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Azerbaijan/ 6. Financing of culture  

6.1 Short overview

A boom in economic development in recent years, and new oil and gas finds in Azerbaijan, has led to considerable growth in the state budget and correspondingly to levels of expenditure and public financing of culture.

According to the Law On the State Budget of the Republic of Azerbaijan the income amount of the state budget approved for 2016 was 14 566 000 000 AZN*. The expenditure was approved in the amount of 16 264 000 000 AZN (including the centralised incomes of 13 799 654 500 AZN, local incomes of 766 345 500 AZN, and centralised expenditure of 14 722 749 000 AZN and local expenditure of 1 541 251 000 AZN).

State expenditure for all levels of education (including higher education in the fields of arts and culture) is 1 713 513 135 AZN, healthcare – 744 855 809 AZN, social protection and social security –1 896 554 714 AZN.

Expenditure for activities in the field of culture and art is 140 941 256 AZN; radio, TV and publishing – 66 916 442 AZN; and sport, youth policy and tourism – 359 284 985 AZN.

*The Azerbaijan Manat is the unit of national currency, with the exchange rate of the manat at the Central Bank of Azerbaijan Republic on 02 May 2016 year of 1 EUR=1.7283 AZN.

Table 27:  Macroeconomic indicators, 2016


January-March 2016 actual, million AZN

January- March 2016 compared to January- March 2015, in %

Gross domestic product

12 588,7


of which non-oil GDP

8 240,4


Revenue of state budget

3 678,1


Expenditure of state budget

2 623,5


Profit of state budget

1 054,6


Income of the population

10 303,5


Per capita income

1 073,5


Average monthly per capita wages and salaries



Source:    State Statistical Committee, 2016.
*              January-March 2016.
**            January-March 2016 compared to January- March 2015.

The state's strategy for diversification of financing sources for cultural activities and policies aimed at assessment of optimal scopes of the state budget for arts and culture are: attracting alternative financing sources (sponsors, Maecenas, supporters etc.); implementing up-to-date marketing in order to improve the system of paid cultural services.

It should be noted that, as a result of decentralisation of budgetary expenditure on culture, 52.1% of funds are now distributed locally. Local authorities and the regions' cultural departments are now determining the patterns of cultural expenditure in the regions (districts) of the Republic. It should also be noted that subjective factors are very significant at local and regional level, where a great deal depends on the people in charge and – as monitoring shows – attitudes to culture vary widely.

Centralised expenditure on culture is largely focused on the capital, Baku. With culture permanently short of funding, preference also goes to organisations of national importance, most of which operate from Baku.

Average household spending on cultural activities and goods amounts to not more than 3% of the total household budget.

Chapter published: 02-11-2016

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