A

Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
American Samoa
Andorra
Angola
Anguilla
Antartica
Antigua & Barbuda
Arctic Ocean
Argentina
Armenia
Aruba
Ashmore & Cartier Islands
Atlantic Ocean
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan

B

Bahamas
Bahrain
Baker Island
Bangladesh
Barbados
Bassas da India
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Benin
Bermuda
Bhutan
Bolivia
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Botswanna
Bouvet Island
Brazil
British Indian Ocean
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Burma
Burundi

C

Cambodia
Cameroon
Canada
Cape Verde
Cayman Islands
Central African Republic
Chad
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Clipperton Island
Cocos Islands
Colombia
Comoros
Congo (DRC)
Congo
Cook Islands
Coral Sea Islands
Costa Rica
Cota D'Ivory
Croatia
Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republich

D

Denmark
Dijouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic

E

East Timor
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
Europa Islands

F

Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Fiji
Finland
France
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Southern Antarctic Lands

G

Gabon
Gambia
Gaza Strip
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Gibraltar
Glorioso Islands
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Guam
Guatemala
Guernsey
Guinea Bissau
Guinea Bissau
Guyana

H

Haiti
Heard Island and McDonald Islands
Honduras
Hong Kong
Howland Island
Hungary

I

Iceland
India
Indian Ocean
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Ireland
Isle of Man
Isreal
Italy

J

Jamaica
Jan Mayen
Japan
Jarvis Island
Jersey
Johnston Atoll
Jordan
Juan de Nova

  Albania  
Flag of Albania
Click to enlarge
Categories Banner
 Introduction
 Geography
 People
 Government
 Economy
 Communications
 Transportation
 Military
 Transnational Issues
     

This page was last updated on 15 November, 2007


Map of Albania



Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Albania Top of Page
Background:

Between 1990 and 1992 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. In the 2005 general elections, the Democratic Party and its allies won a decisive victory on pledges of reducing crime and corruption, promoting economic growth, and decreasing the size of government. The election, and particularly the orderly transition of power, was considered an important step forward. 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. Albania has played a largely helpful role in managing inter-ethnic tensions in southeastern Europe, and is continuing to work toward joining NATO and the EU. Albania, with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been a strong supporter of the global war on terrorism.

 

  
   Geography    Albania Top of Page
Location:

Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece in the south and Montenegro and Serbia to the north
Geographic coordinates:

41 00 N, 20 00 E
Map references:

Europe
Area:

total: 28,748 sq km
land: 27,398 sq km
water: 1,350 sq km
Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries:

total: 720 km
border countries: Greece 282 km, Macedonia 151 km, Montenegro 172 km, Serbia 115 km
Coastline:

362 km
Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate:

mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers; interior is cooler and wetter
Terrain:

mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast
Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point: Maja e Korabit (Golem Korab) 2,764 m
Natural resources:

petroleum, natural gas, coal, bauxite, chromite, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt, timber, hydropower
Land use:

arable land: 20.1%
permanent crops: 4.21%
other: 75.69% (2005)
Irrigated land:

3,530 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:

destructive earthquakes; tsunamis occur along southwestern coast; floods; drought
Environment - current issues:

deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution from industrial and domestic effluents
Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:

strategic location along Strait of Otranto (links Adriatic Sea to Ionian Sea and Mediterranean Sea)
   People    Albania Top of Page
Population:

3,600,523 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:

0-14 years: 24.1% (male 454,622/female 413,698)
15-64 years: 66.6% (male 1,228,497/female 1,170,489)
65 years and over: 9.3% (male 154,352/female 178,865) (2007 est.)
Median age:

total: 29.2 years
male: 28.6 years
female: 29.8 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:

0.529% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:

15.16 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:

5.33 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:

-4.54 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.099 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.863 male(s)/female
total population: 1.042 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:

total: 20.02 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 20.46 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 19.54 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 77.6 years
male: 74.95 years
female: 80.53 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:

2.03 children born/woman (2007 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)
   Government    Albania Top of Page
Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Albania
conventional short form: Albania
local long form: Republika e Shqiperise
local short form: Shqiperia
former: People's Socialist Republic of Albania
Government type:

emerging democracy
Capital:

name: Tirana (Tirane)
geographic coordinates: 41 19 N, 19 49 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:

12 counties (qarqe, singular - qark); Berat, Diber, Durres, Elbasan, Fier, Gjirokaster, Korce, Kukes, Lezhe, Shkoder, Tirane, Vlore
Independence:

28 November 1912 (from the Ottoman Empire)
National holiday:

Independence Day, 28 November (1912)
Constitution:

adopted by popular referendum on 22 November 1998; promulgated 28 November 1998
Legal system:

has a civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; has accepted jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court for its citizens
Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:

chief of state: President of the Republic Bamir TOPI (since 24 July 2007)
head of government: Prime Minister Sali BERISHA (since 10 September 2005)
cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, nominated by the president, and approved by parliament
elections: president elected by the People's Assembly for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); four election rounds held between 8 and 20 July 2007 (next election to be held in 2012); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Bamir TOPI elected president; People's Assembly vote, fourth round (three-fifths majority (84 votes) required): Bamir TOPI 85 votes, Neritan CEKA 5 votes
Legislative branch:

unicameral Assembly or Kuvendi (140 seats; 100 members are elected by direct popular vote and 40 by proportional vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 3 July 2005 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PD 56, PS 42, PR 11, PSD 7, LSI 5, other 19
Judicial branch:

Constitutional Court, Supreme Court (chairman is elected by the People's Assembly for a four-year term), and multiple appeals and district courts
Political parties and leaders:

Agrarian Environmentalist Party or PAA [Lufter XHUVELI]; Christian Democratic Party or PDK [Nard NDOKA]; Communist Party of Albania or PKSH [Hysni MILLOSHI]; Democratic Alliance Party or AD [Neritan CEKA]; Democratic Party or PD [Sali BERISHA]; Legality Movement Party or PLL [Ekrem SPAHIU]; Liberal Union Party or BLD [Arjan STAROVA]; National Front Party (Balli Kombetar) or PBK [Adriatik ALIMADHI]; New Democratic Party or PDR [Genc POLLO]; Party of National Unity or PUK [Idajet BEQIRI]; Renewed Democratic Party or PDRN [Dashamir SHEHI]; Republican Party or PR [Fatmir MEDIU]; Social Democracy Party of Albania or PDSSh [Paskal MILO]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Skender GJINUSHI]; Socialist Movement for Integration or LSI [Ilir META]; Socialist Party or PS [Edi RAMA]; Union for Human Rights Party or PBDNj [Vangjel DULE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:

Citizens Advocacy Office [Kreshnik SPAHIU]; Confederation of Trade Unions of Albania or KSSH [Kastriot MUCO]; Front for Albanian National Unification or FBKSH [Gafur ADILI]; Mjaft Movement [Erion VELIAJ]; Omonia [Jani JANI]; Union of Independent Trade Unions of Albania or BSPSH [Gezim KALAJA]
International organization participation:

BSEC, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SECI, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNOMIG, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Aleksander SALLABANDA
chancery: 2100 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 223-4942
FAX: [1] (202) 628-7342
Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Marcie B. RIES
embassy: Rruga e Elbasanit, Labinoti #103, Tirana
mailing address: US Department of State, 9510 Tirana Place, Dulles, VA 20189-9510
telephone: [355] (4) 247285
FAX: [355] (4) 232222
Flag description:

red with a black two-headed eagle in the center
   Economy    Albania Top of Page
Economy - overview:

Lagging behind its Balkan neighbors, Albania is making the difficult transition to a more modern open-market economy. The government has taken measures to curb violent crime and reduce the large gray economy. The economy is bolstered by annual remittances from abroad of $600-$800 million, mostly from Albanians residing in Greece and Italy; this helps offset the towering trade deficit. Agriculture, which accounts for about one-quarter of GDP, is held back because of lack of modern equipment, unclear property rights, and the prevalence of small, inefficient plots of land. Energy shortages and antiquated and inadequate infrastructure contribute to Albania's poor business environment, which make it difficult to attract and sustain foreign investment. The planned construction of a new thermal power plant near Vlore and improved transmission and distribution facilities eventually will help relieve the energy shortages. Also, the government is moving slowly to improve the poor national road and rail network, a long-standing barrier to sustained economic growth. On the positive side, growth was strong in 2003-06 and inflation is low and stable.
GDP (purchasing power parity):

$20.46 billion
note: Albania has a large gray economy that may be as large as 50% of official GDP (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):

$9.306 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:

5% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):

$5,700 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 22.3%
industry: 20.9%
services: 56.9% (2006 est.)
Labor force:

1.09 million (not including 352,000 emigrant workers) (September 2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 58%
industry: 15%
services: 27% (September 2006 est.)
Unemployment rate:

13.8% official rate, but may exceed 30% due to preponderance of near-subsistence farming (September 2006 est.)
Population below poverty line:

25% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income - Gini index:

26.7 (2005)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.4% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):

23.7% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budget:

revenues: $2.608 billion
expenditures: $3.1 billion; including capital expenditures of $700 million (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products:

wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, sugar beets, grapes; meat, dairy products
Industries:

food processing, textiles and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower
Industrial production growth rate:

3.4% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:

5.385 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:

3.323 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:

300 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:

371 million kWh (2005)
Oil - production:

3,600 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:

25,200 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:

1,240 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - imports:

21,600 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - proved reserves:

165 million bbl (1 January 2005)
Natural gas - production:

28.77 million cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:

28.77 million cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:

814.7 million cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:

-$670.8 million (2006 est.)
Exports:

$792.9 million f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:

textiles and footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil; vegetables, fruits, tobacco
Exports - partners:

Italy 67.7%, Serbia and Montenegro 5.8%, Greece 5.4% (2006)
Imports:

$2.916 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals
Imports - partners:

Italy 32.1%, Greece 17.7%, Turkey 8.1%, Germany 5.7% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient:

ODA: $318.7 million
note: top donors were Italy, EU, Germany (2005 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$1.813 billion (2006 est.)
Debt - external:

$1.55 billion (2004)
Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA
Currency (code):

lek (ALL)
note: the plural of lek is leke
Exchange rates:

leke per US dollar - 98.384 (2006), 102.649 (2005), 102.78 (2004), 121.863 (2003), 140.155 (2002)
Fiscal year:

calendar year
   Communications    Albania Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:

353,600 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:

1.53 million (2005)
Telephone system:

general assessment: despite new investment in fixed lines, the density of main lines remains low with roughly 10 lines per 100 people; however, cellular telephone use is widespread and generally effective; combined fixed line and mobile telephone density is approximately 60 telephones per 100 persons
domestic: offsetting the shortage of fixed line capacity, mobile phone service has been available since 1996; by 2003 two companies were providing mobile services at a greater density than some of Albania's Balkan neighbors; Internet broadband services initiated in 2005; internet cafes are popular in Tirana and have started to spread outside the capital
international: country code - 355; submarine cable provides connectivity to Italy, Croatia, and Greece; the Trans-Balkan Line, a combination submarine cable and land fiber optic system, provides additional connectivity to Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Turkey; international traffic carried by fiber-optic cable and, when necessary, by microwave radio relay from the Tirana exchange to Italy and Greece (2007)
Radio broadcast stations:

AM 13, FM 46, shortwave 1 (2005)
Television broadcast stations:

65 (3 national, 62 local); 2 cable networks (2005)
Internet country code:

.al
Internet hosts:

852 (2007)
Internet users:

471,200 (2006)
   Transportation    Albania Top of Page
Airports:

11 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:

total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 8
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 4 (2007)
Heliports:

1 (2007)
Pipelines:

gas 339 km; oil 207 km (2006)
Railways:

total: 447 km
standard gauge: 447 km 1.435-m gauge (2006)
Roadways:

total: 18,000 km
paved: 7,020 km
unpaved: 10,980 km (2002)
Waterways:

43 km (2007)
Merchant marine:

total: 24 ships (1000 GRT or over) 56,550 GRT/85,521 DWT
by type: cargo 23, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 1 (Turkey 1)
registered in other countries: 3 (Georgia 2, Panama 1) (2007)
Ports and terminals:

Durres, Sarande, Shengjin, Vlore
   Military    Albania Top of Page
Military branches:

Land Forces Command (Army), Naval Forces Command, Air Defense Command, General Staff Headquarters (includes Logistics Command, Training and Doctrine Command) (2007)
Military service age and obligation:

19 years of age (2004)
Manpower available for military service:

males age 19-49: 809,524
females age 19-49: 784,199 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:

males age 19-49: 668,526
females age 19-49: 648,334 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:

males age 18-49: 37,407
females age 19-49: 34,587 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:

1.49% (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Albania Top of Page
Disputes - international:

the Albanian Government calls for the protection of the rights of ethnic Albanians in neighboring countries, and the peaceful resolution of interethnic disputes; some ethnic Albanian groups in neighboring countries advocate for a "greater Albania," but the idea has little appeal among Albanian nationals; the mass emigration of unemployed Albanians remains a problem for developed countries, chiefly Greece and Italy
Illicit drugs:

increasingly active transshipment point for Southwest Asian opiates, hashish, and cannabis transiting the Balkan route and - to a lesser extent - cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe; limited opium and growing cannabis production; ethnic Albanian narcotrafficking organizations active and expanding in Europe; vulnerable to money laundering associated with regional trafficking in narcotics, arms, contraband, and illegal aliens

This page was last updated on 15 November, 2007


Bottom Banner

K

Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kingman Reef
Kiribati
Kuwait
Kyrgystan

L

Laos
Latvia
Lebanon
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg

M

Macau
Macedonia
Madagascar
Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
Martinique
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Mexico
Micronesia
Midway Island
Moldova
Monaco
Mongolia
Montserrat
Morocco
Mozambique

N

Namibia
Nauru
Navassa Island
Nepal
Netherlands Antilles
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
Niue
Norfolk Island
North Korea
Northern Mariana Islands
Norway

O

Oman

P

Pacific Ocean
Pakistan
Palau
Palmyra Atoll
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paracel Islands
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn Islands
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico

Q

Qatar

R

Reunion
Romania
Russia
Rwanda

S

St. Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Pierra & Miquelon
St Vincent & Grenadines
Samoa
San Marina
Sao Tome & Principle
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Serbia & Montenegro
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Georgia & Sandwich Islands
South Korea
Southern Islands
Spain
Spratly Islands
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Suriname
Svalbard
Swaziland
Sweden
Switzerland
Syria

T

Taiwan
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Thailand
Togo
Tokelau
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Tromelin Island
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Turks & Caicos Islands
Tuvalu

U

Uganda
UK
Ukraine
UAE
Uruguay
USA
Uzbekistan

V

Vanuatu
Vatican
Venezuela
Vietnam
Virgin Islands

W

Wake Island
Wallis & Futuna
West Bank
Western Sahara
The World

Y

Yemen

Z

Zimbabwe
Zambia