Azerbaijan( Middle East )

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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 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.
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: 2,468 km
border countries: Armenia 996 km, Georgia 428 km, Iran 689 km, Russia 338 km, Turkey 17 km
0 km (landlocked); note - Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea (713 km)
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: 21.78%
permanent crops: 2.62%
other: 75.6% (2011)
Irrigated land:
14,250 sq km (2010)
Total renewable water resources:
34.68 cu km (2011)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic or industrial or agricultural):
total: 12.21 cu km/yr (4%/18%/78%)
per capita: 1,384 cu m/yr (2010)
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
People and Society
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: almost all Armenians live in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region (2009 est.)
Azerbaijani (Azeri) (official) 92.5%, Russian 1.4%, Armenian 1.4%, other 4.7% (2009 est.)
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
9,686,210 (July 2014 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 22.7% (male 1,176,438/female 1,017,926)
15-24 years: 17.5% (male 877,773/female 818,380)
25-54 years: 45.1% (male 2,127,239/female 2,236,520)
55-64 years: 8.5% (male 379,081/female 442,970)
65 years and over: 6.3% (male 232,297/female 377,586) (2014 est.)
Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 38.4 %
youth dependency ratio: 30.7 %
elderly dependency ratio: 7.7 %
potential support ratio: 13 (2014 est.)
Median age:
total: 30.1 years
male: 28.5 years
female: 31.9 years (2014 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.99% (2014 est.)
Birth rate:
16.96 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Death rate:
7.09 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
urban population: 53.6% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 1.64% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas population:
BAKU (capital) 2.123 million (2011)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.12 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.16 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 26.67 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 27.47 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 25.76 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
Maternal mortality rate:
43 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.91 years
male: 68.92 years
female: 75.26 years (2014 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.91 children born/woman (2014 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate:
51.1% (2006)
Health expenditures:
5.2% of GDP (2011)
Physicians density:
3.38 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
Hospital bed density:
4.6 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source:
improved: urban: 88.4% of population
rural: 70.7% of population
total: 80.2% of population
unimproved: urban: 11.6% of population
rural: 29.3% of population
total: 19.8% of population (2012 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved: urban: 85.9% of population
rural: 77.5% of population
total: 82% of population
unimproved: urban: 14.1% of population
rural: 22.5% of population
total: 18% of population (2012 est.)
HIV or AIDS adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2012 est.)
HIV or AIDS people living with HIV or AIDS:
10,400 (2012 est.)
HIV or AIDS deaths:
600 (2012 est.)
Obesity adult prevalence rate:
23.8% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
8.4% (2006)
Education expenditures:
2.4% of GDP (2011)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.9%
female: 99.7% (2010 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 12 years (2012)
Child labor children ages 5-14:
total number: 106,626
percentage: 7 % (2005 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 14.2%
male: 12.2%
female: 16.3% (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
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:
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
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)
several previous; latest adopted 12 November 1995; amended 1996, 2002, 2009 (2009)
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 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 84.5%, Jamil HASANLI 5.5%, other 10%
note: 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, Civil Unity 1, Democratic Reforms 1, Great Creation 1, Hope Party 1, Justice 1, Social Welfare 1, Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front 1, independents 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:
Azerbaijan Democratic Party or ADP [Sardar JALALOGLU]
Azerbaijan Popular Front or AXCP [Ali KARIMLI]
Civil Solidarity Party or CSP [Sabir RUSTAMKHANLI]
Civil Unity Party [Sabir HACIYEV]
Classical Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan [Mirmahmud MIRALI-OGLU]
Democratic Reforms Party [Asim MOLLAZADE]
Great Creation Party [Fazil Gazanfaroglu MUSTAFAYEV]
Hope (Umid) Party [Igbal AGAZADE]
Justice Party [Ilyas ISMAILOV]
Liberal Party of Azerbaijan [Lala Shovkat HACIYEVA, Avaz TEMIRKHAN]
Motherland Party [Fazail AGAMALI]
Musavat (Equality) [Isa GAMBAR]
Open Society Party [Sulhaddin AKBAR]
Social Democratic Party of Azerbaijan or SDP [Araz ALIZADE]
Social Welfare Party [Khanhusein KAZIMLI]
Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front Party [Gudrat HASANGULIYEV]
Yeni (New) Azerbaijan Party or YAP [President Ilham ALIYEV]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
EL Movement [Eldar NAMAZOV]
Karabakh Liberation Organization
Forum of Intelligentsia [Rustam IBRAHIMBEYOV]
Republican Alternative (REAL) [Ilgar MAMMADOV]
National Council of Democratic Forces [Jamil HASANLI]
NIDA Youth Movement [Turgut GAMBAR, Zaur GURBANLI (in jail)]
Positive Change Youth Movement [Bakhtiyar HAJIYEV]
Ireli Youth Movement [Rauf MERDIYEV]
Ol! Youth Movement [Vugar SALAMLI]
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Elin SULEYMANOV (since 5 December 2011)
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 Richard L. MORNINGSTAR (since 20 July 2012)
embassy: 111 Azadlig Prospecti, Baku AZ1007
mailing address: American Embassy Baku, US Department of State, 7050 Baku Place, Washington, DC 20521-7050
telephone: [994] (12) 488-3300
FAX: [994] (12) 488-3310
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 symbol(s):
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
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):
$102.7 billion (2013 est.)
$97.04 billion (2012 est.)
$94.98 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$76.01 billion (2013 est.)
GDP real growth rate:
5.8% (2013 est.)
2.2% (2012 est.)
0.1% (2011 est.)
GDP per capita (PPP):
$10,800 (2013 est.)
$10,500 (2012 est.)
$10,400 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
Gross national saving:
41% of GDP (2013 est.)
44.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
45.1% of GDP (2011 est.)
GDP composition, by end use:
household consumption: 41.4%
government consumption: 10.5%
investment in fixed capital: 23.3%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 49.9%
imports of goods and services: -25.2%
(2013 est.)
GDP composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 6.2%
industry: 63%
services: 30.8% (2013 est.)
Agriculture products:
cotton, grain, rice, grapes, fruit, vegetables, tea, tobacco; cattle, pigs, sheep, goats
petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, oilfield equipment; steel, iron ore; cement; chemicals and petrochemicals; textiles
Industrial production growth rate:
3% (2013 est.)
Labor force:
4.68 million (2012 est.)
Labor force by occupation:
agriculture: 38.3%
industry: 12.1%
services: 49.6% (2008)
Unemployment rate:
6% (2013 est.)
5.7% (2012 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:
33.7 (2008)
36.5 (2001)
revenues: $27.61 billion
expenditures: $27.24 billion (2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
36.3% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus or deficit:
Public debt:
7.5% of GDP (2013 est.)
7.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.4% (2013 est.)
1.1% (2012 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
5% (31 December 2012 est.)
5.25% (31 December 2011 est.)
note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key policy rate for the National Bank of Azerbaijan
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
17% (31 December 2013 est.)
18.5% (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$17.17 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$14.15 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of broad money:
$21.88 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$17.59 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$21.76 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$17.01 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Current account balance:
$13.28 billion (2013 est.)
$14.98 billion (2012 est.)
$34.46 billion (2013 est.)
$32.63 billion (2012 est.)
Exports commodities:
oil and gas 90%, machinery, cotton, foodstuffs
Exports partners:
Italy 25%, Indonesia 11.6%, Thailand 7%, Germany 5.7%, Israel 5.3%, France 4.7%, India 4.6%, Russia 4.5%, USA 4.1% (2013 est.)
$10.72 billion (2013 est.)
$9.65 billion (2012 est.)
Imports commodities:
machinery and equipment, oil products, foodstuffs, metals, chemicals
Imports partners:
Russia 14.1%, Turkey 13.7%, UK 12.5%, Germany 7.7%, Ukraine 5.5%, China 5.3%, France 4% (2013 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$13.08 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$11.28 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Debt external:
$9.552 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$9.11 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment at home:
$14.35 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$12.35 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment abroad:
$8.616 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$7.516 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Exchange rates:
Azerbaijani manats (AZN) per US dollar -
0.785 (2013 est.)
0.7857 (2012 est.)
0.8027 (2010 est.)
0.8038 (2009)
0.8219 (2008)
Electricity production:
22.99 billion kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity consumption:
20.29 billion kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity exports:
462 million kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity imports:
100 million kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity installed generating capacity:
6.392 million kW (2010 est.)
Electricity from fossil fuels:
84.5% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from hydroelectric plants:
15.4% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from other renewable sources:
0.1% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Crude oil production:
931,900 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil exports:
821,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil imports:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Crude oil proved reserves:
7 billion bbl (1 January 2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products production:
133,500 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products consumption:
168,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products exports:
53,440 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products imports:
499 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Natural gas production:
17.86 billion cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas consumption:
9.921 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas exports:
5.55 billion cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas imports:
250 million cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves:
991.1 billion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
36.52 million Mt (2011 est.)
Telephones mobile cellular:
10.125 million (2012)
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)
Telephones main lines in use:
1.734 million (2012)
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)
Internet country code:
Internet users:
2.42 million (2009)
Internet hosts:
46,856 (2012)
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)
1 (2012)
condensate 89 km; gas 3,890 km; oil 2,446 km (2013)
total: 2,918 km
broad gauge: 2,918 km 1.520-m gauge (1,278 km electrified) (2009)
total: 52,942 km
paved: 26,789 km
unpaved: 26,153 km (2006)
Merchant marine:
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 branches:
Army, Navy, Air, and Air Defense Forces (2010)
Military service age and obligation:
men between 18 and 35 are liable for military service; length of service is 18 months and 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)
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:
5.2% 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: 597,429 (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; number 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 (2012)
Trafficking in persons: