Introduction Azerbaijan - a nation with a majority-Turkic and majority-Muslim population - was briefly independent from 1918 to 1920; it regained its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Despite a 1994 cease-fire, Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict with Armenia over the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh enclave (largely Armenian populated). Azerbaijan has lost 16% of its territory and must support some 600,000 internally displaced persons as a result of the conflict. Corruption is ubiquitous, and the government has been accused of authoritarianism. Although the poverty rate has been reduced in recent years, the promise of widespread wealth from development of Azerbaijan's energy sector remains largely unfulfilled.

Ancient History

The earliest evidence of human settlement in the territory of Azerbaijan dates to the late Stone Age and is related to the Quruçay culture of Azykh Cave. The Upper Paleolithic and particularly Mousterian cultures are attested to in the caves of Tağlar, Damcili, Zar, Yataq-yeri, etc. Jugs with the remnants of dry wine, revealed in the necropolises of Leylatepe and Sarytepe, testify to wine-making activity during the Late Bronze Age.

The entire South Caucasus was conquered by the Achaemenids around 550 B.C., which led to the spread of Zoroastrianism in this part of the Median Empire. After its overthrow by Alexander the Great, the Seleucid Greeks, who inherited the Caucasus, were ultimately beset by pressures from Rome, secessionist Greeks in Bactria and most adversely the Parthians. Caucasian Albanians, the original inhabitants of the area established a kingdom in the 4th century B.C. In 95-67 B.C. parts of Caucasian Albania may have been under the subjugation of neighboring Armenia, as a part of Tigranes the Great's empire. According to Strabo, as the Romans and Parthians began to expand their domains, Albania, unlike Iberia and Armenia, remained independent of Roman domination, signing a peace treaty (Strabo XI, 4, 5). The Roman inscription found in Gobustan testifies to the presence of Legio XII Fulminata in the time of Domitian.

Caucasian Albania remained largely independent until the Sassanids turned it into a vassal state in 252 A.D. King Urnayr of Caucasian Albania officially adopted Christianity as the state religion in the 4th century A.D., and Albania remained a predominantly Christian state until the Islamic conquest of the 8th century A.D. Despite numerous conquests by the Sassanids and Byzantines, Caucasian Albania remained an entity in the region until the 9th century A.D. The territory of modern Azerbaijan roughly corresponds to the ancient state of Caucasian Albania.[12]

Medieval History

The Islamic Umayyad Caliphate defeated both the Sassanids and the Byzantines, making Caucasian Albania a vassal state after the Christian resistance, led by Prince Javanshir, was suppressed in 667 A.D. After the decline of Abbasid Caliphate, the territory of present-day Azerbaijan was under the sway of numerous dynasties such as the Salarids, Sajids, Shaddadids, Rawadids and Buyids. At the beginning of the 11th century, the territory was gradually seized by waves of Turkic Oghuz tribes from Central Asia. The first of these dynasties were the Ghaznavids, who took over part of the area now known as Azerbaijan by 1030.

Locally, the possessions of the subsequent Seljuk Empire were ruled by atabegs, who were technically vassals of the Seljuk sultans, being sometimes de facto rulers themselves. Under the Seljuk Turks, local poets such as Nizami Ganjavi and Khagani Shirvani gave rise to a blossoming of Persian literature on the territory of present-day Azerbaijan. The next ruling state of the Jalayirids was short-lived and fell under the conquests of Tamerlan. The local dynasty of Shirvanshahs became a vassal state of Tamerlan's empire and assisted Tamerlan in his war with the ruler of the Golden Horde Tokhtamysh. Following Tamerlan's death two independent and rival states emerged: Kara Koyunlu and Ak Koyunlu. Until his death the Ak Koyunlu sultan Uzun Hasan ruled the whole territory now known as Azerbaijan. Thereafter the Shirvanshahs maintained a high degree of autonomy as local rulers and vassals from 861 until 1539. As the Shirvanshahs were persecuted by the Safavids, the last dynasty imposed Shia Islam upon the formerly Sunni population, battling against the Sunni Ottoman Empire. The area was ruled under Iranian dynasties of Afshar and Zand following the collapse of the Safavids and briefly under Qajars. In the meanwhile, however, several independent khanates[13][14][15][16][17] emerged in the area, especially following collapse of Zand dynasty and in early Qajar era. Engaged in constant warfare, these khanates were eventually incorporated to the Russian Empire, following two Russo-Persian Wars. Under the Treaty of Turkmenchay the Persian Empire recognized Russian sovereignty over the Erivan khanate, the Nakhchivan khanate and the remainder of the Talysh khanate.

First Independence and Soviet Azerbaijan

After the collapse of the Russian Empire during World War I, Azerbaijan together with Armenia and Georgia became part of the short-lived Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic. When the republic dissolved in May 1918, Azerbaijan declared independence as the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR). The ADR was the first democratic parliamentary republic in the Muslim world, but lasted only 23 months until the Bolshevik XIth Red Army invaded in April 1920. Overthrowing the ADR government, Bolsheviks established Azerbaijan SSR in Baku on April 28, 1920.

In 1922, Azerbaijan, along with Armenia and Georgia, became part of the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic {TSFSR), which itself became a constituent member of the newly-established Soviet Union. In 1936, TSFSR was dissolved and Azerbaijan SSR became one of the 12 (by 1940 - 15) constituent member states of the Soviet Union.

During the 1940s, the Azerbaijan SSR supplied much of the Soviet Union's oil on the Eastern Front of World War II. Close to 600,000 Azerbaijanis fought on this front against Nazi Germany. Operation Edelweiss was launched by Adolf Hitler to occupy the Caucasian oilfields and capture Baku, but all the offensives were pushed back. The Germans made largely fruitless efforts to enlist the cooperation of emigre political figures, such as Mammed Amin Rasulzade, who came to Berlin and found opportunities to meet captured Soviet Azerbaijani POWs.[18]

Newly Independent Azerbaijan

Following the politics of glasnost, initiated by the last General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, civil unrest and ethnic strife grew in various regions of the Soviet Union, including Nagorno-Karabakh, a region of the Azerbaijan SSR. The disturbances in Azerbaijan, in response to Moscow's indifference to already heated conflict, resulted in calls for independence and secession from the USSR, which subsequently culminated in the events of Black January in Baku. At this time, Ayaz Mutallibov was appointed as the First Secretary of the Azerbaijan Communist Party.

Later in 1990, the Supreme Council of the Azerbaijan SSR dropped the words "Soviet Socialist" from the title; adopted the Declaration of Sovereignty of the Azerbaijan Republic, a constituent member of Soviet Union; and restored the modified flag of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic as a state flag. In early 1991, the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan established the office of the presidency. Ayaz Mutallibov was subsequently elected as the first president by the Council. On September 8, 1991, Ayaz Mutallibov was elected as president in nationwide elections in which he was the only candidate running.

On October 18, 1991, Supreme Council of Azerbaijan adopted a Declaration of Independence which was affirmed by a nationwide referendum in December, 1991, when the Soviet Union was officially dissolved. The early years of independence were overshadowed by the Nagorno-Karabakh War with neighboring Armenia. By the end of hostilities in 1994, Azerbaijan lost control of up to 16% of its internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh itself.[19][20] In 1993, democratically elected president Abulfaz Elchibey was overthrown by a military insurrection led by Colonel Suret Huseynov, which resulted in the rise to power of the former leader of Soviet Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev. In 1994, Suret Huseynov, by that time a prime minister, attempted another military coup against Heydar Aliyev but failed, was arrested and was charged with treason. In 1995, another coup attempt against Aliyev, by the commander of the military police, Rovshan Javadov, was averted, resulting in the killing of the latter and disbanding of Azerbaijan's military police.

Although during his presidency, Aliyev managed to reduce the country's unemployment, reined in criminal groups, established the fundamental institutions of independent statehood, and brought stability, peace and major foreign investment, the country was tainted by rampant corruption in the governing bureaucracy. In October 1998, Aliyev was reelected for a second term. Despite the much improved economy, particularly with the exploitations of Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oil field and Shah Deniz gas field, Aliyev's presidency became unpopular due to vote fraud, wide-spread corruption and objection to his autocratic regime. The same harsh criticism followed the elections of former Prime Minister Ilham Aliyev, the second leader of New Azerbaijan Party after the death of his father Heydar.

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
Map references: Asia
Area: total: 86,600 sq km
land: 86,100 sq km
water: 500 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
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Maine
Land boundaries: total: 2,013 km
border countries: Armenia (with Azerbaijan-proper) 566 km, Armenia (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 221 km, Georgia 322 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-proper) 432 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 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)
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) in west; Baku lies on Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) that juts into Caspian Sea
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
highest point: Bazarduzu Dagi 4,485 m
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, bauxite
Land use: arable land: 20.62%
permanent crops: 2.61%
other: 76.77% (2005)
Irrigated land: 14,550 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 30.3 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 17.25 cu km/yr (5%/28%/68%)
per capita: 2,051 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards: droughts
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
Environment - international agreements: 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
Geography - note: both the main area of the country and the Naxcivan exclave are landlocked

The structural formation of Azerbaijan's political system was completed by the acceptance of the new Constitution on November 12, 1995. The state symbols of the Azerbaijan Republic are, according to the Article 23 of Constitution, the flag, the coat of arms and the national anthem. The state power in Azerbaijan is limited only by law for internal issues, but for international affairs is additionally limited by the provisions of international agreements.

The government of Azerbaijan is based on the separation of powers among the legislative, executive and judicial branches. The legislative power is held by the unicameral National Assembly and the Supreme National Assembly in the Nakhchevan Autonomous Republic. Parliamentary elections are held every five years, on the first Sunday of November. The accuracy of the election results are checked and confirmed by the Constitutional Court. The laws enacted by the National Assembly, unless specified otherwise come into effect from the day of their publication. The executive power is carried out by the president, who is elected for a 5 year term by direct elections. The president is authorized to form the Cabinet of Ministers, an inferior executive body, subordinated to him. The Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan consists primarily of the Prime Minister, his Deputies and Ministers. The president does not have the right to dissolve the National Assembly, but has the right to veto its decisions. To override the presidential veto, the parliament must have a majority of 95 votes. The judicial power is vested in the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court and the Economic Court. The President nominates the judges in these courts.

The Security Council is the deliberative body under the president and he organizes it according to the Constitution. It was established on April 10, 1997. The administrative department is not a part of the president's office, but manages the financial, technical and pecuniary ensuring of activity of both the president and his office.

People Population: 8,120,247 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 25.4% (male 1,086,271/female 975,100)
15-64 years: 67.7% (male 2,695,428/female 2,799,047)
65 years and over: 7% (male 211,438/female 352,963) (2007 est.)
Median age: total: 27.6 years
male: 26 years
female: 29.4 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.688% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 17.47 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate: 8.35 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: -2.25 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.15 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.114 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.963 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.599 male(s)/female
total population: 0.968 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 58.31 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 64.03 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 51.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 65.96 years
male: 61.86 years
female: 70.66 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.05 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 1,400 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 100 (2001 est.)
Nationality: noun: Azerbaijani(s)
adjective: Azerbaijani
Ethnic groups: Azeri 90.6%, Dagestani 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%, other 3.9% (1999 census)
note: almost all Armenians live in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region
Religions: Muslim 93.4%, Russian Orthodox 2.5%, Armenian Orthodox 2.3%, other 1.8% (1995 est.)
note: religious affiliation is still nominal in Azerbaijan; percentages for actual practicing adherents are much lower
Languages: Azerbaijani (Azeri) 90.3%, Lezgi 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%, other 3.3%, unspecified 1% (1999 census)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.8%
male: 99.5%
female: 98.2% (1999 census)
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
Government type: 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: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions: 59 rayons (rayonlar; rayon - singular), 11 cities (saharlar; sahar - singular), 1 autonomous republic (muxtar respublika)
rayons: Abseron Rayonu, Agcabadi Rayonu, Agdam Rayonu, Agdas Rayonu, Agstafa Rayonu, Agsu Rayonu, Astara Rayonu, Balakan Rayonu, Barda Rayonu, Beylaqan Rayonu, Bilasuvar Rayonu, Cabrayil Rayonu, Calilabad Rayonu, Daskasan Rayonu, Davaci Rayonu, Fuzuli Rayonu, Gadabay Rayonu, Goranboy Rayonu, Goycay Rayonu, Haciqabul Rayonu, Imisli Rayonu, Ismayilli Rayonu, Kalbacar Rayonu, Kurdamir Rayonu, Lacin Rayonu, Lankaran Rayonu, Lerik Rayonu, Masalli Rayonu, Neftcala Rayonu, Oguz Rayonu, Qabala Rayonu, Qax Rayonu, Qazax Rayonu, Qobustan Rayonu, Quba Rayonu, Qubadli Rayonu, Qusar Rayonu, Saatli Rayonu, Sabirabad Rayonu, Saki Rayonu, Salyan Rayonu, Samaxi Rayonu, Samkir Rayonu, Samux Rayonu, Siyazan Rayonu, Susa Rayonu, Tartar Rayonu, Tovuz Rayonu, Ucar Rayonu, Xacmaz Rayonu, Xanlar Rayonu, Xizi Rayonu, Xocali Rayonu, Xocavand Rayonu, Yardimli Rayonu, Yevlax Rayonu, Zangilan Rayonu, Zaqatala Rayonu, Zardab Rayonu
cities: Ali Bayramli Sahari, Baki Sahari, Ganca Sahari, Lankaran Sahari, Mingacevir Sahari, Naftalan Sahari, Saki Sahari, Sumqayit Sahari, Susa Sahari, Xankandi Sahari, Yevlax Sahari
autonomous republic: Naxcivan Muxtar Respublikasi
Independence: 30 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday: Founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, 28 May (1918)
Constitution: adopted 12 November 1995
Legal system: based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: 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)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly
elections: president elected by popular vote to a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 15 October 2003 (next to be held in October 2008); prime minister and first deputy prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly
election results: Ilham ALIYEV elected president; percent of vote - Ilham ALIYEV 76.8%, Isa GAMBAR 14%
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Milli Mejlis (125 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 6 November 2005 (next to be held in November 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Yeni 58, Azadliq coalition 8, CSP 2, YES 2, Motherland 2, other parties with single seats 7, independents 42, undetermined 4
Judicial branch: Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders: Azadliq ("Freedom") coalition (Popular Front Party, Liberal Party, Citizens' Development Party); Azerbaijan Democratic Party (ADP) [Sardar JALALOGLU]; Azerbaijan Democratic Reforms Party (ADRP) Youth Movement [Ramin HAJILI]; Azerbaijan Popular Front or APF, now split in two [Ali KARIMLI, leader of "Reform" APF party; Mirmahmud MIRALI-OGLU, leader of "Classic" APF party]; Azerbaijan Public Forum [Eldar NAMAZOV]; Citizens' Development Party [Ali ALIYEV]; Civil Solidarity Party or CSP [Sabir RUSTAMKHANLY]; Dalga Youth Movement [Vafa JAFAROVA]; Green Party [Mais GULALIYEV and Tarana MAMMADOVA]; Hope (Umid) Party [Iqbal AGAZADE]; Ireli Youth Movement [Jeyhun OSMANLI, Roya TALIBOVA, Farhad MAMMADOV, Elnara GARIBOVA, Elnur MAMMADOV, Ziya ALIYEV]; Justice Party [Ilyas ISMAILOV]; Liberal Party of Azerbaijan [Lala Shovkat HACIYEVA]; Magam Youth Movement [Emin HUSEYNOV]; Motherland Party [Fazail AGAMALI]; Musavat ("Equality") [Isa GAMBAR, chairman]; Musavat Party Youth Movement [Elnur MAMMADLI]; National Democratic Party or "Grey Wolves" (Nationalist, Pan-Turkic) [Iskender HAMIDOV]; Open Society Party [Rasul GULIYEV, in exile in the US]; Party for National Independence of Azerbaijan or PNIA [Ayaz RUSTAMOV]; Popular Front Party Youth Movement [Seymur KHAZIYEV]; Social Democratic Party of Azerbaijan or SDP [Araz ALIZADE and Ayaz MUTALIBOV (in exile)]; Turkish Nationalist Party [Vugar BAYTURAN]; United Azerbaijan Party [Karrar ABILOV]; United Azerbaijan National Unity Party [Hajibaba AZIMOV]; United Party [Tahir KARIMLI]; Yeni (New) Azerbaijan Party [President Ilham ALIYEV]; Yeni Azerbaijan Party Youth Movement [Ramil HASANOV]; Yox (No) Youth Movement [Ali ISMAYILOV]
note: opposition parties regularly factionalize and form new parties;
Political pressure groups and leaders: Sadval, Lezgin movement; self-proclaimed Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh Republic; Talysh independence movement; Union of Pro-Azerbaijani Forces (UPAF); Karabakh Liberation Organization
International organization participation: ADB, BSEC, CE, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Yashar ALIYEV
chancery: 2741 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 337-3500
FAX: [1] (202) 337-5911
Consulate(s) general: Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Anne E. DERSE
embassy: 83 Azadliyg Prospecti, Baku AZ1007
mailing address: American Embassy Baku, US Department of State, 7050 Baku Place, Washington, DC 20521-7050
telephone: [994] (12) 4980-335 through 337
FAX: [994] (12) 4656-671
Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), red, and green; a crescent and eight-pointed star in white are centered in red band

Azerbaijan folk consists of Azerbaijanis, the representative part of society, as well as of nations and ethnic groups, compactly living in various areas of the country. There are radio broadcasts in Kurdish, Lezgin, Talysh, Georgian, Russian and Armenian languages, which are financed from the state budget.[31] The local radio station in Balakan organizes broadcasts in the Avar language and in Khachmaz also in Tat.[31] In Baku several newspapers are published in Russian, Kurdish (Dengi Kurd), Lezgin (Samur) and Talysh languages.[31] Jewish society "Sokhnut" publishes the newspaper Aziz.[31]

Among national musical instruments there are fourteen string instruments, eight percussion instruments and six wind instruments.[58]

Azerbaijan national and traditional dress, are the Chokha and Papakhi.

Azerbaijan will make its debut appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest 2008, an event that has previously been used to showcase other former Soviet and Eastern Bloc states.

Entries, submitted on the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list include the Gobustan State Reserve, the Fire Temple of Baku, the Momine Khatun Mausoleum and the Khan Palace in Sheki.

Economy Economy - overview: Azerbaijan's high economic growth in 2006 and 2007 is attributable to large and growing oil exports. Azerbaijan's oil production declined through 1997, but has registered an increase every year since. Negotiation of production-sharing arrangements (PSAs) with foreign firms, which have committed $60 billion to long-term oilfield development, should generate the funds needed to spur future industrial development. Oil production under the first of these PSAs, with the Azerbaijan International Operating Company, began in November 1997. A consortium of Western oil companies began pumping 1 million barrels a day from a large offshore field in early 2006, through a $4 billion pipeline it built from Baku to Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. By 2010 revenues from this project will double the country's current GDP. Azerbaijan shares all the formidable problems of the former 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 are slowly being replaced. Several other obstacles impede Azerbaijan's economic progress: the need for stepped up foreign investment in the non-energy sector, the continuing conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, pervasive corruption, and elevated inflation. 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 will depend on world oil prices, the location of new oil and gas pipelines in the region, and Azerbaijan's ability to manage its energy wealth.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $72.2 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $31.07 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 31% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $9,000 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 6%
industry: 64%
services: 29.9% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 5.243 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 41%
industry: 7%
services: 52% (2001)
Unemployment rate: 8.5% official rate (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line: 24% (2005 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.1%
highest 10%: 29.5% (2001)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 36.5 (2001)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 16% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 26.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $6.752 billion
expenditures: $8.36 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt: 5.4% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products: cotton, grain, rice, grapes, fruit, vegetables, tea, tobacco; cattle, pigs, sheep, goats
Industries: petroleum and natural gas, petroleum products, oilfield equipment; steel, iron ore; cement; chemicals and petrochemicals; textiles
Industrial production growth rate: 31% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 23.8 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 89.7%
hydro: 10.3%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 27.5 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - exports: 880 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports: 2.082 billion kWh (2005)
Oil - production: 934,700 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption: 160,000 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - exports: 795,600 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - imports: 3,924 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 7 billion bbl (17 April 2007 est.)
Natural gas - production: 6.3 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 9.8 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 4.373 billion cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 849.5 billion cu m (17 April 2007 est.)
Current account balance: $7.535 billion (2007 est.)
Exports: $19.53 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: oil and gas 90%, machinery, cotton, foodstuffs
Exports - partners: Italy 44.7%, Israel 10.7%, Turkey 6.1%, France 5.5%, Russia 5.4%, Iran 4.6%, Georgia 4.5% (2006)
Imports: $6.376 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, oil products, foodstuffs, metals, chemicals <;br />
Imports - partners: Russia 22.4%, UK 8.6%, Germany 7.7%, Turkey 7.3%, Turkmenistan 7%, Ukraine 6%, China 4.2% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: ODA, $223.4 million (2005 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $4 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $2.022 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $12.58 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $4.391 billion (2006 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Currency (code): Azerbaijani manat (AZM)
Currency code: AZM
Exchange rates: Azerbaijani manats per US dollar - 0.8581 (2007), 0.8934 (2006), 4,727.1 (2005), 4,913.48 (2004), 4,910.73 (2003)
note: on 1 January 2006 Azerbaijan revalued its currency, with 5,000 old manats equal to 1 new manat
Fiscal year: calendar year
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 1.189 million (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 3.324 million (2006)
Telephone system: general assessment: inadequate; requires considerable expansion and modernization; teledensity of 15 main lines per 100 persons is low; mobile cellular penetration is increasing and is currently about 40 telephones per 100 persons
domestic: fixed-line telephony and a broad range of other telecom services are controlled by a state-owned telecoms monopoly and growth has been stagnant; more competition exists in the mobile-cellular market with three providers in 2006; satellite service connects Baku to a modern switch in its exclave of Naxcivan
international: country code - 994; the old Soviet system of cable and microwave is still serviceable; satellite earth stations - 2 (2007)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 10, FM 17, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios: 175,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 2 (1997)
Televisions: 170,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .az
Internet hosts: 3,067 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 2 (2000)
Internet users: 829,100 (2006)
Transportation Airports: 35 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 27
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 2 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 7 (2007)
Heliports: 1 (2007)
Pipelines: gas 3,857 km; oil 2,436 km (2007)
Railways: total: 2,122 km
broad gauge: 2,122 km 1.520-m gauge (1,278 km electrified) (2006)
Roadways: total: 59,141 km
paved: 29,210 km
unpaved: 29,931 km (2004)
Merchant marine: total: 86 ships (1000 GRT or over) 421,061 GRT/460,968 DWT
by type: cargo 26, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 9, petroleum tanker 45, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 3
registered in other countries: 4 (Georgia 1, Malta 3) (2007)
Ports and terminals: Baku (Baki)
Military Military branches: Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces (2008)
Military service age and obligation: men between 18 and 35 are liable for military service; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; length of military service is 18 months and 12 months for university graduates (2006)
Manpower available for military service: males age 18-49: 1,961,973
females age 18-49: 2,033,186 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 18-49: 1,314,955
females age 18-49: 1,676,408 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males age 18-49: 82,358
females age 18-49: 78,067 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.6% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: Armenia supports ethnic Armenian secessionists in Nagorno-Karabakh and since the early 1990s has militarily occupied 16% of Azerbaijan; over 800,000 mostly ethnic Azerbaijanis were driven from the occupied lands and Armenia; about 230,000 ethnic Armenians were driven from their homes in Azerbaijan into Armenia; Azerbaijan seeks transit route through Armenia to connect to Naxcivan exclave; Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) continues to mediate dispute; Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia have ratified Caspian seabed delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on an even one-fifth allocation and challenges Azerbaijan's hydrocarbon exploration in disputed waters; bilateral talks continue with Turkmenistan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian; Azerbaijan and Georgia continue to discuss the alignment of their boundary at certain crossing areas
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 2,800 (Russia)
IDPs: 580,000-690,000 (conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh) (2006)
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