Map Albania
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of Albania


Background: Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, but was conquered by Italy in 1939. Communist partisans took over the country in 1944. Albania allied itself first with the USSR (until 1960), and then with China (to 1978). In the early 1990s, Albania ended 46 years of xenophobic Communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven challenging as successive governments have tried to deal with high unemployment, widespread corruption, a dilapidated physical infrastructure, powerful organized crime networks, and combative political opponents. Albania has made progress in its democratic development since first holding multiparty elections in 1991, but deficiencies remain. International observers judged elections to be largely free and fair since the restoration of political stability following the collapse of pyramid schemes in 1997; however, there have been claims of electoral fraud in every one of Albania's post-communist elections. The 2009 general elections resulted in no single party gaining a majority of the 140 seats in Parliament, and the Movement for Socialist Integration (LSI) and the Democratic Party (DP) combined to form a coalition government, the first such in Albania's history. The Socialist Party (SP) has, in effect, boycotted Parliament since it convened in September 2009 and has called for investigations into alleged electoral fraud in the June 2009 elections. Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and is a potential candidate for EU accession. Although Albania's economy continues to grow, the country is still one of the poorest in Europe, hampered by a large informal economy and an inadequate energy and transportation infrastructure.
Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece in the south and Montenegro and Kosovo to the north
Area land: 27,398 sq km
Area water: 1,350 sq km
Coastline: 362 km
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Albania
Country name conventional short form: Albania
Country name former: People's Socialist Republic of Albania
Population: 2,994,667 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 21.4% (male 337,364/female 303,669); 15-64 years: 68.1% (male 996,666/female 1,043,472); 65 years and over: 10.5% (male 148,151/female 165,345) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 0.267% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 12.15 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 6.15 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -3.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.118 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.1 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female; total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 14.61 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 16.23 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 12.79 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.41 years; male: 74.82 years; female: 80.3 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 1.48 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA;
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA;
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA;
Nationality: noun: Albanian(s); adjective: Albanian;
Ethnic groups: Albanian 95%, Greek 3%, other 2% (Vlach, Roma (Gypsy), Serb, Macedonian, Bulgarian) (1989 est.);

note: in 1989, other estimates of the Greek population ranged from 1% (official Albanian statistics) to 12% (from a Greek organization)

Religions: Muslim 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, Roman Catholic 10%;
note: percentages are estimates; there are no available current statistics on religious affiliation; all mosques and churches were closed in 1967 and religious observances prohibited; in November 1990, Albania began allowing private religious practice

Languages: Albanian (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek, Vlach, Romani, Slavic dialects;
Literacy: definition: age 9 and over can read and write; total population: 98.7%; male: 99.2%; female: 98.3% (2001 census);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $23.33 billion (2010 est.); $22.63 billion (2009 est.); $21.91 billion (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
Albania has an informal, and unreported, sector that may be as large as 50% of official GDP;
GDP (official exchange rate): $11.8 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 3.1% (2010 est.); 3.3% (2009 est.); 7.7% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $7,400 (2010 est.); $7,200 (2009 est.); $6,900 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 18.9%; industry: 23.5%; services: 57.6% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 12.5% (2008 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.2%; highest 10%: 25.9% (2005);
Labor force: 1.06 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 47.8%; industry: 23%; services: 29.2% (September 2010 est.);
Unemployment rate: 13.5% (September 2010 est.); 13.8% (2009 est.);
note: these are official rates, but actual rates may exceed 30% due to preponderance of near-subsistence farming

Budget: revenues: $3.205 billion; expenditures: $3.571 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: food processing, textiles and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower;
Industrial production growth rate: 3% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 5.201 billion kWh (2009 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 6.593 billion kWh;
note: 35% of electricity is lost in the system as a result of transmission inefficiencies and theft (2009 est.)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2009 est.);
Electricity - imports: 1.884 billion kWh (2009 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.


Albanian Daily News

(Independent), Tirana

Gazeta Tema

(independent), Tirana

Koha Jonë

(Independent), Tirana


(Centrist), Tirana

Tirana Times

(Independent English-language weekly), Tirana

Zëri Popullit

(Socialist Party organ), Tirana

Albania in the News

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Displaying 1 to 4 of 28 items.

International Tobacco Contraband

Organized crime syndicates are making a killing smuggling tobacco products, and the operations often fly under the radar of customs and law enforcement.

Albania's Controversial Elections

The recent mayoral election in Tirana has not only sparked controversy within Albania; it has jeopardized the country's chances of getting into the European Union.

The Future of Energy Security in Southeast Europe

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is a proposed pipeline project to transport natural gas from the Caspian and Middle East regions via a new gas transportation route

Unrest in Albania

Life for Albanians has been on a downward slide for a long time. The culmination of corruption, poverty and unrest came to a boil in recent demonstrations, costing three people their lives.