Baki Sahari*, Balakan Rayonu, Barda Rayonu, Beylaqan Rayonu, Bilasuvar Rayonu, Cabrayil Rayonu, Calilabad Rayonu, Daskasan Rayonu, Davaci Rayonu, Fuzuli Rayonu, Gadabay Rayonu, Ganca Sahari*, Goranboy Rayonu, Goycay R ayonu, Haciqabul Rayonu, Imisli Rayonu, Ismayilli Rayonu, Kalbacar Rayonu, Kurdamir Rayonu, Lacin Rayonu, Lankaran Rayonu, Lankaran Sahari*, Lerik Rayonu, Masalli Rayonu, Mingacevir Sahari*, Naftalan Sahari*, Naxcivan Muxtar Respublikasi**, Neftcala Rayon u, Oguz Rayonu, Qabala Rayonu, Qax Rayonu, Qazax Rayonu, Qobustan Rayonu, Quba Rayonu, Qubadli Rayonu, Qusar Rayonu, Saatli Rayonu, Sabirabad Rayonu, Saki Rayonu, Saki Sahari*, Salyan Rayonu, Samaxi Rayonu, Samkir Rayonu, Samux Rayonu, Siyazan Rayonu, Sum qayit Sahari*, Susa Rayonu, Susa Sahari*, Tartar Rayonu, Tovuz Rayonu, Ucar Rayonu, Xacmaz Rayonu, Xankandi Sahari*, Xanlar Rayonu, Xizi Rayonu, Xocali Rayonu, Xocavand Rayonu, Yardimb Rayonu, Yevlax Rayonu, Yevlax Sahari*, Zangilan Rayonu, Zaqatala Rayon u, Zardab Rayonu
Independence: 30 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday: Independence Day, 28 May
Constitution: adopted fourth Constitution in 1996; previous in April 1978
Legal system: based on civil law system
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Heydar ALIYEV (since 18 June 1993); election last held 3 October 1993 (next to be held NA); results - Heydar ALIYEV won 97% of vote
head of government: Prime Minister Artur Rasi-zade (since December 1996); First Deputy Prime Ministers Abbas ABBASOV, Samed SADYKOV, Vahid AKHMEDOV (since NA)
cabinet: Council of Ministers; appointed by the president and confirmed by the Mejlis
Legislative branch: unicameral
National Assembly (Milli Mejlis): elections last held 30 September and 14 October 1990 for the Supreme Soviet (next expected to be held September 1995 for the National Assembly); seats for Supreme Soviet - (360 total) Communists 280, Democratic Bloc 45 (grouping of opposition parties), other 15, vacant 20; note - on 19 May 1992 the Supreme Soviet was prorogued in favor of a Popular Front-dominated National Council; seats - (50 total) Popular Front 25, opposition elements 25
note: since June 1993 ALIYEV has rotated in several supporters to replace Popular Front adherents
Judicial branch: Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders: Azerbaijan Popular Front (APF), Ebulfez ELCIBEY, chairman; Musavat Party, Isa GAMBAR, chairman; National Independence Party, Etibar MAMEDOV, chairman; Social Democratic Party (SDP), Araz ALIZADE, chairman; Com munist Party, Ramiz AKHMEDOV, chairman; People's Freedom Party, Yunus OGUZ, chairman; Independent Social Democratic Party, Arif YUNUSOV and Leila YUNOSOVA, cochairmen; New Azerbaijan Party, Heydar ALIYEV, chairman; Boz Gurd Party, Iskander HAMIDOV, chairm an; Azerbaijan Democratic Independence Party, Qabil HUSEYNLI, chairman; Islamic Party of Azerbaijan, Ali Akram, chairman; Ana Veten Party, Fazail AGAMALIYEV; Azerbaijan Democratic Party, Sardar Jalaloglu MAMEDOV; Azerbaijan Democratic Party of Proprietors (DPOP), Makhmud MAMEDOV; Azerbaijan Patriotic Solidarity Party, Sabir RUSTAMHANLI; Azerbaijan Republic Reform Party, Fuad ASADOV; Communist Party of Azerbaijan (unregistered), Sayad SAYADOV; Equality of the Peoples Party, Faukhraddin AYDAYEV; Independent Azerbaijan Party, Nizami SULEYMANOV; Labor Party of Azerbaijan, Sabutai HAJIYEV; Liberal-Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, Lyudmila NIKOLAYEVNA; National Enlightenment Party, Hajy Osman EFENDIYEV; National Liberation Party, Panak SHAKHSEVEV; Peasant Party, Firuz MUSTAFAYEV; Radical Party of Azerbaijan, Malik SHARIFOV; United Azerbaijan Party, Kerrar ABILOV; Vetan Adzhagy Party, Zakir TAGIYEV
Other political or pressure groups: self-proclaimed Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh Republic; Talysh independence movement
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Hafiz Mir Jalal PASHAYEV
chancery: (temporary) Suite 700, 927 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 842-0001
FAX: [1] (202) 842-0004
US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Richard D. KAUZLARICH
embassy: Azadliq Prospect 83, Baku
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [9] (9412) 96-00-19, 98-03-37
FAX: [9] (9412) 98-37-55
Flag: three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), red, and green; a crescent and eight-pointed star in white are centered in red band


Overview: Azerbaijan is less developed industrially than either Armenia or Georgia, the other Transcaucasian states. It resembles the Central Asian states in its majority nominally Muslim population, high structural unemployment, and low standa rd of living. The economy's most prominent products are oil, cotton, and gas. Production from the Caspian oil and gas field has been in decline for several years, but the November 1994 ratification of the $7.5 billion and January 1997 $2.0 billion oil deals with a consortium of Western companies should generate the funds needed to spur future industrial development. Azerbaijan accounted for 1.5% to 2% of the capital stock and output of the former Soviet Union. Azerbaijan shares all the formidable problems of the ex-Soviet republics in making the transition from a command to a market economy, but its considerable energy resources brighten its long-term prospects. Baku has only recently begun making progress on economic reform, and old economic ties and structures have yet to be replaced .
National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $13.8 billion (1994 estimate as extrapolated from World Bank estimate for 1992)
National product real growth rate: -22% (1994 est.)
National product per capita: $1,790 (1994 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 28% monthly average (1994) By 1996, the inflation was reduced to approximately 1.5-2.0% a month
Unemployment rate: 0.9% includes officially registered unemployed; also large numbers of other unemployed and underemployed workers (December 1994)
revenues: $167.5 million
expenditures: $234.6 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994)
Exports: $366 million to non-FSU countries (f.o.b., 1994)
commodities: oil and gas, chemicals, oilfield equipment, textiles, cotton (1991)
partners: mostly CIS and European countries
Imports: $296 million from non-FSU countries (c.i.f., 1994)
commodities: machinery and parts, consumer durables, foodstuffs, textiles (1991)
partners: European countries
External debt: $NA
Industrial production: growth rate -25% (1994)
capacity: 4,900,000 kW
production: 17.5 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 2,270 kWh (1994)
Industries: petroleum and natural gas, petroleum products, oilfield equipment; steel, iron ore, cement; chemicals and petrochemicals; textiles
Agriculture: cotton, grain, rice, grapes, fruit, vegetables, tea, tobacco; cattle, pigs, sheep and goats
Illicit drugs: illicit cultivator of cannabis and opium poppy; mostly for CIS consumption; limited government eradication program; transshipment point for illicit drugs to Western Europe
Economic aid:
recipient: wheat from Turkey
Currency: 1 manat = 100 gopik
Exchange rates: manats per US$1 - 4300 (August 1996), 4500 (April 1995), 4168 (end of December 1994)
Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 2,090 km in common carrier service; does not include industrial lines
broad gauge: 2,090 km 1.520-m gauge (1990)
total: 36,700 km
paved or graveled: 31,800 km
unpaved: earth 4,900 km (1990)
Pipelines: crude oil 1,130 km; petroleum products 630 km; natural gas 1,240 km
Ports: Baku (Baki)
total: 69
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 2
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 3
with paved runways under 914 m: 1
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 7
with unpaved runways under 914 m: 33


Telephone system: 710,000 telephones; 90 telephones/1,000 persons (1991); 202,000 persons waiting for telephone installations (January 1991); domestic telephone service is of poor quality and inadequate
local: a joint venture of a cellular telephone system (Bakcel) in the Baku area is operational since 1994. Services include cellular phones and pagers by Motorola
intercity: Work in progress by Turkish, British, American communications companies in reconstruction of lines, including cellular and optical lines
international: connections to other former USSR republics by cable and microwave and to other countries via the Moscow international gateway switch; INTELSAT link installed in late 1992 in Baku with Turkish financial assistance with access to 200 countries through Turkey; since August 1993 an earth station near Baku has provided direct communications with New York through Russia's Stationar-11 satellite
broadcast stations: AM NA, FM: ANS-CM 102 FM STEREO, SARA 104 FM STEREO, new stations in registration process, shortwave NA
Television:Channels: AzTV1, AzTV2, ORT, RTR, TRT, STV, ANS, SARA, sometimes IRANTV and TurkmenTV; satellite dishes are widely used
broadcast stations: New 310 meters long broadcast antenna is used since summer 1996; domestic and Russian TV programs are received locally and Turkish is received from an INTELSAT satellite through a receive-only earth station

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Air Force, Navy, Maritime Border Guard, National Guard, Security Forces (internal and border troops)
Manpower availability: males age 15-49 1,927,955; males fit for military service 1,553,736; males reach military age (18) annually 68,407 (1995 est.)
Defense expenditures: 70.5 billion rubles, 10% of GDP (1993 budget allocation); note - conversion of the military budget into US dollars using the current exchange rate could produce misleading results