Azerbaijan Population 2017
Azerbaijan has an estimated population of 9.612 million, up from the 2014 estimate of 9.5 million. The population density is 106 people per square kilometer (274/square mile), which ranks 103rd in the world.
Azerbaijan has 77 cities. The largest city and capital is Baku with a population of 2.15 million and a metro population of 4 million. Baku is densely populated with 996 people per square kilometer (2,580/square mile). The next-largest city is Sumqayit at 325,000, followed by Ganja at 323,000. About 52% of the population lives in a rural area.
At the 2009 census, the ethnic composition of Azerbaijan was more than 91% Azerbaijanis, 2% Lezgians, 1.3% Armenians (with nearly all living in the break-away region of Nagorno-Karabakh), 1.3% Russian, 1.2% Talysh, 0.5% Avars, 0.4% Turks, 0.3% Tatars, 0.3% Tats and 0.25% Ukrainians.
About 95% of the population is Muslim. 85% of Muslims in Azerbaijan are Shia Muslims while 15% are Sunni Muslims. Azerbaijan has the second-highest Shia population percentage behind Iran. Azerbaijan is a secular state that provides religious freedom. A Gallup poll conducted seven years ago found that just 21% of Azerbaijanis consider religion an important aspect of their lives, which makes it one of the least religious countries on earth.
Azerbaijan declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, before the dissolution of the USSR. A huge oil boom in the country led to international investment, and by the start of the 20th century, the country was supplying half of the world's oil. During the collapse of the Soviet Union, the large Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh attempted to secede from Azerbaijan, leading to war and the Armenians taking control of the region. A ceasefire was signed in 1994, with nearly 1/7 of the country's territory still occupied and 800,000 refugees scattered. During the 1990s, many Armenians and Russians left the region. In 1970, there were about 484,000 Armenians and 510,000 Russians in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan Population Projections