People of Azerbaijan
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Azeri refugeesPopulation of the Republic of Azerbaijan: 8,120,247 (July 2007 est.)
The Azeri constitute 90% of the population of the Republic of Azerbaijan and belong to the Caspian type of southern Europoid race. They are distinguished with sturdy build with a prevailing dark pigmentation, medium height and partially round shaped head, narrow face, rather narrow nose and in majority of cases big black eyes.

The Azeri are of mixed ethnic origin, the oldest element deriving from the indigenous population of eastern Transcaucasia and possibly from the Medians of northern Persia. This population was Persianized during the period of the Sasanian dynasty of Iran (3rd-7th century AD), but, after the region's conquest by the Seljuk Turks in the 11th century, the inhabitants were Turkicized, and further Turkicization of the population occorred in the ensuing centuries.

Vandam / Yandam - Qabala Rayonu, Azerbaijan: Boy band performing on the side road towards the Dumya resort - photo by F.MacLachlanAzerbaijan is the most populous country in the Caucasus. Although it contains people of many different nationalities, the republic has become more ethnically homogeneous in recent years. The proportion of Azeris, who have traditionally comprised about four-fifths of the population, has increased since the start of the conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh in 1988. Large numbers of Azeri refugees have flowed over the border from Armenia, and large numbers of Russians, Armenians, and other nationalities have left Azerbaijan. Today, about 13 percent of the population are refugees and IDPs. The Armenian community, which comprised 6 percent of the population in 1989, is now confined almost exclusively to the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. Other nationalities include Lezgin, Talysh, Avar, Meskhetian Turks, Tatar, Tat, Tsakhur, Georgian and Kurd. Most ethnic groups have resided in the area of present-day Azerbaijan for centuries, although Slavs arrived in large numbers with the industrialization boom of the last century.

Average population density of Azerbaijan is 86 pers/km2. The Absheron Peninsula is more densely populated (800 pers/km2). The country is still largely rural, with only 52 percent of the population residing in urban areas, and 47 percent in rural areas.  Eighty percent of the population is concentrated on valleys and low lands that are more convenient for farming industry and where large industrial centres lie and irrigating agriculture is developed. This belt covers Kur-Araz, Samur-Devechi and Lankaran lowlands, and also Ganja-Gazakh and PriAraz valleys and Absheron Peninsula.

Religions: Muslim 93.4%, Russian Orthodox 2.5%, Armenian Orthodox 2.3%, other 1.8% (1995 est.)
note: religious affiliation is still nominal in Azerbaijan; actual practising adherents are much lower

Age structure:
- 0-14 years: 25.4% (male 1,086,271/female 975,100)
- 15-64 years: 67.7% (male 2,695,428/female 2,799,047)
- 65 years and over: 7% (male 211,438/female 352,963) (2007 est.)

Azerbaijan - Baku: Niyazi House Museum - Azeri women in traditional costume playing local instruments (photo by Galen Frysinger)Population growth rate: 0.688% (2007 est.)

Population projection for 2010: 8.202.000

Birth rate: 17.47 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate: 8.35 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate: -2.25 migrants/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio:
- at birth: 1.15 male(s)/female
- under 15 years: 1.114 male(s)/female
- 15-64 years: 0.963 male(s)/female
- 65 years and over: 0.599 male(s)/female
- total population: 0.968 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
- total: 58.31 deaths/1,000 live births
- male: 64.03 deaths/1,000 live births
- female: 51.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

kids - children of Azerbaijan - photo by M.TorresLife expectancy at birth:
- total population: 65.96 years
- male: 61.86 years
- female: 70.66 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.05 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Marriage rate per 100.000 population (1994): 6.3

Divorce rate per 100.000 population (1994): 0.8

Average Household size: 4.8 (1989)

Azerbaijan - Baku: Martyrs mosque - interior - men praying - Martyrdoom Mosque - religion - Islam - photo by Miguel TorresReligions: Muslim 93.4%, Russian Orthodox 2.5%, Armenian Orthodox 2.3%, other 1.8% (1995 est.)
note: religious affiliation is still nominal in Azerbaijan; actual practising adherents are much lower

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
- total population: 98.8%
- male: 99.5%
- female: 98.2% (2003 est.)

Sheki: the 'wolf man' (photo by F.MacLachlan)Major Causes of Death per 100.000 population (1994):
- Diseases of the circulatory system 336.3
- Accidents, poisoning and violence 99.1
- Malignant Neoplasms (cancer) 67.6
- Diseases of the respiratory system 31.7
- Infectious and parasitic diseases 29.0
- Endocrine and metabolic disorders 14.2
- Diseases of the nervous system 12.1

see also: famous people from Azerbaijan, Azeri international associations
Ethnic Minorities

see also: culture, geography, Lezgin, Meskhetian Turks, Talysh, Avar, Tatar, Tat, Tsakhur, Kurd, photos
A to Z of Azerbaijan / A dan Z ye Azerbaycan