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 industries.
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. 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.
- Countryaah: 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. For culture and traditions of Azerbaijan, please check animalerts.