Azerbaijan Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Azerbaijan Country Overview

Where is Azerbaijan located? The landlocked country of Azerbaijan is located in Western Asia. There it lies between the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea. On the time zone map, the countries along the degrees of longitude are assigned to different world time zones. The classification provides information about how big the time difference between the respective country and the world time (also called UTC) is. Because of its relatively small area, Azerbaijan is in one time zone. The time there is UTC +4. This means that the clocks there are always 4 hours later than the world clock. In summer, daylight saving time is put forward one hour. Then the time difference is 5 hours.

Azerbaijan National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Azerbaijan is 10,205,810, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 10,205,810
Population growth rate 0.77%
Birth rate 15.80 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall life expectancy 71.61 years
Men life expectancy 68.65 years
Women life expectancy 74.97 years
Age structure
0-14 years 23.05%
15-64 years 70.14%
65 years and above 6.81%
Median age 30.50 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 0.98
Population density 117.85 residents per km²
Urbanization 50.00%
91% Azerbaijanis, 2% Lesgians, 2% Russians, 2% Armenians and other minorities
Muslim 93.4%, Russian Orthodox 2.5%, Armenian Catholic 2.3%, Others 1.8% (1995 est.) Note: religious affiliation is still nominal in Azerbaijan; percentages for actual practicing adherents are much lower
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.754
HDI ranking 87th out of 194

People in Azerbaijan

Around ten million people live in Azerbaijan. Two million of them live in the capital Baku. The next largest cities are Ganjah (Gəncə), Sumgait (Sumqayıt) and Mingetschaur (Mingəçevir). 56 percent of the population live in cities, 44 percent in rural areas. Women in Azerbaijan have an average of 1.9 children.

The vast majority of residents see themselves as Azerbaijanis (91 percent). But other peoples also live in the country. Lesgier, a people from the Caucasus, are among them with 2 percent. Around 1.3 percent each are Russians or Talyshans. The latter live in the border area with Iran and speak Iranian. Even smaller minorities are Avars, Deeds and Tatars, among others.

Armenians live in Nagorno-Karabakh, which has split off from Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijanis who had previously lived there fled to Azerbaijan.

Languages in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani is the official language in the country. Until 1991, Russian was also the official language. Even today, many Azerbaijanis can speak Russian. In schools, too, it is often taught from the first grade.

Azerbaijani is a Turkic language. It is very similar to Turkish. Azerbaijani was written in Arabic characters until around 1918. Then, until 1992, it was written in Cyrillic (that is the script in which you also write Russian). Since then, however, Latin letters have been used (in which we also write), based on Turkish. In addition to the letters we know, there are a few more: ç for the sound ch, ә for the sound ä, ğ for a more breathy g and ş for sch. There is also an i without a period: ı. The i is pronounced differently, similar to the e in nose.

In addition to Azerbaijani, there are also some minority languages ​​spoken in the country, such as Avar, Georgian or Tartish – by the people who speak these languages.

Religions in Azerbaijan

The predominant religion in Azerbaijan is Islam. 97 percent of the residents belong to it. The majority adheres to the Shiite faith. While religion was suppressed during the period of Soviet rule until 1991 and many Azerbaijanis did not practice their faith, many have since turned back to Islam. The remaining 3 percent of the population are mainly Christians, with a Russian Orthodox orientation.