Baku is the capital, the largest city, and the largest port of Azerbaijan and all the Caucasus. The basis of Baku's economy is petroleum. The existence of petroleum has been known since the 8th century. The World War II Battle of Stalingrad was fought to determine who would have control of the Baku oil fields. Fifty years before the battle, Baku produced half of the world's oil supply. Currently the oil economy of Baku is undergoing a resurgence. Azerbaijan is in South Western Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range. Dry, semiarid. Large, flat Kur-Araz Ovaligi (Kura-Araks Lowland) (much of it below sea level) with Great Caucasus Mountains to the north, Qarabag Yaylasi (Karabakh Upland) in west; Baku lies on Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) that juts into Caspian Sea. The official language is Azeri which is widely spoken, it is closely related to Anatolian Turkish. Russian is widely understood. Increasing numbers of the young population speak English, mostly in Baku, but for business purposes an interpreter may be necessary. The main religion is Islam. The economy of Azerbaijan has largely completed its post-Soviet transition into a major oil based economy (with the completion of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline), from one where the state played the major role. The security risk for expatriates in Azerbaijan is medium overall, but high for the Armenian border areas and Nagorno-Karabakh. Risks include generalised petty street crime, tension between Azerbaijan and neighbouring Armenia over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as the risk of terrorist attacks. Other risks include the poor road conditions outside of Baku. The population in Baku is 2.1 Mil (2014 est.), while the inflation rate is 1.6% (2014 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in Baku as at 1 April 2015 is very high in comparison to other places in the world. In Baku, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average in USD, is categorized follows: 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: High 2) Clothing: Very High 3) Communication: High 4) Education: High 5) Furniture & Appliances: Very High 6) Groceries: Very High 7) Healthcare: Very High 8) Household Accommodation: High 9) Miscellaneous: Very High 10) Personal Care: High 11) Recreation & Culture: High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very High 13) Transport: Low Baku is for example 21.6% more expensive than Montevideo for groceries, 28.9% more expensive for household costs than Durban, and -7.4% cheaper for transport costs than Athens. Baku is ranked as a high degree of hardship location. Hardship (also know as quality of living) refers to the degree of hardship an expatriate and their family are likely to experience in the host location. Hardship pay is compensation to encourage people to move, in particular to less desirable locations. In determining the amount of hardship premium payable, factors such as economic, political, religious, infrastructure, environment/climate, personal safety, health, education, and transportation factors are considered. The hardship premium for Baku for an expat from Zurich is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Baku) premium of 30% minus home (Zurich) location premium of 10%. Xpatulator.com has been created to assist subscribers calculate expatriate pay using the online calculators and extensive database of cost of living and hardship indexes, for 780 international locations. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship or expat pay in Baku? Register subscribe to your home location and Baku and run your personalised reports.