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The capital, Baku, is on the Apsheron peninsula on the Caspian and has the largest port. The population of the Azerbaijan Republic has been estimated to be 7,855,576 (July 1998).According to the 1989 census, Azeris accounted for 82.7 percent of the population, but that number has increased to roughly 90 percent as a result of a high birthrate and the emigration of non-Azeris.
There are about one million refugees and displaced persons altogether.
The number of Jews decreased as they left for Russia, Israel, and the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Numerous ethnic groups (up to ninety) of the former Soviet Union are represented in small numbers (Ukrainians, Kurds, Belorussians, Tatars).
However, because of anti-Armenian pogroms in Baku in 1990 and Sumgait in 1988, most Armenians left, and their population (2.3 percent) is now concentrated in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Russians, who currently make up of 2.5 percent of the population, began to leave for Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Those who went to Russian schools were able to use Azeri in daily encounters but had difficulty expressing themselves in other areas.
Russian functioned as the lingua franca of different ethnic groups, and with the exception of rural populations such as the Talysh, others spoke very little Azeri.It is believed that around thirteen million Azeris live in Iran.In 1989, Russians and Armenians each made up 5.6 percent of the population.The place name has been used to denote the inhabitants since the late 1930s, during the Soviet period.The northern part of historical Azerbaijan was part of the former Soviet Union until 1991, while the southern part is in Iran.Roughly thirteen languages are spoken in Azerbaijan, some of which are not written and are used only in everyday family communication.