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
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
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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