Azerbaijan - a nation with a Turkic and majority-Muslim population - 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 800,000 refugees and
internally displaced persons as a result of the conflict. Corruption is
ubiquitous and the promise of widespread wealth from Azerbaijan's undeveloped
petroleum resources remains largely unfulfilled.
Map and Info on Azerbaijan
Return to Visiting Locations
Location: Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and
Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range
Area: Total: 86,600 sq km, water: 500 sq km, land: 86,100 sq km.
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).
Climate and Terrain:
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.
Natural resources: Petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals,
Population: 7,830,764 (July 2003 est.)
Ethnic groups: Azeri 90%, Dagestani 3.2%, Russian 2.5%, Armenian 2%, other
2.3%. (1998 est.)
Religions: Muslim 93.4%, Russian Orthodox 2.5%, Armenian Orthodox 2.3%, other
Languages: Azerbaijani (Azeri) 89%, Russian 3%, Armenian 2%, other 6%.
Government type: Republic.
Capital: Baku (Baki).
Independence: 30 August 1991 (from Soviet Union).
Azerbaijan's number one export is oil. 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 thus far
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.
Telephones - main lines in use: 865,000.
Telephones - mobile cellular: 800,000.
Radio broadcast stations: AM 10, FM 17, shortwave 1.
Television broadcast stations: 2.
Internet users: 25,000.
Railways: Total: 2,122 km.
Highways: Total: 24,981 km, paved: 23,057 km. unpaved: 1,924 km.
Airports: 71 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways: Total: 27,
with unpaved runways: total: 44.