The capital and largest city of Azerbaijan is Baki. The total population of Azerbaijan is estimated to amount to around 10 million inhabitants, and about half of them live in urban areas. The population growth rate almost doubled in 2008 and 2009 before reverting back to around 1.3 percent since 2010, with the average life expectancy of inhabitants on the lower side, at around 70 years of age, and a quite average fertility rate of 2 children per woman.
Azerbaijan’s economic growth can be attributed in large parts to its growing oil and gas exports. In 2013, GDP reached a peak and so did economic growth, naturally. However, future GDP projections from the International Monetary Fund are much lower and vary greatly year-over-year until 2022. Inflation also varies quite a bit and increased by more than 13 times from 2012 to 2017. It is very likely, however, to slump back down to a 7 to 54 percent range over the next years.
Azerbaijan’s national debt in relation to GDP is expected to increase severely as well. The strongest sector of Azerbaijan’s economy is the industrial sector, - due to its aforementioned large oil and gas exports - with a 50 percent share, compared to a slightly smaller share held by the services sector and significantly less generated by agriculture. The country reports a positive trade balance, even though it is decreasing remarkably, and trade with Europe and Turkey is getting stronger. Currently, Azerbaijan’s most important export partner is Italy, and its most important import partners are Turkey, Russia and the United States.
However, while the industrial sector is doing well, it makes up the lowest share of total employment with the majority of the population working in services or agriculture. The wealth and future of the country depends on whether the country can reverse its trend in deteriorating human rights, and whether it can use its wealth from the industrial sector to spur growth and employment across the other sectors.