People of Azerbaijan
The population of Azerbaijan exceeded 9.574 million as of November 1, 2014.
According to estimates 91,6% of the population of the Republic are Azerbaijanis, 8,4% are representative of other nationalities. Among them are Russians – 1,3%, Lezgins – 2,0%, Talysh – 1,3%. The rest of the population is made up of Avars, Turks, Tatars, Ukrainians, Tsakhurs, Georgians (Ingiloys), Kurds, Tats and representatives of other nationalities.
Urban residents comprised 53,1% of the whole population as of 1 July 2013, with the rural population of 46,9%. Expected lifespan (2008) in Azerbaijan is 72,6 years, for men – 69,9 years and women – 75,4 years.
Identification. Two theories are cited for the etymology of the name "Azerbaijan": First, "land of fire" ( azer , meaning "fire," refers to the natural burning of surface oil deposits or to the oil-fueled fires in temples of the Zoroastrian religion); second, Atropaten is an ancient name of the region (Atropat was a governor of Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C. ). The place name has been used to denote the inhabitants since the late 1930s, during the Soviet period. The northern part of historical Azerbaijan was part of the former Soviet Union until 1991, while the southern part is in Iran. The two Azerbaijans developed under the influence of different political systems, cultures, and languages, but relations are being reestablished.
The population of the Azerbaijan Republic has been estimated to be 7,855,576 (July 1998). According to the 1989 census, Azeris accounted for 82.7 percent of the population, but that number has increased to roughly 90 percent as a result of a high birthrate and the emigration of non-Azeris. The Azerbaijani population of Nagorno-Karabakh and a large number of Azeris (an estimated 200,000) who had been living in Armenia were driven to Azerbaijan in the late 1980s and early 1990s. There are about one million refugees and displaced persons altogether. It is believed that around thirteen million Azeris live in Iran. In 1989, Russians and Armenians each made up 5.6 percent of the population. However, because of anti-Armenian pogroms in Baku in 1990 and Sumgait in 1988, most Armenians left, and their population (2.3 percent) is now concentrated in Nagorno-Karabakh. Russians, who currently make up of 2.5 percent of the population, began to leave for Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The number of Jews decreased as they left for Russia, Israel, and the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Numerous ethnic groups (up to ninety) of the former Soviet Union are represented in small numbers (Ukrainians, Kurds, Belorussians, Tatars). Other groups with a long history of settlement in Azerbaijan include the Persian-speaking Talysh and the Georgian-speaking Udins. Peoples of Daghestan such as the Lezghis and Avars make up 3.2 percent of the population, with most of them living in the north. Fifty-three percent of the population is urban.
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