The Republic of Azerbaijan gained independence from the former Soviet Union in 1992. It is located in western Asia and borders Russia and Georgia in the north, the Caspian Sea in the east, Iran in the south, Georgia and Armenia in the west. Its national territory includes the autonomous region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, which is separated from Azerbaijan by a strip of Armenian land. The capital city, Baku, is located on the Caspian Sea and has around two million inhabitants.

Azerbaijan has a population of around eight million, of which 2.8 million are children under the age of 18. There are three main ethnic groups: Azerbaijanis, Russians and Armenians.

The main religion in Azerbaijan is Islam.

Since 1992, Azerbaijan’s economy has experienced rapid growth due to revenues from oil, gas and other natural resources. The construction, banking, real estate and tourism industries also provide employment. However, the revenue from these industries is not widely spread and although poverty has been reduced, it is estimated that one third of children continue to live below the nationally-defined poverty line.

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