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Azerbaijan

 

Country Profile [CIA, 2008]
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.

 

Location

Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range

Coordinates

40 30' N 47 30' E

Capital

Baku

Main Cities

Ganja, Sumgait

Area

86600 km2

Boundaries (km)

2,013 - Armenia (with Azerbaijan-proper) 566, Armenia (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 221, Georgia 322, Iran (with Azerbaijan-proper) 432, Iran (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 179, Russia 284, Turkey 9

Coastline (km)

0 (800 km border on Caspian Sea)

Timezone (GMT)

4

Population

8,177,717 (July 2008 est.) (Demographics)

Public Holidays

Founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaidzhan, 28 May (1918), 30 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Currency

Azerbaijani manat (AZN)

GDP

$65.47 billion (2007 est.) (Economic data)

Main Exports

oil and gas 90%, machinery, cotton, foodstuffs

Climate

dry, semiarid steppe

Natural Hazards

droughts

Physical Features

Caspian Sea (371,000 km2), 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

Environmental 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

 

 

Population and Demographics

Azerbaijan has a population of 8,177,717 (July 2008 est.) .

Capital

Baku

Main urban areas

Ganja, Sumgait

Ethnic groups

Azeri 90%, Dagestani 3.2%, Russian 2.5%, Armenian 2%, other 2.3% (1998 est.) note: almost all Armenians live in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region

Languages spoken

Azerbaijani (Azeri) 89%, Russian 3%, Armenian 2%, other 6% (1995 est.)

 

Geographic Data
Azerbaijan is located in Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range, in the timezone GMT 4. The country has boundaries of 2,013 - Armenia (with Azerbaijan-proper) 566, Armenia (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 221, Georgia 322, Iran (with Azerbaijan-proper) 432, Iran (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 179, Russia 284, Turkey 9 (km), and a coastline of 0 (800 km border on Caspian Sea) (km). Major urban areas: Baku, Ganja, Sumgait.

Elevations
Lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
Highest point: Bazarduzu Dagi 4,485 m

Physical Features
Caspian Sea (371,000 km2), 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

Hazards
Droughts

Climate
Dry, semiarid steppe

Natural Resources
Petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, alumina

Land Use
Arable land: 20.62% permanent crops: 2.61% other: 76.77% (2005)

Renewable Water Resources
30.3 cu km (1997)

Fresh Water Withdrawal
total: 17.25 cu km/yr (5%/28%/68%) per capita: 2,051 cu m/yr (2000)

Environmental 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.