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Flag of Albania

Country Profile

Capital City: Tirana (Tiranë)


Border countries: Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro

Maps : Maps of Albania



Background:  In 1990 Albania ended 44 years of xenophobic communist
rule and established a multiparty democracy. The transition has
proven difficult as corrupt governments have tried to deal with high
unemployment, a dilapidated infrastructure, widespread gangsterism,
and disruptive political opponents. International observers judged
local elections in 2001 to be acceptable and a step toward democratic
development, but identified serious deficiencies which should be addressed
through reforms in the Albanian electoral code.

Geography Albania

Location:  Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea,
between Greece and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

Geographic coordinates:  41 00 N, 20 00 E

Map references:  Europe

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

Area - comparative:  slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries:  total: 720 km border countries: Greece 282 km, The
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 151 km, Yugoslavia 287 km

Coastline:  362 km

Maritime claims:  continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of
exploitation territorial sea: 12 NM

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) 2,753 m

Natural resources:  petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper,
timber, nickel, hydropower

Land use:  arable land: 21% permanent crops: 4% other: 75% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  3,400 sq km (1998 est.)

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, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, 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

Population:  3,544,841 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 28.8% (male 528,678; female 493,531) 15-64
years: 64% (male 1,094,034; female 1,175,024) 65 years and over: 7.2%
(male 111,524; female 142,050) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  1.06% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  18.59 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  6.49 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -1.46 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.07
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.79 male(s)/female total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  38.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   75.14 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  2.27 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  less than 0.01% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  less than 100 (2000 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  less than 100 (1999 est.)

Nationality:  noun: Albanian(s) adjective: Albanian

Ethnic groups:  Albanian 95%, Greek 3%, other 2% (Vlach, Gypsy, Serb,
and 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:
all mosques and churches were closed in 1967 and religious observances
prohibited; in November 1990, Albania began allowing private religious

Languages:  Albanian (Tosk is the official dialect), Greek

Literacy:  definition: age 9 and over can read and write total population:
93% (1997 est.)  male: NA% female: NA%

Government Albania

Country name:   Republic of Albania conventional short form:  of Albania
local long form: Republika e Shqiperise

Government type:  emerging democracy

Capital:  Tirana

Administrative divisions:  36 districts (rrethe, singular - rreth) and 1
municipality* (bashki); Berat, Bulqize, Delvine, Devoll (Bilisht), Diber
(Peshkopi), Durres, Elbasan, Fier, Gjirokaster, Gramsh, Has (Krume),
Kavaje, Kolonje (Erseke), Korce, Kruje, Kucove, Kukes, Kurbin, Lezhe,
Librazhd, Lushnje, Malesi e Madhe (Koplik), Mallakaster (Ballsh), Mat
(Burrel), Mirdite (Rreshen), Peqin, Permet, Pogradec, Puke, Sarande,
Shkoder, Skrapar (Corovode), Tepelene, Tirane (Tirana), Tirane* (Tirana),
Tropoje (Bajram Curri), Vlore note: administrative divisions have the same
names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative
center name following in parentheses)

Independence:  28 November 1912 (from Ottoman Empire)

National holiday:  Independence Day, 28 November (1912)

Constitution:  a constitution was adopted by popular referendum on 28
November 1998; note - the opposition Democratic Party boycotted the vote

Legal system:  has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:  chief of state: President of the Republic Rexhep
MEIDANI (since 24 July 1997) head of government: Prime Minister Pandeli
MAJKO (since 22 February 2002) cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated
by the prime minister and approved by the president election results:
Rexhep MEIDANI elected president; People's Assembly vote by number -
total votes 122, for 110, against 3, abstained 2, invalid 7 elections:
president elected by the People's Assembly for a five-year term; election
last held 24 July 1997 (next to be held NA July 2002); prime minister
appointed by the president

Legislative branch:  unicameral People's Assembly or Kuvendi Popullor
(140 seats; 100 are elected by direct popular vote and 40 by proportional
vote for four-year terms) election results: percent of vote by party -
PS 41.5%, PD and coalition allies 36.8%, NDP 5.2%, PSD 3.6%, PBDNJ 2.6%,
PASH 2.6%, PAD 2.5%; seats by party - PS 73, PD and coalition allies
46, NDP 6, PSD 4, PBDNJ 3, PASH 3, PAD 3, independents 2 elections:
last held 24 June with subsequent rounds on 8 July, 22 July, 29 July,
19 August 2001 (next to be held NA June 2005)

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court (chairman is elected by the People's
Assembly for a four-year term)

Political parties and leaders:  Agrarian Party or PASH [Lufter XHUVELI];
Albanian National Front (Balli Kombetar) or PBK [Shptim ROQI]; Albanian
Republican Party or PR [Fatmir MEDIU]; Albanian Socialist Party or PS
(formerly the Albania Workers Party) [Fatos NANO, chairman]; Christian
Democratic Party or PDK [Zef BUSHATI]; Democratic Alliance or PAD
[Nerltan CEKA]; Democratic Party or PD [Sali BERISHA]; Group of Reformist
Democrats [Leonard NDOKA]; Legality Movement Party or PLL [Ekrem SPAHIA];
Liberal Union Party or PBL [Teodor LACO]; New Democratic Party or NDP
[Genc POLLO]; OMONIA [Vagjelis DULES]; Party of National Unity or PUK
[Idajet BEQUIRI]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Skender GJINUSHI];
Unity for Human Rights Party or PBDNJ [Vasil MELO, chairman]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  NA

International organization participation:  ACCT, BSEC, CCC, CE, CEI,
ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, OIC, OPCW,

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Dr. Fatos TARIFA chancery: 2100 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 FAX:
[1] (202) 628-7342 telephone: [1] (202) 223-4942

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Joseph LIMPRECHT embassy: Rruga Elbasanit, Labinoti #103, Tirana mailing
address: U. S. Department of State, 9510
 [355] (4) 247285 FAX:
Flag description:  red with a black two-headed eagle in the center

Economy Albania

Economy - overview:  Poor and backward by European standards, Albania is
making the difficult transition to a more modern open-market economy. The
government has taken measures to curb violent crime and to revive economic
activity and trade.  The economy is bolstered by remittances from abroad
of $400-$600 million annually, mostly from Greece and Italy. Agriculture,
which accounts for 52% of GDP, is held back because of frequent drought
and the need to modernize equipment and consolidate small plots of
land. Severe energy shortages are forcing small firms out of business,
increasing unemployment, scaring off foreign investors, and spurring

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $13.2 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  7.3% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $3,800 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 52% industry: 21% services:
27% (2001 est.)

Population below poverty line:  30% (2001 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  3% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  1.283 million (not including 352,000 emigrant workers and
261,000 domestically unemployed) (2000 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture 50%, industry and services 50%

Unemployment rate:  17% officially (2001 est.); may be as high as 30%

Budget:  revenues: $697 million expenditures: $1.5 billion, including
capital expenditures of $368 million (2002 est.)

Industries:  food processing, textiles and clothing; lumber, oil, cement,
chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower

Industrial production growth rate:  9% (2000 est.)

Electricity - production:  4.738 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 3% hydro: 97% other: 0%
(2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  5.378 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  100 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  1.072 billion kWh (2000)

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

Exports:  $306 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

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

Exports - partners:  Italy 70%, Greece 12%, Germany 6%, The Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 2%, Austria 1% (2001)

Imports:  $1.1 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Imports - commodities:  machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles,

Imports - partners:  Italy 32%, Greece 26%, Turkey 6%, Germany 6%,
Bulgaria 2% (2001)

Debt - external:  $1 billion (2000)

Economic aid - recipient:  $315 million (top donors were Italy, EU,
Germany) (2000 est.)

Currency:  lek (ALL)

Currency code:  ALL

Exchange rates:  leke per US dollar - 140.16 (November 2001), 143.71
(2000) 137.69 (1999), 150.63 (1998), 148.93 (1997); note - leke is the
plural of lek

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Albania

Telephones - main lines in use:  120,000 (2001)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  250,000 (2001)

Telephone system:  general assessment: Albania has the poorest telephone
service in Europe with fewer than two telephones per 100 inhabitants;
it is doubtful that every village has telephone service domestic:
obsolete wire system; no longer provides a telephone for every village;
in 1992, following the fall of the Communist government, peasants cut the
wire to about 1,000 villages and used it to build fences international:
inadequate; international traffic carried by microwave radio relay from
the Tirana exchange to Italy and Greece

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 13, FM 4, shortwave 2 (2001)

Radios:  1 million (2001)

Television broadcast stations:  3 (plus 58 repeaters) (2001)

Televisions:  700,000 (2001)

Internet country code:  .al

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  10 (2001)

Internet users:  12,000 (2001)

Transportation Albania

Railways:  total: 447 km standard gauge: 447 km 1.435-m gauge (2001 est.)

Highways:  total: 18,000 km paved: 5,400 km unpaved: 12,600 km (1998 est.)

Waterways:  43 km note: includes Albanian sections of Lake Scutari,
Lake Ohrid, and Lake Prespa (1990)

Pipelines:  crude oil 196 km; petroleum products 55 km; natural gas 64 km

Ports and harbors:  Durres, Sarande, Shengjin, Vlore

Merchant marine:  total: 7 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 13,423
GRT/20,837 DWT ships by type: cargo 7, includes some foreign-owned
ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Croatia 1, Honduras 1
(2002 est.)

Airports:  11 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 3 2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:   4 (2001) 914 to 1,523 m: Heliports:
1 (2001)

Military Albania

Military branches:  Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces, Interior
Ministry Troops, Border Guards

Military manpower - military age:  19 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 888,086 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 727,406
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 35,792
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $56.5 million (FY02)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  1.49% (FY02)

Transnational Issues Albania

Disputes - international:  the Albanian Government supports protection
of the rights of ethnic Albanians outside of its borders in the Kosovo
region of Yugoslavia and in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
while continuing to seek regional cooperation; many Albanians illegally
transit neighboring states to emigrate to western Europe

Illicit drugs:  increasingly active transshipment point for Southwest
Asian opiates, hashish, and cannabis transiting the Balkan route and -
to a far lesser extent - cocaine from South America destined for Western
Europe; limited opium and growing cannabis production; ethnic Albanian
narcotrafficking organizations active and rapidly expanding in Europe

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Internet Links

Official Sites of Albania ( Shqipëria )

 The President of Albania


Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Instituti Shqiptar i Statistikes

Albania News
Albanian Telegraphic Agency

Kosova Crisis Center



Business & Economy

Banka e Shqiperise

Country Guides
Albanian Home Page

Albania - Land of the Eagles

University of Tirana


Albania Info

Mario's Cyberspace Station: Albania and Kosova

Newsgroup of Albania


General Resources

U.S. Library of Congress, Federal Research Division.   Albania, A Country Study 

U.S. State Department--Background Notes

Albanian Network Group


Frosina Information Network

Business, Commerce, Economy

AATDA - Albanian American Trade and Development Association

Albanian Economic Development Agency

American Bank of Albania

American Chamber of Commerce in Albania

Banka e Shqiperise

Banks in Albania

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tirana, Albania

Ministria e Financave e Shqiperise

U.S. Department of Commerce. Government Export Portal

World Bank Country Briefs for Europe and Central Asia


Ministria e Kultures Rinise dhe Sporteve

The Center for Art Studies, the Academy of Sciences of Albania

Institute of Folk Culture, the Academy of Sciences of Albania

Alba Center


Ministria e Arsimit dhe Shkence¨s

Universiteti i Tirane¨s

Universiteti i Tetoves


United States Embassy, Tirana

Diplomatic list

Ministria e Puneve te Jashtme

The Republic of Albania

Albanian Institute for International Studies


Albanian Genealogy Resources

Geography and Environment

Digital Gazetteers

GEOnet Names Server

Geographic Studies Center, the Academy of Sciences of Albania

Maps--Historical Northern Greece, Macedonia and Albania

Maps--Present-Day Albania

Virtual Albania Online

Agriculture AGRICOLA - The National Agricultural Library's Catalog and Article Citation Database

Natural Resources USGS Minerals Information - Europe and Central Asia

Albania-EU Energy Efficiency Centre


Ministria e Mjedisit

Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment - Albania

Albanian Environmental Laws

Government, Politics, Law

General Resources

Institute for Policy and Legal Studies (IPLS)

Politikere i Albanien

Executive, Legislative, Judiciary

Keshilli i Ministrave, Departamenti i Informacionit

Presidenti i Republikes se Shqiperise

Kuvendi i Shqipe¨rise¨

Komisioni Qe¨ndrori i Zgjedhjeve

Constitution and Laws

The Albanian Constitution, 1998

The Albanian Constitution, 1998

Albanian Constitution, 1991

The Legal Aid Society of CAFOD Albania

Local Government

Local Government Center - Europe and Eurasia-- Albania

Bashkia e Tirane¨s

Bashkia e Elbasanit

Bashkia Korce


United States National Library of Medicine


WWW-VL History Index

Albanian Historical Resource

Language and Literature

English-Albanian and Albanian-English Online Dictionary - Language

Libraries, Archives


Descriptions of Albanian Collections outside Albania

Albanian Collections at the British Library

Albanian Collections at the Library of Congress

Immigration History Research Center

Electronic Libraries

The Online Books Page


Archival Research Catalog

National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections

Listservs, Newsgroups


Media and Communications

Selected Online Resources

Gazeta 55 Online

Koha Jone Online



Rilindja Demokratike


Zeri i Popullit

Online Periodicals and Mailing Lists for News

ARS Revista Letrare Shqiptare - Albanian Literary Review

Revista Klan - Shqip


News Agencies

ATA - Albanian Telegraphic Agency

Online Radio and Television

Keshilli Kombetar i Radios dhe Televizionit

BBC World Service - Albanian

Deutsche Welle

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty - South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service

Voice of America - Albanian Service


National Albanian Center of Social Studies

Institute for Contemporary Studies - Albania

Recreation and Travel

U.S. Department of State: Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Welcome to Albania

Religion and Philosophy

The international religious freedom report

Faqe Islamike Shqiptare

Albanian Islamic Cultural Center

Islam in Albania

Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania

The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church - Albania

Science and Technology

The Academy of Sciences of Albania

Ministria e Arsimit dhe Shkence¨s

Search Engines

Albanian Search Engines



Search Engines of U.S. Government Websites

GPO Access

Search GPO Access


Civil Society and NGOs

National Albanian Center of Social Studies

Institute for Contemporary Studies - Albania

Women's Studies

Komiteti Gruaja dhe Familja

Qendra e Gruas Tirane¨

Ethnic Minorities in Albania

Greeks and Other Minorities

Diaspora WWW Project

Macedonians in Albania

Roma in Albania

Aromanians in the Balkans - Albania

Jewish History of Albania

Ethnologue report for Albania

Albanians Outside of Albania


Albanians in Macedonia Crisis Center

Map - Ethnic Albanians in the Balkans

Albanian American National Organization

National Albanian American Council (NAAC)





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