Azerbaijan is situated in the South Caucasus region, bordered by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to the south. Its strategic location has historically made it a cultural and economic crossroads between Europe and Asia.

Geography

Climate

Azerbaijan has a diverse climate, with the Caspian Sea coast experiencing a humid subtropical climate, while the inland areas have a more continental climate. Summers are hot and dry, while winters are mild and wet. The country also experiences significant variations in temperature and precipitation due to its diverse topography.

Fauna

Azerbaijan is home to a variety of wildlife, including species such as the Caucasian leopard, brown bear, Caspian seal, and gazelle. The country’s national parks and protected areas provide important habitats for these animals, as well as migratory birds.

Longest Rivers

The longest river in Azerbaijan is the Kura River, which flows for approximately 1,515 kilometers (941 miles) through the country. The Kura River is of great significance for Azerbaijan, providing water for irrigation, hydroelectric power generation, and transportation.

Highest Mountains

Azerbaijan is characterized by its mountainous terrain, with the Greater Caucasus range running along its northern border. The highest peak in Azerbaijan is Mount Bazarduzu, standing at 4,466 meters (14,652 feet) above sea level. Other notable peaks include Mount Shahdagh and Mount Babadag.

History

Prehistory

Azerbaijan has a rich archaeological heritage dating back to the Paleolithic era, with evidence of early human settlement found throughout the country. The region was inhabited by various ancient civilizations, including the Sumerians, Assyrians, and Medes.

Antiquity

In antiquity, Azerbaijan was part of the Persian Empire, with cities such as Baku serving as important centers of trade and commerce. The region was later conquered by Alexander the Great and subsequently came under the rule of various empires, including the Roman, Byzantine, and Sassanian Empires.

Medieval Period

The medieval period saw the rise of powerful dynasties such as the Shirvanshahs and the Safavids, who ruled over Azerbaijan and played a significant role in shaping its cultural and political landscape. During this time, Azerbaijan was known for its thriving trade routes and flourishing arts and sciences.

Modern Age

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Azerbaijan came under Russian and later Soviet rule, experiencing significant social, economic, and political transformations. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Azerbaijan declared independence and embarked on a path of nation-building and democratic development.

Demographics

Azerbaijan has a population of approximately 10 million people, with a diverse mix of ethnicities and cultures. The majority of the population is Azerbaijani, with significant minority groups including Russians, Armenians, and Talysh. Azerbaijani is the official language, while Russian and other languages are also widely spoken.

Administrative Divisions

Azerbaijan is divided into 10 administrative divisions, including:

Administrative Divisions and Population (2022 estimate)

  1. Absheron – Population: 797,100
  2. Ganja-Gazakh – Population: 2,207,100
  3. Shaki-Zaqatala – Population: 804,900
  4. Lankaran – Population: 1,396,500
  5. Quba-Khachmaz – Population: 1,123,500
  6. Aran – Population: 3,328,100
  7. Yukhari Karabakh – Population: 472,400
  8. Kalbajar-Lachin – Population: 170,200
  9. Nakhchivan – Population: 459,400
  10. Upper Shirvan – Population: 1,373,300

10 Largest Cities by Population

  1. Baku
  2. Ganja
  3. Sumqayit
  4. Lankaran
  5. Mingachevir
  6. Shaki
  7. Yevlakh
  8. Gabala
  9. Agdash
  10. Khachmaz

Education Systems

Education in Azerbaijan is free and compulsory for children aged 6 to 15, with a strong emphasis on literacy and numeracy. The country has made significant investments in its education system, with a focus on modernizing curriculum and improving teaching standards. Azerbaijan is also home to several top universities, including Baku State University and Azerbaijan State University of Economics.

Transportation

Airports

Azerbaijan has several international airports, including Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku, Ganja International Airport, and Nakhchivan International Airport, which serve as major hubs for domestic and international flights.

Railways

Azerbaijan has an extensive railway network, operated by the Azerbaijan Railways (ADY), connecting major cities and towns across the country. The total length of Azerbaijan’s railway tracks exceeds 2,900 kilometers.

Highways

Azerbaijan has a well-developed network of highways, including the A1, A2, and A3 motorways, which connect major cities and regions. The total length of Azerbaijan’s highways exceeds 30,000 kilometers.

Ports

Azerbaijan has several major ports along the Caspian Sea, including the Port of Baku, the Port of Sumgayit, and the Port of Alat, which facilitate trade and transportation of goods to and from the country.

Country Facts

  • Population: 10 million
  • Capital: Baku
  • Language: Azerbaijani
  • Religion: Islam (predominantly Shia)
  • Race: Diverse, with Azerbaijani Turks forming the majority
  • Currency: Azerbaijani manat (AZN)
  • ISO Country Code: AZ
  • International Calling Code: +994
  • Top-level Domain: .az