Azerbaijan

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Azerbaijan - a nation with a majority-Turkic and majority-Shia Muslim population - was briefly independent (from 1918 to 1920) following the collapse of the Russian Empire; it was subsequently incorporated into the Soviet Union for seven decades. Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily ethnic Armenian-populated region that Moscow recognized in 1923 as an autonomous republic within Soviet Azerbaijan after Armenia and Azerbaijan disputed the territory's status. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, ethnic Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also seven surrounding provinces in the territory of Azerbaijan. The OSCE Minsk Group, co-chaired by the United States, France, and Russia, is the framework established to mediate a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Corruption in the country is widespread, and the government, which eliminated presidential term limits in a 2009 referendum, has been accused of authoritarianism. Although the poverty rate has been reduced and infrastructure investment has increased substantially in recent years due to revenue from oil and gas production, reforms have not adequately addressed weaknesses in most government institutions, particularly in the education and health sectors, as well as the court system.

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

Area 113/257

total: 86,600 sq km

land: 82,629 sq km

water: 3,971 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: 2,468 km

border countries (5): Armenia 996 km, Georgia 428 km, Iran 689 km, Russia 338 km, Turkey 17 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked); note - Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea (713 km)

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) to the west; Baku lies on Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) that juts into Caspian Sea

Elevation

mean elevation:

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

agricultural land: 57.6%

arable land 22.8%; permanent crops 2.7%; permanent pasture 32.1%

forest: 11.3%

other: 31.1% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

14,277 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

34.68 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 12.21 cu km/yr (4%/18%/78%)

per capita: 1,384 cu m/yr (2010)

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

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Azerbaijani(s)

adjective: Azerbaijani

Ethnic groups

Azerbaijani 91.6%, Lezgian 2%, Russian 1.3%, Armenian 1.3%, Talysh 1.3%, other 2.4%

note: the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region is populated almost entirely by ethnic Armenians (2009 est.)

Languages

Azerbaijani (Azeri) (official) 92.5%, Russian 1.4%, Armenian 1.4%, other 4.7% (2009 est.)

Religions

Muslim 96.9% (predominantly Shia), Christian 3%, other <.1 unaffiliated est.>note: religious affiliation is still nominal in Azerbaijan; percentages for actual practicing adherents are much lower

Population 92/238

9,780,780 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 22.72% (male 1,190,101/female 1,031,632)

15-24 years: 16.69% (male 847,738/female 784,379)

25-54 years: 45.17% (male 2,158,226/female 2,259,284)

55-64 years: 9.06% (male 409,137/female 477,078)

65 years and over: 6.37% (male 237,547/female 385,658) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 38%

youth dependency ratio: 30.3%

elderly dependency ratio: 7.8%

potential support ratio: 12.9% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 30.5 years

male: 28.9 years

female: 32.2 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 121/233

0.96% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 112/224

16.64 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 132/225

7.07 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 109/222

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 54.6% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 1.56% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

BAKU (capital) 2.374 million (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.11 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.15 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.08 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.96 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.86 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

23.4 (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 113/184

25 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 70/224

total: 25.68 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 26.52 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 24.74 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 143/224

total population: 72.2 years

male: 69.19 years

female: 75.54 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 135/224

1.91 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

51.1% (2006)

Health expenditures 128/191

5.6% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

3.4 physicians/1,000 population (2013)

Hospital bed density

4.7 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 94.7% of population

rural: 77.8% of population

total: 87% of population

unimproved:

urban: 5.3% of population

rural: 22.2% of population

total: 13% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 91.6% of population

rural: 86.6% of population

total: 89.3% of population

unimproved:

urban: 8.4% of population

rural: 13.4% of population

total: 10.7% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.14% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

8,400 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

400 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 71/191

22.2% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 75/138

8.4% (2006)

Education expenditures 158/173

2.4% of GDP (2011)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 12 years

male: 12 years

female: 12 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 83/134

total: 13.8%

male: 12%

female: 15.6% (2013 est.)

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

etymology: the name translates as "Land of fire" and refers to naturally occurring surface fires on ancient oil pools or from natural gas discharges

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

66 rayons (rayonlar; rayon - singular), 11 cities (saharlar; sahar - singular);

rayons: Abseron, Agcabadi, Agdam, Agdas, Agstafa, Agsu, Astara, Babak, Balakan, Barda, Beylaqan, Bilasuvar, Cabrayil, Calilabad, Culfa, Daskasan, Fuzuli, Gadabay, Goranboy, Goycay, Goygol, Haciqabul, Imisli, Ismayilli, Kalbacar, Kangarli, Kurdamir, Lacin, Lankaran, Lerik, Masalli, Neftcala, Oguz, Ordubad, Qabala, Qax, Qazax, Qobustan, Quba, Qubadli, Qusar, Saatli, Sabirabad, Sabran, Sadarak, Sahbuz, Saki, Salyan, Samaxi, Samkir, Samux, Sarur, Siyazan, Susa, Tartar, Tovuz, Ucar, Xacmaz, Xizi, Xocali, Xocavand, Yardimli, Yevlax, Zangilan, Zaqatala, Zardab

cities: Baku, Ganca, Lankaran, Mingacevir, Naftalan, Naxcivan (Nakhichevan), Saki, Sirvan, Sumqayit, Xankandi, Yevlax

Independence

30 August 1991 (declared from the Soviet Union); 18 October 1991 (adopted by the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan)

National holiday

Founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, 28 May (1918)

Constitution

several previous; latest adopted 12 November 1995; amended 2002, 2009 (2015)

Legal system

civil law system

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent: yes

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

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); note - RASIZADE was previously prime minister from 20 July 1996 to 4 August 2003

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for unlimited terms); election last held on 9 October 2013 (next to be held in October 2018); prime minister and first deputy prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly

election results: Ilham ALIYEV reelected president; percent of vote - Ilham ALIYEV (YAP) 84.5%, Jamil HASANLI (National Council of Democratic Forces) 5.5%, other 10%

note: OSCE observers concluded that the election did not meet international standards

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Milli Mejlis (125 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 1 November 2015 (next to be held in November 2020)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - YAP 72, CSP 2, Democratic Reforms 1, Social Democratic Party 1, Social Prosperity 1, Unity Party 1, Democratic Enlightenment 1, Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front 1, Motherland 1, Civil Unity 1, Great Undertaking Party 1, independent 42

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chairman, deputy chairman, and at least 24 judges in plenum sessions); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the president and appointed by the Milli Majlis; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Court chairman and deputy chairman appointed by the president; other court judges nominated by the president and appointed by the Milli Majlis to serve single 15-year terms

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal (replaced the Economic Court in 2002); district and municipal courts;

Political parties and leaders

Civil Solidarity Party or CSP [Sabir RUSTAMKHANLI]

Civil Unity Party or CUP [Sabir HAJIYEV]

Democratic Enlightenment [Elshan MUSAYEV]

Democratic Reforms Party [Asim MOLLAZADE]

Great Undertaking [Fazil MUSTAFA]

Musavat [Arif HAJILI]

Popular Front Party [Ali KARIMLI]

Motherland Party or AVP [Fazail AGAMALI]

Social Democratic Party [Ayaz MUTALIBOV]

Social Prosperity Party [Khanhusein KAZIMLI]

Unity Party [Tahir KARIMLI]

Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front Party [Gudrat HASANGULIYEV]

Yeni (New) Azerbaijan Party or YAP [President Ilham ALIYEV]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Club-125 [Ilhamia RZAYEVA]

Ireli Youth Movement [MirHasan SEYIDOV]

National Council of Democratic Forces [Jamil HASANLI]

NIDA Youth Movement [Turgut GAMBAR, Zaur GURBANLI]

Positive Change Youth Movement [Bakhtiyar HAJIYEV]

Republican Alternative or REAL [Ilgar MAMMADOV (in jail)]

International organization participation

ADB, BSEC, CD, CE, CICA, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, EITI (compliant country), FAO, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), red, and green; a crescent and eight-pointed star in white are centered in the red band; the blue band recalls Azerbaijan's Turkic heritage, red stands for modernization and progress, and green refers to Islam; the crescent moon and star are a Turkic insignia; the eight star points represent the eight Turkic peoples of the world

National symbol(s)

flames of fire; national colors: blue, red, green

National anthem

name: "Azerbaijan Marsi" (March of Azerbaijan)

lyrics/music: Ahmed JAVAD/Uzeyir HAJIBEYOV

note: adopted 1992; although originally written in 1919 during a brief period of independence, "Azerbaijan Marsi" did not become the official anthem until after the dissolution of the Soviet Union

Economy

Economy - overview

Azerbaijan's high economic growth has been attributable to large and growing oil and gas exports, but some non-export sectors also featured double-digit growth, including construction, banking, and real estate. Oil exports through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline, the Baku-Novorossiysk, and the Baku-Supsa pipelines remain the main economic driver, but efforts to boost Azerbaijan's gas production are underway. The eventual completion of the geopolitically important Southern Gas Corridor between Azerbaijan and Europe will open up another, albeit, smaller source of revenue from gas exports. Azerbaijan has made only limited progress on instituting market-based economic reforms. Pervasive public and private sector corruption and structural economic inefficiencies remain a drag on long-term growth, particularly in non-energy sectors. Several other obstacles impede Azerbaijan's economic progress, including the need for stepped up foreign investment in the non-energy sector and the continuing conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. 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 depend on world oil prices, Azerbaijan's ability to negotiate export routes for its growing gas production, and its ability to use its energy wealth to promote growth and spur employment in non-energy sectors of the economy.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 67/230

$174.3 billion (2015 est.)

$167.6 billion (2014 est.)

$163 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$63.98 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 65/225

4% (2015 est.)

2.8% (2014 est.)

5.8% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 90/230

$18,700 (2015 est.)

$17,900 (2014 est.)

$17,400 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 49/179

25.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

38.2% of GDP (2014 est.)

39.5% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 50.5%

government consumption: 11.9%

investment in fixed capital: 30.4%

investment in inventories: 0.2%

exports of goods and services: 38.2%

imports of goods and services: -31.2%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 6%

industry: 58%

services: 36.1% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

fruit, vegetables, grain, rice, grapes, tea, cotton, tobacco; cattle, pigs, sheep, goats

Industries

petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, oilfield equipment; steel, iron ore; cement; chemicals and petrochemicals; textiles

Industrial production growth rate 131/202

1.5% (2015 est.)

Labor force 85/233

4.899 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 38.3%

industry: 12.1%

services: 49.6% (2008)

Unemployment rate 57/207

5.3% (2015 est.)

5.4% (2014 est.)

Population below poverty line

6% (2012 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.4%

highest 10%: 27.4% (2008)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 100/144

33.7 (2008)

36.5 (2001)

Budget

revenues: $16.15 billion

expenditures: $17.88 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 120/219

25.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 99/220

-2.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 162/176

11.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

8.9% of GDP (2014 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 150/226

3.9% (2015 est.)

1.5% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 77/156

5% (31 December 2012)

5.25% (31 December 2011)

note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key policy rate for the National Bank of Azerbaijan

Commercial bank prime lending rate 50/184

14% (31 December 2015 est.)

14.19% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 81/192

$9.519 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$16.36 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 82/193

$24.18 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$20.95 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 81/191

$24.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$25.38 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$NA

Current account balance 32/197

$1.941 billion (2015 est.)

$10.43 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 74/224

$16.38 billion (2015 est.)

$28.26 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

oil and gas 90%, machinery, foodstuffs, cotton

Exports - partners

Italy 22%, Indonesia 9.2%, Germany 8.8%, Israel 8.1%, France 7% (2014)

Imports 106/223

$8.414 billion (2015 est.)

$9.332 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, metals, chemicals

Imports - partners

Russia 14.3%, Turkey 14%, UK 10.7%, Germany 7.7%, China 7.6%, US 6.1%, Ukraine 4.6% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 79/170

$8.513 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$15.55 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 107/206

$9.833 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$9.219 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 52/120

$66.14 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$59.02 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 56/105

$14.17 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$11.22 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

Azerbaijani manats (AZN) per US dollar -

1.01 (2015 est.)

0.78 (2014 est.)

0.78 (2013 est.)

0.79 (2012 est.)

0.79 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 72/220

22.99 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 73/219

17.79 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 61/218

680 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports 91/219

141 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 68/214

7.114 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 89/214

85% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 39/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 103/214

14.9% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 150/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 22/214

845,900 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 17/214

811,300 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 154/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 20/215

7 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 67/214

131,600 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 79/212

99,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 64/214

36,700 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 201/213

807.1 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 34/216

18.2 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 46/215

10.91 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 27/215

7.29 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 154/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 26/212

991.1 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 73/212

35.14 million Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 63/219

total subscriptions: 1.8 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 19 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 83/217

total: 10.6 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 109 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: requires considerable expansion and modernization; fixed-line telephone and a broad range of other telecom services are controlled by a state-owned telecommunications monopoly and growth has been stagnant; more competition exists in the mobile-cellular market with four providers in 2009

domestic: teledensity of 17 fixed lines per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity has increased and now exceeds 100 telephones per 100 persons; satellite service connects Baku to a modern switch in its exclave of Naxcivan (Nakhichevan)

international: country code - 994; the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic link transits Azerbaijan providing international connectivity to neighboring countries; the old Soviet system of cable and microwave is still serviceable; satellite earth stations - 2 (2011)

Broadcast media

3 state-run and 1 public TV channels; 4 domestic commercial TV stations and about 15 regional TV stations; cable TV services are available in Baku; 1 state-run and 1 public radio network operating; a small number of private commercial radio stations broadcasting; local FM relays of Baku commercial stations are available in many localities; local relays of several international broadcasters had been available until late 2008 when their broadcasts were banned from FM frequencies (2010)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 10, FM 11, shortwave 1 (2010)

Television broadcast stations

10 (2010)

Internet country code

.az

Internet hosts 98/232

46,856 (2012)

Internet users 60/217

total: 5.8 million

percent of population: 60.3% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 108/236

37 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 30

over 3,047 m: 5

2,438 to 3,047 m: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 13

914 to 1,523 m: 4

under 914 m: 3 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 7

under 914 m: 7 (2013)

Heliports

1 (2012)

Pipelines

condensate 89 km; gas 3,890 km; oil 2,446 km (2013)

Railways 59/136

total: 2,068 km

broad gauge: 2,068 km 1.520-m gauge (1,240 km electrified) (2014)

Roadways 74/223

total: 52,942 km

paved: 26,789 km

unpaved: 26,153 km (2006)

Merchant marine 53/156

total: 90

by type: cargo 27, chemical tanker 1, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 8, petroleum tanker 47, roll on/roll off 3, specialized tanker 2

foreign-owned: 1 (Turkey 1)

registered in other countries: 2 (Malta 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Baku (Baki) located on the Caspian Sea

Military and Security

Military branches

Army, Navy, Air, and Air Defense Forces (2010)

Military service age and obligation

18-35 years of age for cumpulsory military service; service obligation 18 months or 12 months for university graduates; 17 years of age for voluntary service; 17 year olds are considered to be on active service at cadet military schools (2012)

Military expenditures 6/132

5.1% of GDP (2014)

4.7% of GDP (2013)

4.64% of GDP (2012)

4.67% of GDP (2011)

4.64% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia ratified the Caspian seabed delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on a one-fifth slice of the sea; the dispute over the break-away Nagorno-Karabakh region and the Armenian military occupation of surrounding lands in Azerbaijan remains the primary focus of regional instability; residents have evacuated the former Soviet-era small ethnic enclaves in Armenia and Azerbaijan; local border forces struggle to control the illegal transit of goods and people across the porous, undemarcated Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian borders; bilateral talks continue with Turkmenistan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian

Refugees and internally displaced persons

IDPs: 622,892 (conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh; IDPs are mainly ethnic Azerbaijanis but also include ethnic Kurds, Russians, and Turks predominantly from occupied territories around Nagorno-Karabakh; includes IDPs' descendants, returned IDPs, and people living in insecure areas and excludes people displaced by natural disasters; around half the IDPs live in the capital Baku) (2014)

stateless persons: 3,585 (2014)

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