Azerbaijan - geography
The Russians live mainly in the larger cities, the Armenians in the enclave
of Nagorno-Karabakh and in the mountainous areas of Nakhichevan. The conflict
between Armenia and Azerbaijan since 1988 has led to significant changes in the
ethnic distribution of the population.
The indigenous population also includes a number of smaller, local peoples,
the size of which counts in the thousands; in addition, there are
Ukrainians, Tatars and Georgians.
In the period 1913-69, the country's population doubled, as a result of
Russian immigration. Since then, population growth has been lower due to
declining birth rates. Women make up 51% of the population and a large
proportion of the workforce.
The main cities are the capital Baku (1.8 million
residents), Gyandzha (299,300) and Sumgait (283,200, (1999)).
Business and nature
Azerbaijan has been particularly known for oil and natural gas
extraction. The great oil fields at Baku were discovered in the childhood of the
oil industry; the area was the world's leading oil exporter around 1900 and
during the Soviet era a significant contributor to the USSR's economy. Baku and
the Apsjeron Peninsula continue to be dominated by the oil industry with its
follow-up industries. The country's oil production increased by 60% from 1995 to
2001 and is the size of Denmark's. In 2004, however, production accounted for
only 0.4% of world production, and the outlook was bleak. After the dissolution
of the Soviet Union, the oil fields in and around the Caspian Sea have become
increasingly important, e.g. in the West as a possible alternative to oil from
the Middle East. The area comprises a 1/3of the world
famous oil reserves; of which a small part is located in Azerbaijan. The natural
gas reserves are perhaps even greater. Both the utilization of the fields and
the transport to the world market are the subject of major political games with
many interests. A conference in 2002 between the Caspian coastal states did not
lead to any result, and several times the parties' naval vessels have had
episodes around offshore fields with unresolved status. In May 2005, the 1750 km
long oil pipeline from Baku across Tbilisi in Georgia to the Turkish
Mediterranean city of Ceyhan (BTC pipeline) was opened. It is strategically
important for oil exports from the Caspian Sea, as it carries oil around
Russia. Azerbaijan also has textile (including silk), wine and canning
In addition to grain, agriculture cultivates cotton,
vegetables, tobacco, wine and tea. Cultivation conditions are good, but in the
rather dry climate most areas require irrigation.
The landscape has great variations. On the border with Dagestan in
the north when the mountains a height of 4466 m, but large parts of the plains
around Kuras lower reaches and especially the Caspian Sea lies below sea
level. There are extensive swamp areas here.
Azerbaijan is located in the subtropical climate belt with rather mild
winters and long, hot summers. Precipitation varies considerably in the
mountainous area. On the plains to the east, the natural plant growth is a
fairly dry grassland, while the mountains have forests of oak, beech and pine.
Azerbaijan - language
The official language is Azerbaijani. In addition, there are the minority
languages Russian and Armenian, which are spoken by resp. approximately 7% and approximately 6%
of the population. In 1992, it was decided to have the Cyrillic alphabet,
introduced in 1939-40, replaced by the Latin alphabet.
Do you know how many people there are in Azerbaijan? Check this site to see
population pyramid and resident density about this country.
Azerbaijani belongs to the Turkish language group and is closely related
to Turkish and Turkmen. Outside Azerbaijan, it is used in Iran, where the
Azerbaijani - speaking minority makes up approximately 17% of the population.