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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 Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region that Moscow recognized as part of Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s after Armenia and Azerbaijan disputed the status of the territory. 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. Corruption in the country... See More



 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


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


 0 km (landlocked); note - Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea (713 km) (Rank: 206)

Maritime Claims:

 None (landlocked)


 Dry, semiarid steppe


 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

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:

 Arable land: 20.62%
Permanent crops: 2.61%
Other: 76.77% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 14,300 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 30.3 cu km (1997)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 17.25 cu km/yr (5%/28%/68%)
Per capita: 2,051 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural Hazards:


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

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 Noun: Azerbaijani(s)
Adjective: Azerbaijani

Ethnic Groups:

 Azeri 90.6%, Dagestani 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%, other 3.9% (1999 census)

Note: almost all Armenians live in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region


 Azerbaijani (Azeri) (official) 90.3%, Lezgi 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%, other 3.3%, unspecified 1% (1999 census)


 Muslim 93.4%, Russian Orthodox 2.5%, Armenian Orthodox 2.3%, other 1.8% (1995 est.)

Note: religious affiliation is still nominal in Azerbaijan; percentages for actual practicing adherents are much lower


 8,372,373 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 23.2% (male 1,029,931/female 912,639)
15-64 years: 70.3% (male 2,896,785/female 2,993,092)
65 years and over: 6.4% (male 195,853/female 344,073) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 28.8 years
Male: 27.2 years
Female: 30.6 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 0.846% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 17.85 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 8.25 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 -1.14 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 52% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 BAKU (capital) 1.95 million (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.116 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.58 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 38 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 51.08 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 56.55 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 44.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 67.36 years
Male: 63.2 years
Female: 72.01 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 2.02 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 5.8% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 3.794 physicians/1,000 population (2007)

Hospital Bed Density:

 7.93 beds/1,000 population (2007)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 88% of population
Rural: 71% of population
Total: 80% of population
Urban: 12% of population
Rural: 29% of population
Total: 20% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 51% of population
Rural: 39% of population
Total: 45% of population
Urban: 49% of population
Rural: 61% of population
Total: 55% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 0.1% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 3,600 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 Fewer than 200 (2009 est.)

Children Under 5 - Underweight:

 8.4% (2006)

Education Expenditures:

 2.8% of GDP (2009)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 98.8%
Male: 99.5%
Female: 98.2% (1999 census)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 12 years
Male: 12 years
Female: 12 years (2009)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 14.4%
Male: 18.7%
Female: 9.8% (2008)

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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

Government Type:



 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:

 59 rayons (rayonlar; rayon - singular), 11 cities (saharlar; sahar - singular), 1 autonomous republic (muxtar respublika)

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

Cities: Ali Bayramli Sahari, Baki Sahari, Ganca Sahari, Lankaran Sahari, Mingacevir Sahari, Naftalan Sahari, Saki Sahari, Sumqayit Sahari, Susa Sahari, Xankandi Sahari, Yevlax Sahari

Autonomous republic: Naxcivan Muxtar Respublikasi (Nakhichevan)


 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)


 Adopted 12 November 1995; modified by referendum 24 August 2002

Legal System:

 Civil law system

International Law Organization Participation:

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


 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)

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

Elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for unlimited terms); election last held on 15 October 2008 (next to be held in October 2013); 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 89%, Igbal AGHAZADE 2.9%, five other candidates with smaller percentages

Note: several political parties boycotted the election due to unfair conditions; OSCE observers concluded that the election did not meet international standards

Legislative Branch:

 Unicameral National Assembly or Milli Mejlis (125 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

Elections: last held on 7 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2015)

Election results: percent of vote by party - YAP 45.8%, CSP 1.6%, Motherland 1.4%, independents 48.2%, other 3.1%; seats by party - YAP 71, CSP 3, Motherland 2, Democratic Reforms 1, Great Creation 1, Hope Party 1, Social Welfare 1, Civil Unity 1, Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front 1, Justice 1, independents 42

Judicial Branch:

 Constitutional Court the president proposes judges of all the courts to the Parliament which appoints them; Supreme Court; Economic Court

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Azerbaijan Democratic Party or ADP [Sardar JALALOGLU]; Civil Solidarity Party or CSP [Sabir RUSTAMKHANLI]; Civil Unity Party [Sabir HACIYEV]; Classic People's Front of Azerbaijan [Mirmahmud MIRALI-OGLU]; Democratic Reform Party [Asim MOLLAZADE]; Great Creation Party [Fazil Gazanfaroglu MUSTAFAYEV]; Hope (Umid) Party [Iqbal AGAZADE]; Justice Party [Ilyas ISMAYILOV]; Liberal Party of Azerbaijan [Lala Shovkat HACIYEVA]; Motherland Party [Fazail AGAMALI]; Musavat (Equality) [Isa GAMBAR, chairman]; Open Society Party [Rasul GULIYEV, in exile in the US]; Social Democratic Party of Azerbaijan or SDP [Araz ALIZADE and Ayaz MUTALIBOV (in exile)]; Social Welfare Party [Hussein KAZIMLI]; United Popular Azerbaijan Front Party or AXCP [Ali KARIMLI]; Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front Party [Gudrat HASANGULIYEV]; Yeni (New) Azerbaijan Party or YAP [President Ilham ALIYEV]

Note: opposition parties regularly factionalize and form new parties

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 Azerbaijan Public Forum [Eldar NAMAZOV]; Karabakh Liberation Organization

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Yashar ALIYEV
Chancery: 2741 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: [1] (202) 337-3500
FAX: [1] (202) 337-5911
Consulate(s) general: Los Angeles

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Matthew BRYZA
Embassy: 83 Azadlig Prospecti, Baku AZ1007
Mailing address: American Embassy Baku, US Department of State, 7050 Baku Place, Washington, DC 20521-7050
Telephone: [994] (12) 4980-335 through 337
FAX: [994] (12) 4656-671

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 is an Islamic symbol, while the eight-pointed star represents the eight Turkic peoples of the world

National Symbols:

 Flames of fire

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

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Economy - Overview:

 Azerbaijan's high economic growth during 2006-08 was attributable to large and growing oil exports, but some non-export sectors also featured double-digit growth, spurred by growth in the construction, banking, and real estate sectors. In 2009, economic growth remained above 9% even as oil prices moderated and growth in the construction sector cooled. In 2010, economic growth slowed to 3.7%, although the impact of the global financial crisis was less severe than in many other countries in the region. The current global economic slowdown presents some challenges for the Azerbaijani economy as oil prices remain below their mid-2008 highs, highlighting Azerbaijan's reliance on energy exports and lackluster attempts to diversify its economy. Azerbaijan's oil production increased dramatically in 1997, when Azerbaijan signed the first production-sharing arrangement (PSA) with the Azerbaijan International Operating Company. Oil exports through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline remain the main economic driver while efforts to boost Azerbaijan's gas production are underway. However, 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: 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 will depend on world oil prices, the location of new oil and gas pipelines in the region, and Azerbaijan's ability to manage its energy wealth to promote sustainable growth in non-energy sectors of the economy and spur employment.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $90.79 billion (2010 est.)
$86.47 billion (2009 est.)
$79.11 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $54.37 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 5% (2010 est.)
9.3% (2009 est.)
10.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $10,900 (2010 est.)
$10,500 (2009 est.)
$9,700 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 5.2%
Industry: 65.4%
Services: 29.4% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 5.933 million (2010 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 38.3%
Industry: 12.1%
Services: 49.6% (2008)

Unemployment Rate:

 1% (2010 est.)
0.9% (2009 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 11% (2009 est.)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: 3.4%
Highest 10%: 27.4% (2008)

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 33.7 (2008)
36.5 (2001)

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons:

 Refugees (country of origin): 2,400 (Russia)
IDPs: 580,000-690,000 (conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh) (2007)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 17% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $6.837 billion
Expenditures: $14.66 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 12.6% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -14.4% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public Debt:

 5.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
8.9% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 5.7% (2010 est.)
1.5% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 3% (31 December 2010 est.)
2% (31 December 2009 est.)

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

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 21% (31 December 2010 est.)
20.03% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $6.381 billion (31 December 2008)
$4.261 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $4.125 billion (31 December 2008)
$2.593 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $8.41 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$6.519 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $13.18 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$10.54 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $11.74 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$9.947 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Agriculture - Products:

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


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

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 2.6% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 22.55 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 89.7%
Hydro: 10.3%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 18.8 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 812 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 596 million kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - Production:

 1.041 million bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 104,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 651,700 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 1,439 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 7 billion bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 16.52 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 10.59 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 5.93 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 849.5 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 $15.04 billion (2010 est.)
$10.18 billion (2009 est.)


 $26.48 billion (2010 est.)
$21.1 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Oil and gas 90%, machinery, cotton, foodstuffs

Exports - Partners:

 Italy 26.8%, US 8.4%, Germany 7.1%, France 6.7%, Czech Republic 4.9%, Russia 4.4% (2010)


 $6.746 billion (2010 est.)
$6.514 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Machinery and equipment, oil products, foodstuffs, metals, chemicals

Imports - Partners:

 Turkey 17.7%, Russia 14.5%, Germany 9.9%, China 9.6%, UK 7.2%, Ukraine 7% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $6.409 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$5.364 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $3.934 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$4.008 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - Abroad:

 $5.79 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$5.558 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - At Home:

 $8.881 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$8.318 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert to Any Currency

Azerbaijani manats (AZN) per US dollar -
0.8035 (2010)
0.8038 (2009)
0.8219 (2008)
0.8581 (2007)
0.8934 (2006)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 1.5 million (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 9.1 million (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: requires considerable expansion and modernization; fixed-line telephony 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 is rapidly approaching 100 telephones per 100 persons; satellite service connects Baku to a modern switch in its exclave of Nakhchivan

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 (2010)

Broadcast Media:

 1 state-run and 1 public television channel; 4 domestic commercial TV stations and about 15 regional TV stations; Turkish, Russian, and Iranian TV and radio broadcasts are available, especially in border regions; 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 (2008)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 10, FM 11, shortwave 1 (2010)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 10 (2010)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 22,737 (2010)

Internet Users:

 2.42 million (2009)

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 35 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 27
Over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 4
Under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 8
Under 914 m: 8 (2010)


 1 (2010)


 Condensate 1 km; gas 3,361 km; oil 1,424 km (2010)


 Total: 2,918 km
Broad gauge: 2,918 km 1.520-m gauge (1,278 km electrified) (2009)


 Total: 59,141 km
Paved: 29,210 km
Unpaved: 29,931 km (2006)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 92
By type: cargo 27, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 9, petroleum tanker 48, roll on/roll off 3, specialized tanker 3
Foreign-owned: 1 (Turkey 1)
Registered in other countries: 2 (Malta 1, Panama 1) (2010)

Ports and Terminals:

 Baku (Baki)

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Military Branches:

 Army, Navy, Air, and Air Defense Forces (2011)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 Men between 18 and 35 are liable for military service; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; length of military service is 18 months and 12 months for university graduates (2006)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 2,354,249
Females age 16-49: 2,334,632 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 1,773,993
Females age 16-49: 1,964,012 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 76,923
Female: 71,024 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 2.6% of GDP (2005 est.)

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Disputes - International:

 Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia ratified Caspian seabed delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on a one-fifth slice of the lake; 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

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

Trafficking in Persons:

 Current situation: Azerbaijan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor, and women and children subjected to sex trafficking; women and some children from Azerbaijan are trafficked to Turkey, the UAE, Russia, and Iran for the purpose of sexual exploitation; men and boys are trafficked to Russia and Moldova for the purpose of forced labor; Azerbaijan serves as a transit country for victims from Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan trafficked to Turkey and the UAE for sexual exploitation; Azerbaijan is also a destination country for men from Turkey and Afghanistan, and Chinese men and women for forced labor

Tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Azerbaijan is on the Tier 2 Watch List for not fully complying with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; the Government of Azerbaijan has not made sufficient progress in investigating, prosecuting, or convicting labor trafficking offenses or in identifying victims of forced labor (2011)

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Last Updated: December 2011

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