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Top 10 facts about Azerbaijan

24.02.2022

1945

1. Geography and population of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is a landlocked country located at the center of the line of the Caspian Sea. The country is arranged in such a way that sometimes it is considered part of Asia, and sometimes it is considered a country. It borders on visible countries: Georgia and Russia in the north, Iran in the south, and Armenia in the west, with which Azerbaijan shares a disputed border.

General information about Azerbaijan:

• Capital: Baku

• Area: 86,692 km²

• Telephone code: +994

• Top level domain: .az

• Population: 10,152,829

Azerbaijan covers an area of 86,692 km2, which makes it similar in size to Serbia. The country is mostly concerned, except for the mountain ranges in the western and northern regions. According to the FAO, forests cover about 11% of the territory of Azerbaijan. On the Absheron Peninsula, located on the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea, is Baku, the most populous city in Azerbaijan. In addition, the neighboring cities of Sumgayit and Khirdalan are close as well.

Population of Azerbaijan

As of 2021, the population of Azerbaijan is 10,150,000. The population density is approximately 117 people per square kilometer. About half of the population lives in noisy urban areas such as Baku.

Major cities of Azerbaijan:

• Baku (capital): 2,225,800

• Ganja: 330,000

• Sumgayit: 300 330

• Mingachevir: 102,400

• Khirdalan: 97,200

According to current projections, Azerbaijan's population will grow slowly over the next 25 years, most notably a peak population of 11.1 million. After that, the incidence of the population will slowly decline to 9.24 million people by the end of the century.

Azerbaijan's current population growth rate is 0.91%, resulting in an increase of more than 91,000 people between 2019 and 2020. The population growth rate has been consumed every year since 2015 and this trend is expected to continue until the population consumption plateaus around 2045. 

2. Official language of Azerbaijan

The official representative of Azerbaijan is Azerbaijan. This language has official status in the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as in the federal subject of Russia in Dagestan, but not in Iranian Azerbaijan, where the majority of the residents live.

Russian does not have official language status in Azerbaijan, but German is spoken in most of the country. About 30% of the population speaks Russian fluently, and about 2% use it as their standard language when communicating with friends or at work.

Kurdish is a recognized minority language in Azerbaijan, where it is a provincial representative in five regions. Kurds are an exceptionally insignificant share of the population of Azerbaijan - 0.7%.

Georgian, one of the Kartvelian languages, is another recognized linguistic minority. The Georgian Saingilo dialect dominates in Azerbaijan, which is spoken by about 0.11% of the total population living among Georgians. 

3. Currency in Azerbaijan

The Azerbaijani manat (AZN) is the official currency in Azerbaijan. Forint is published on 100 gopiks. The reserve contains banknotes of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 manats.

The manat replaced the Soviet ruble in 1992. It was first introduced with the currency code AZM. In 2006, after several years of high supply, a new manat with the currency code AZN was introduced, replacing the old manat at a rate of 5,000 by New Year.

4. Internet in Azerbaijan

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2021 Inclusive Internet Index, about 78 percent of households have Internet access. This relatively high using masks the difference in access and also slows down the connection speed.

Despite the fact that the speed of the Internet in Azerbaijan has decreased over the past year, it is still maintained from other countries. The regulation strategy for the development of telecommunications and information technology is aimed at increasing the average speed of fixed broadband access, and in January 2021, the average speed reached 23.6 Mbps.

 Mobile communications in Azerbaijan:

• In January 2021, there were 11.30 million mobile connections in Azerbaijan.

• The number of mobile connections in Azerbaijan increased by 92,000 (+0.8%) between January 2020 and January 2021.

• The number of mobile connections in Azerbaijan in January 2021 was equivalent to 111.0% of the total population. 

According to the Inclusive Internet Index 2021, there are 19.3 fixed broadband internet subscribers per 100 people and 107 mobile phone subscribers per 100 people.

Second generation (2G) and third generation (3G) mobile networks cover almost the entire population, while fourth generation (4G) networks cover about half. In July 2020, in partnership with Nokia, leading mobile operator Azercell expanded its 4G geographical coverage, focusing on suburban and rural areas. 

Azerbaijan social media statistics:

• In January 2021, there were 4.30 million social media users in Azerbaijan.

• The number of social media users in Azerbaijan increased by 600,000 (+16%) between 2020 and 2021.

• In January 2021, the number of social media users in Azerbaijan was 42.2% of the total population. 

Poor ICT infrastructure and state ICT monopolies are major barriers to improving Internet access and service quality in Azerbaijan. 

5. Economic development in Azerbaijan

With rich natural resources in the hydrocarbon sector, Azerbaijan is highly dependent on minerals, which account for about a third of GDP, half of tax revenues and nearly 90% of merchandise exports. As a result, the economy is very vulnerable to external shocks.

GDP per capita - 4,214 USD

This vulnerability was very clearly reflected, for example, against the backdrop of a sharp drop in world oil prices between 2014 and 2016. This shock caused:

• a sharp annual decline in the Azerbaijani economy in 2016;

• annual budget deficit in 2015-2017;

• two sharp devaluations of the manat (lost about -60% in value).

The political risk of the economy is also high, which once again underlined the renewed escalation of the conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. Since 2020, the banking sector is still trying to get out of the crisis, but so far even intergovernmental loans have not helped.

Strong growth amid rising inflation

Despite the poor state of the economy, Azerbaijan has recovered strongly from the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic and the fall in oil prices in 2020. These shocks hit the economy hard, with real GDP shrinking by -4.3% in 2020. But now the country's economy has returned to sustainable growth, and real GDP will soon exceed pre-crisis levels.

6. Job in Azerbaijan

Average salary by profession/ in rubles:

• Nurse: 125,000

• Teacher: 150,000

• Waiter: 42,000

• Engineer: 109,000

• Dentist: 320,000

• Administrator: 63,000

• Police officer: 81,000

• Programmer: 130,000

Some residents of the country continue to practice traditional crafts. For example, a group of people called the Talysh make handmade carpets just like their ancestors did hundreds of years ago 

7. Working days and holidays in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan has 104 days off, 12 national holidays and 241 working days. In a week, Monday to Friday are working days, and Saturday to Sunday are days off. In 2022, 5 public holidays fall on weekends.

Public holidays in 2022:

• January, 1st-2nd - New Year

• January, 20 - Day of National Sorrow

• March, 8 - International Women's Day

• March, 20-24 - Novruz Holiday

• May, 9 - Day of Victory

• May, 2-3 - Ramadan

• May, 28 - Azerbaijan Independence Day

• June, 15 - National Salvation Day

• July, 9-10 - Gurban bayramy

• November, 8 - Azerbaijan Victory Day

• November, 9 - Day of the State Flag of Azerbaijan

• December, 31st - Day of Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis

8. The mentality of the residents of Azerbaijan

Hospitality and close family relations are two characteristic features of the Azerbaijan people. Azerbaijans are one of the most accommodating and generous hosts due to their natural instincts. Each person feels obliged to honor his guest in the best possible way.

The mentality of this hospitality is: "Whatever religion you belong to, whatever country you come from, whatever language you speak, you are God's guest'", so you deserve the best welcome.

In family relations, the Azerbaijans respect their elders and support each other in every possible way. Fathers and mothers support their children financially until they form a family of their own. Once the child is married, financial support may continue, but the expectation is that the new family will be able to earn enough to support themselves. Children take great care of their parents. They care for their elders and support them when they get old or sick, both financially and psychologically.

This closed bond is like a boomerang, parents support their children when they are small, children support their parents when they are old.

9. Advertising in Azerbaijan

Advertising in Azerbaijan is mainly carried out through television, radio, newspapers and advertising banners. Online advertising is growing, especially through social networks, but does not have the same audience as in countries with better internet penetration. Outdoor advertising banners are widely used in city centers for advertising and trade promotions. Advertising of tobacco and alcohol products is prohibited.

Newspapers in Azerbaijan and Russian are published daily, except Sundays, and English-language newspapers are published weekly. Newspapers are widely read and are an effective means of reaching wealthy Azerbaijan consumers. Television advertising is possible on public and private national television networks. There are also popular private FM radio stations.

Baku hosts many trade fairs and shows that provide opportunities to promote American goods and services. More information about conferences, trade shows and shows can be found on the following websites:

http://iteca.az

http://azpromo.az

http://amcham.az

http://abc.az/eng

Prices in Azerbaijan must be indicated in Azerbaijani manats. Outside grocery stores and retail stores in malls, Azerbaijan will haggle over prices. Gasoline, medicines and some food prices are regulated. 

10. Cryptocurrency in Azerbaijan 

To date, there is no special regulation of cryptocurrencies in Azerbaijan. While there is no legislative regime applicable specifically to cryptocurrencies, existing regulations may still apply to them.

The Banking Law provides that any money transfer (money transfer services or payment instruments) is subject to licensing. In addition, the Law on Foreign Exchange Regulation provides that the activity of foreign exchange (ie participation in the business of buying or selling foreign currency) is subject to licensing.

The Law on Foreign Exchange Regulation defines foreign currency. While it does not seem likely that cryptocurrencies fall under this definition, individuals involved in such activities should seek legal advice.

Tax Code of Azerbaijan

According to the Tax Code of Azerbaijan and the general principles of taxation, income from trading or selling virtual currency is generally considered to be subject to taxation. In 2018, the Central Bank of Azerbaijan issued a statement warning that cryptocurrency is a volatile instrument and urging the public to exercise caution when dealing with cryptocurrencies.

Digital and virtual currencies

Virtual currencies are not legal tender in Azerbaijan. According to the 1995 Constitution of Azerbaijan, the official currency of Azerbaijan is the Azerbaijani manat. The Constitution gives the Central Bank of Azerbaijan exclusive powers to mint legal tender. Moreover, the Civil Code requires contractual obligations to be expressed in Azeri manats.

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