Capital: Baku
Currency: Azerbaijani manat
President: Ilham Aliyev
National anthem: Azərbaycan marşı
Population: 9.298 million (2012)

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


  • Azerbaijan derives its name from “Atropates” a satrap of Persia under the Achaemenid Empire.
  • The word is believed to have Zoroastrian origins.
  • The “Hymn to the Guardian Angles” has a mention of a phrase “"we worship the Fravashi of the holy Atare-pata"
  •  Atropates reigned over the Iranian Azerbaijan.
  • The name "Atropates" translates to "protected by fire”.


  • In ancient times, parts of Azerbaijan were referred to as “Caucasian Albania”.
  • The region was disputed by Arabs, Kazars and Turks at different points in history.
  • After the 11th century, Turks took over the region and propagated the Shiite Muslim culture.
  • In the early 1800s, Soviet gained control over Azerbaijan through the Treaty of Gulistan and the Treaty of Turkmanchai.
  • Azerbaijan gained independence from Russia in May 1918 after the Bolshevik Revolution.
  • The country was re-conquered in 1920 by the Red Army.
  • It was annexed into the Transcaucasian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1922.
  • Azerbaijan was later reestablished as a separate Soviet Republic on Dec. 5, 1936.
  • Azerbaijan declared independence from the Soviet Union on Aug. 30, 1991.
  • The enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh has been a constant cause of conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan since 1988.
  • War broke out in 1988 when Nagorno-Karabakh tried to annex itself to Armenia.
  • The war resulted in large number of causalities before it ended in 1994.
  • The territorial dispute remains unresolved till date.
  • Since 1994, the government of Azerbaijan has been working towards generating revenues through the country’s rich oil resources.

Azerbaijan Flag


The ethnic groups in Azerbaijan are distributed as follows:

  • Azeri: 90.6%
  • Dagestani: 2.2%
  • Russian: 1.8%
  • Armenian: 1.5%
  • Other: 3.9% 
  • Almost all Armenians live in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region.
  • Religious affiliation is nominal in Azerbaijan.

Government and Politics:

  • Azerbaijan is run by a republic government.
  • Administrative divisions comprise of 59 rayons, 11 cities and 1 autonomous republic.
  • Founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, 28 May (1918) is observed as a national holiday.
  • The  Constitution was adopted on 12 November 1995.
  • The legal system is based on civil law system.
  • The country has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
  • The president is the chief of state.
  • The prime minister is the head of government.
  • The Council of Ministers is appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly.
  • The president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term.
  • The prime minister and first deputy prime minister are appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly.
  • The Legislative branch is a unicameral National Assembly or Milli Mejlis comprising of 125 seats.
  • The Judicial branch is represented by the Supreme Court.


  • Azerbaijani belongs to the Altaic family of languages and is very similar to Turkish.
  • Majority of the population is Muslim (around 95%).
  • Shia Muslims are the dominant sect (75%) as compared to Sunni Muslims (25%).
  • Around 5% of the population is Christian out of which most are Russian and Armenian Orthodox Christians.
  • Other religions include Jewish and Bahai.
  • Historical sites suggest the existence of Hinduism and Zoroastrianism in the region in the past.
  • Azerbaijan has a rich tradition of Azeri music.
  • Among national musical instruments there are fourteen string instruments, eight percussion instruments and six wind instruments.
  • The Chokha and Papakhi are Azerbaijan’s national dresses.


  • Azerbaijan owes most of its economy to oil exports.
  • The country has increased its oil trade multifold in the past few years.
  • Azerbaijan faced initial problems in making a shift from a command to a market economy.
  • Limited foreign investments in the non-energy sector and conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region have adversely affected the economy.
  • Corruption and inflation are other factors that impede economic growth.
  • GDP (purchasing power parity) as calculated in 2007 was $65.47 billion.
  • 4.3% of the population is unemployed.
  • 24% of the population is below poverty line.
  • Agricultural produce includes cotton, grain, rice, grapes, fruit, vegetables, tea, tobacco, cattle, pigs, sheep and goats.
  • The major industries are petroleum and natural gas, petroleum products, oilfield equipment; steel, iron ore; cement; chemicals and petrochemicals and textiles.
  • As per 2007 estimate, the industrial production growth rate was 25%.
  • Exported commodities include oil and gas, machinery, cotton and foodstuffs.
  • Imported commodities include machinery and equipment, oil products, foodstuffs, metals and chemicals.


  • Telephone services in Azerbaijan are inadequate and limited.
  • Since the only services available are owned by the state, there is little development and modernization.
  • Cellular services are gradually expanding in network and quality due to increasing competition.
  • There are a total of 27 radio broadcast stations.
  • There are 2 television broadcast stations.
  • Internet services are limited to major towns and cities.
  • Azerbaijan has 35 airports in all out of which 27 have paved runways.
  • The country’s railway network is 2,122 km long.
  • Roadways span over 59,141 km.
  • Azerbaijan’s merchant marine comprises of 86 ships.
  • The main ports and terminals are located at Baku.


  • 98.8% of the total population is literate.
  • Male: 99.5%
  • Female: 98.2%

Neighbouring Countries:

Azerbaijan is surrounded by:

  • Caspian Sea (east)
  • Russia (north)
  • Georgia (west and northwest)
  • Armenia (southwest)
  • Iran (south)

The Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan is bordered by:

  • Armenia (north and east)
  • Iran (south) and
  • Turkey (west and southwest)

Geographics Settings:

  • Azerbaijan is located in southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea.
  • Its geographic coordinates are 40 30 N, 47 30 E.
  • The country spans a total area of 86,600 sq km
  • The climate is dry in almost all seasons with a semiarid steppe.
  • The terrain comprises of large, flat Kur-Araz Ovaligi (Kura-Araks Lowland with Great Caucasus Mountains to the north and Qarabag Yaylasi (Karabakh Upland) in west.
  • Baku lies on Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) that juts into Caspian Sea.
  • The highest peak is Bazarduzu Dagi standing at 4,485 m.
  • Natural resources include petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals and bauxite.
  • 20.62% of the land is arable.
  • Droughts are common in the region.
  • Pollution and toxic wastes in the Caspian Sea is a major environmental concern.
  • Both the main area of the country and the Naxcivan exclave are landlocked.


Azerbaijan gained freedom form the Soviet Union on 30 August 1991.

Notable People in the Country:

  • Mstislav Rostropovich: (1927- ) - cellist
  • Garry Kimovich Kasparov: (1963- ) - chess player
  • Lev Davidovich Landau: (1908-1968) - theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate
  • Kara Karayev: (1918-1982) – musician
  • Arif Melikov: (1933- ) – composer and musician
  • Samad Vurgun: (1906-1956) - Poet, playwriter, academician
  • Fikrat Amirov: (1922-1985) – vocalist
  • Bul-Bul: (1897-1971)- classical musician and singer

Famous for:

  • Historical sites like Gobustan State Reserve, the Fire Temple of Baku, the Momine Khatun Mausoleum and the Khan Palace in Sheki are recognized by the UNESCO World Heritage.

Total Population:

  • According to a 2008 estimate, the total population of Azerbaijan was 8,177,717.
  • The population growth rate is 0.723% (2008 est.)
  • Birth rate: 17.52 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
  • Death rate: 8.32 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Azerbaijani Related Topics:

» Azerbaijani Flag » Sports in Azerbaijani

Azerbaijani Tourist Attractions:

  • Heydar Aliyev Center
  • We Are Our Mountains
  • Maiden Tower
  • Lake Goygol
  • Bay of Baku
  • Azerbaijan Carpet Museum
  • Palace of the Shirvanshahs
  • Baku TV Tower
  • Gobustan National Park
  • Peace Dove