As in neighboring Armenia and Georgia, living standards
dropped sharply from the beginning of the 1990s, following
the collapse of the Soviet economy and the transition to a
market economy. The situation worsened when the war with
Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh brought about 1 million
homeless refugees. In 2002, the World Bank estimated that
almost half the population lived below the poverty line. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of AZE and acronym for Azerbaijan.
Oil revenues began to increase around 2000, and economic
growth was particularly strong in 2006-07. More funds were
allocated to health care and education, and the salaries of
government employees were increased. The country received
loans from the International Monetary Fund to combat
poverty, and many families received financial support from
emigrated or guest-working relatives. It gained great
importance in the countryside, but the influx thereof
declined sharply during the global economic crisis. In 2009,
11 percent of the population lived below the poverty line.
Poverty is most common in remote rural areas and among the
refugees. Malnutrition was estimated to be just as common.
It is found especially in the poor part of the urban
When the country became independent, there was a
Soviet-model healthcare, centralized and with specialist
functions but ineffective and corrupt. Since then, primary
care has been expanded and the state of health has improved.
In 2008, there were 36 doctors per 10,000 residents.
Qualified help was found at 88 percent of deliveries in
Approximately 80 percent of the residents had access to
clean water in 2008, while a significantly lower proportion
had expanded sanitary facilities; 85 percent in the cities
but only 30 percent in the countryside.
In 2010, the World Bank estimated unemployment in the
country at 9 percent. Underemployment is common and many
work in a "gray" informal sector. A large part of the
industrial employees are unionized. The retirement age is
now 63 years for men and 60 years for women. Social
insurance with retirement, disability and survivor's pension
should cover everyone and guarantee a basic standard of
Azerbaijan - Baku
Baku, capital of Azerbaijan; 1. 2 million residents (2015). Baku has a
protected location on the Caspian Sea, on the southern side of the Apsjeron
Peninsula. The city is an administrative center and a trade and communication
center. The city's historic center was listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in
The modern significance of the city is based on the oil deposits already
known in Late Antiquity, which began to be mined in 1871, from 1875 not least by
the brothers Robert and Ludvig Nobel. Around 1900, Baku accounted for 50% of
world oil production, and oil still forms the basis for the chemical industry
and the engineering industry associated with oil extraction. Other industrial
activities include metalworking and the manufacture of building materials,
consumer goods and food. Baku is also a cultural center and seat of the Academy
of Sciences and has a university (founded in 1919).
Baku is known since the 400s AD. The city was Persian 1509–1723, was Russian
for twelve years, became Persian again in 1735 and then incorporated with Russia
in 1806. Baku became the capital of Azerbaijan in 1920. After 1945, Baku
underwent rapid expansion by moving in from the countryside. At the time of the
Azerbaijan popular front in 1989–90, extensive political unrest broke out in
Baku, partly between Azerbaijanis and Armenians, and partly between Azerbaijanis
and representatives of the Soviet central power.