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Europe :: Albania Print
Page last updated on November 24, 2020
  • Introduction :: Albania
  • Background field listing

    Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, but was conquered by Italy in 1939 and occupied by Germany in 1943. 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 isolated communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven challenging as successive governments have tried to deal with high unemployment, widespread corruption, dilapidated infrastructure, powerful organized crime networks, and combative political opponents.

    Albania has made progress in its democratic development since it first held multiparty elections in 1991, but deficiencies remain. Most of Albania's post-communist elections were marred by claims of electoral fraud; however, international observers judged elections to be largely free and fair since the restoration of political stability following the collapse of pyramid schemes in 1997. Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and in June 2014 became an EU candidate. Albania in April 2017 received a European Commission recommendation to open EU accession negotiations following the passage of historic EU-mandated justice reforms in 2016. Although Albania's economy continues to grow, it has slowed, and the country is still one of the poorest in Europe. A large informal economy and a weak energy and transportation infrastructure remain obstacles.

  • Geography :: Albania
  • Location field listing
    Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece to the south and Montenegro and Kosovo to the north
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    41 00 N, 20 00 E
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 28,748 sq km
    land: 27,398 sq km
    water: 1,350 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 145
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly smaller than Maryland
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 691 km
    border countries (4): Greece 212 km, Kosovo 112 km, Macedonia 181 km, Montenegro 186 km
    Coastline field listing
    362 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    Climate field listing
    mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers; interior is cooler and wetter
    Terrain field listing
    mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 708 m
    lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
    highest point: Maja e Korabit (Golem Korab) 2,764 m
    Natural resources field listing
    petroleum, natural gas, coal, bauxite, chromite, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt, timber, hydropower, arable land
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 43.1% (2016 est.)
    arable land: 22.6% (2016 est.) / permanent crops: 3% (2016 est.) / permanent pasture: 17.5% (2016 est.)
    forest: 28.12% (2016 est.)
    other: 28.75% (2016 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    3,537 sq km (2014)
    Population distribution field listing
    a fairly even distribution, with somewhat higher concentrations of people in the western and central parts of the country
    Natural hazards field listing
    destructive earthquakes; tsunamis occur along southwestern coast; floods; drought
    Environment - current issues field listing
    deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution from industrial and domestic effluents; air pollution from industrial and power plants; loss of biodiversity due to lack of resources for sound environmental management
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Air Pollution, 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 field listing
    strategic location along Strait of Otranto (links Adriatic Sea to Ionian Sea and Mediterranean Sea)
  • People and Society :: Albania
  • Population field listing
    3,074,579 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Albanian(s)
    adjective: Albanian
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Albanian 82.6%, Greek 0.9%, other 1% (including Vlach, Romani, Macedonian, Montenegrin, and Egyptian), unspecified 15.5% (2011 est.)
    note: data represent population by ethnic and cultural affiliation
    Languages field listing
    Albanian 98.8% (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek 0.5%, other 0.6% (including Macedonian, Romani, Vlach, Turkish, Italian, and Serbo-Croatian), unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)
    Religions field listing
    Muslim 56.7%, Roman Catholic 10%, Orthodox 6.8%, atheist 2.5%, Bektashi (a Sufi order) 2.1%, other 5.7%, unspecified 16.2% (2011 est.)

    note: all mosques and churches were closed in 1967 and religious observances prohibited; in November 1990, Albania began allowing private religious practice

    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 17.6% (male 284,636/female 256,474)
    15-24 years: 15.39% (male 246,931/female 226,318)
    25-54 years: 42.04% (male 622,100/female 670,307)
    55-64 years: 11.94% (male 178,419/female 188,783)
    65 years and over: 13.03% (male 186,335/female 214,276) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 46.9
    youth dependency ratio: 25.3
    elderly dependency ratio: 21.6
    potential support ratio: 4.6 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 34.3 years
    male: 32.9 years
    female: 35.7 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    Population growth rate field listing
    0.28% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    Birth rate field listing
    13 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Death rate field listing
    7.1 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    Net migration rate field listing
    -3.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Population distribution field listing
    a fairly even distribution, with somewhat higher concentrations of people in the western and central parts of the country
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 62.1% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 1.69% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030: PDF
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    494,000 TIRANA (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.11 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth field listing
    24.8 years (2017/18 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    15 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 10.8 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 12.1 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 9.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 79 years
    male: 76.3 years
    female: 81.9 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    Total fertility rate field listing
    1.53 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    46% (2017/18)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 96.8% of population
    rural: 95.3% of population
    total: 96.2% of population
    unimproved: urban: 4.7% of population
    rural: 4.7% of population
    total: 3.8% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    6.7% (2016)
    Physicians density field listing
    1.22 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    2.9 beds/1,000 population (2013)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 100% of population
    rural: 99.5% of population
    total: 99.8% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0.5% of population
    total: 0.2% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    <.1 (2019 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    1,400 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    <100 (2019 est.)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    21.7% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    1.5% (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    Education expenditures field listing
    4% of GDP (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 98.1%
    male: 98.5%
    female: 97.8% (2018)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 15 years
    male: 14 years
    female: 16 years (2019)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 31.9%
    male: 34.2%
    female: 27.7% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
  • Government :: Albania
  • Country name field listing
    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
    etymology: the English-language country name seems to be derived from the ancient Illyrian tribe of the Albani; the native name "Shqiperia" is derived from the Albanian word "Shqiponje" ("Eagle") and is popularly interpreted to mean "Land of the Eagles"
    Government type field listing
    parliamentary republic
    Capital field listing
    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
    etymology: the name Tirana first appears in a 1418 Venetian document; the origin of the name is unclear, but may derive from Tirkan Fortress, whose ruins survive on the slopes of Dajti mountain and which overlooks the city
    Administrative divisions field listing
    12 counties (qarqe, singular - qark); Berat, Diber, Durres, Elbasan, Fier, Gjirokaster, Korce, Kukes, Lezhe, Shkoder, Tirane, Vlore
    Independence field listing
    28 November 1912 (from the Ottoman Empire)
    National holiday field listing
    Independence Day, 28 November (1912), also known as Flag Day
    Constitution field listing
    history: several previous; latest approved by the Assembly 21 October 1998, adopted by referendum 22 November 1998, promulgated 28 November 1998
    amendments: proposed by at least one-fifth of the Assembly membership; passage requires at least a two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly; referendum required only if approved by two-thirds of the Assembly; amendments approved by referendum effective upon declaration by the president of the republic; amended several times, last in 2016
    International law organization participation field listing
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Albania
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President of the Republic Ilir META (since 24 July 2017)
    head of government: Prime Minister Edi RAMA (since 10 September 2013); Deputy Prime Minister Senida MESI (since 13 September 2017)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, nominated by the president, and approved by the Assembly
    elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); a candidate needs three-fifths majority vote of the Assembly in 1 of 3 rounds or a simple majority in 2 additional rounds to become president; election last held in 4 rounds on 19, 20, 27, and 28 April 2017 (next election to be held in 2022); prime minister appointed by the president on the proposal of the majority party or coalition of parties in the Assembly
    election results: Ilir META elected president; Assembly vote - 87 - 2 in fourth round
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: unicameral Assembly or Kuvendi (140 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 25 June 2017 (next to be held in 2021)
    election results: percent of vote by party - PS 48.3%, PD 28.9%, LSI 14.3%, PDIU 4.8%, PSD 1%, other 2.7%; seats by party - PS 74, PD 43, LSI 19, PDIU 3, PSD 1; composition - men 108, women 32, percent of women 22.9%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of 19 judges, including the chief justice); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges, including the chairman)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the High Judicial Council with the consent of the president to serve single 9-year terms; Supreme Court chairman is elected for a single 3-year term by the court members; appointments of Constitutional Court judges are rotated among the president, Parliament, and Supreme Court from a list of pre-qualified candidates (each institution selects 3 judges), to serve single 9-year terms; candidates are pre-qualified by a randomly selected body of experienced judges and prosecutors; Constitutional Court chairman is elected by the court members for a single, renewable 3-year term
    subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance; specialized courts: Court for Corruption and Organized Crime, Appeals Court for Corruption and Organized Crime (responsible for corruption, organized crime, and crimes of high officials)
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Democratic Party or PD [Lulzim BASHA]
    Party for Justice, Integration and Unity or PDIU [Shpetim IDRIZI] (formerly part of APMI)
    Social Democratic Party or PSD [Paskal MILO]
    Socialist Movement for Integration or LSI [Monika KRYEMADHI]
    Socialist Party or PS [Edi RAMA]
    International organization participation field listing
    BSEC, CD, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, EITI (compliant country), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Yuri KIM (since 27 January 2020)
    chancery: 2100 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 223-4942
    FAX: [1] (202) 628-7342
    consulate(s) general: New York
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Leyla MOSES-ONES (since August 2018)
    telephone: [355] (4) 2247-285
    embassy: Rruga e Elbasanit, 103, Tirana
    mailing address: US Department of State, 9510 Tirana Place, Dulles, VA 20189-9510
    FAX: [355] (4) 2232-222
    Flag description field listing
    red with a black two-headed eagle in the center; the design is claimed to be that of 15th-century hero Georgi Kastrioti SKANDERBEG, who led a successful uprising against the Ottoman Turks that resulted in a short-lived independence for some Albanian regions (1443-78); an unsubstantiated explanation for the eagle symbol is the tradition that Albanians see themselves as descendants of the eagle; they refer to themselves as "Shqiptare," which translates as "sons of the eagle"
    National symbol(s) field listing
    black double-headed eagle; national colors: red, black
    National anthem field listing
    name: "Hymni i Flamurit" (Hymn to the Flag)
    lyrics/music: Aleksander Stavre DRENOVA/Ciprian PORUMBESCU

    note: adopted 1912

  • Economy :: Albania
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Albania, a formerly closed, centrally planned state, is a developing country with a modern open-market economy. Albania managed to weather the first waves of the global financial crisis but, the negative effects of the crisis caused a significant economic slowdown. Since 2014, Albania’s economy has steadily improved and economic growth reached 3.8% in 2017. However, close trade, remittance, and banking sector ties with Greece and Italy make Albania vulnerable to spillover effects of possible debt crises and weak growth in the euro zone.


    Remittances, a significant catalyst for economic growth, declined from 12-15% of GDP before the 2008 financial crisis to 5.8% of GDP in 2015, mostly from Albanians residing in Greece and Italy. The agricultural sector, which accounts for more than 40% of employment but less than one quarter of GDP, is limited primarily to small family operations and subsistence farming, because of a lack of modern equipment, unclear property rights, and the prevalence of small, inefficient plots of land. Complex tax codes and licensing requirements, a weak judicial system, endemic corruption, poor enforcement of contracts and property issues, and antiquated infrastructure contribute to Albania's poor business environment making attracting foreign investment difficult. Since 2015, Albania has launched an ambitious program to increase tax compliance and bring more businesses into the formal economy. In July 2016, Albania passed constitutional amendments reforming the judicial system in order to strengthen the rule of law and to reduce deeply entrenched corruption.


    Albania’s electricity supply is uneven despite upgraded transmission capacities with neighboring countries. However, the government has recently taken steps to stem non-technical losses and has begun to upgrade the distribution grid. Better enforcement of electricity contracts has improved the financial viability of the sector, decreasing its reliance on budget support. Also, with help from international donors, the government is taking steps to improve the poor road and rail networks, a long standing barrier to sustained economic growth.


    Inward foreign direct investment has increased significantly in recent years as the government has embarked on an ambitious program to improve the business climate through fiscal and legislative reforms. The government is focused on the simplification of licensing requirements and tax codes, and it entered into a new arrangement with the IMF for additional financial and technical support. Albania’s three-year IMF program, an extended fund facility arrangement, was successfully concluded in February 2017. The Albanian Government has strengthened tax collection amid moderate public wage and pension increases in an effort to reduce its budget deficit. The country continues to face high public debt, exceeding its former statutory limit of 60% of GDP in 2013 and reaching 72% in 2016.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $36.01 billion (2017 est.)
    $34.67 billion (2016 est.)
    $33.55 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars; unreported output may be as large as 50% of official GDP

    country comparison to the world: 125
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $13.07 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    2.24% (2019 est.)
    4.07% (2018 est.)
    3.8% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $12,500 (2017 est.)
    $12,100 (2016 est.)
    $11,600 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 125
    Gross national saving field listing
    15.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
    16.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    16.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 78.1% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 11.5% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 25.2% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0.2% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 31.5% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -46.6% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 21.7% (2017 est.)
    industry: 24.2% (2017 est.)
    services: 54.1% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, olives and olive oil, grapes; meat, dairy products; sheep and goats
    Industries field listing
    food; footwear, apparel and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    6.8% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Labor force field listing
    1.104 million (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 41.4%
    industry: 18.3%
    services: 40.3% (2017 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    5.83% (2019 est.)
    6.32% (2018 est.)

    note: these official rates may not include those working at near-subsistence farming

    country comparison to the world: 95
    Population below poverty line field listing
    14.3% (2012 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 4.1%
    highest 10%: 19.6% (2015 est.)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 3.614 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 3.874 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    27.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Public debt field listing
    71.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    73.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    2% (2017 est.)
    1.3% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    Current account balance field listing
    -$908 million (2017 est.)
    -$899 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    Exports field listing
    $900.7 million (2017 est.)
    $789.1 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    Exports - partners field listing
    Italy 53.4%, Kosovo 7.7%, Spain 5.6%, Greece 4.2% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    apparel and clothing, footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil; cement and construction materials, vegetables, fruits, tobacco
    Imports field listing
    $4.103 billion (2017 est.)
    $3.67 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    Imports - commodities field listing
    machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals
    Imports - partners field listing
    Italy 28.5%, Turkey 8.1%, Germany 8%, Greece 8%, China 7.9%, Serbia 4% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $3.59 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $3.109 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Debt - external field listing
    $9.505 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $8.421 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    Exchange rates field listing
    leke (ALL) per US dollar -
    121.9 (2017 est.)
    124.14 (2016 est.)
    124.14 (2015 est.)
    125.96 (2014 est.)
    105.48 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Albania
  • Electricity access field listing
    electrification - total population: 100% (2020)
    Electricity - production field listing
    7.138 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    5.11 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    Electricity - exports field listing
    1.869 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    Electricity - imports field listing
    1.827 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    2.109 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    5% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    95% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    Crude oil - production field listing
    14,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    17,290 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    168.3 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    5,638 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    29,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    3,250 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    26,660 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Natural gas - production field listing
    50.97 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    50.97 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    821.2 million cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    4.5 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
  • Communications :: Albania
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 258,474
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8.43 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 2,799,066
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 91.29 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: mobile-cellular phone service has been available since 1996 and dominates over fixed-line capacity; Internet broadband services initiated in 2005 and the government continues to supports the improvement of broadband availability and access conditions; Albania has received financial aid to build its infrastructure and works towards the EU accession process, an adherence to careful scrutiny of its regulatory regime helps the telecom sector advance; Internet cafes are popular in major urban areas; 1.3 million use mobile broadband services (3G/4G) (2020)
    domestic: fixed-line 8 per 100, teledensity continues to decline due to heavy use of mobile-cellular telephone services; mobile-cellular telephone use is widespread and generally effective, 91 per 100 for mobile-cellular (2019)
    international: country code - 355; submarine cables for the Adria 1 and Italy-Albania provide connectivity to Italy, Croatia, and Greece; 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 (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    Albania has more than 65 TV stations, including several that broadcast nationally; Albanian TV broadcasts are also available to Albanian-speaking populations in neighboring countries; many viewers have access to Italian and Greek TV broadcasts via terrestrial reception; Albania's TV stations have begun a government-mandated conversion from analog to digital broadcast; the government has pledged to provide analog-to-digital converters to low-income families affected by this decision; cable TV service is available; 2 public radio networks and roughly 78 private radio stations; several international broadcasters are available (2019)
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 2,196,613
    percent of population: 71.85% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 361,947
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 12 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
  • Transportation :: Albania
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 5
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 303,137 (2018)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    ZA (2016)
    Airports field listing
    3 (2020)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 3 (2020)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
    Pipelines field listing
    498 km gas (a majority of the network is in disrepair and parts of it are missing), 249 km oil (2015)
    Railways field listing
    total: 677 km (447 km of major railway lines and 230 km of secondary lines) (2015)
    standard gauge: 677 km 1.435-m gauge (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Roadways field listing
    total: 3,945 km (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    Waterways field listing
    41 km (on the Bojana River) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 68
    by type: general cargo 49, oil tanker 1, other 18 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Durres, Sarande, Shengjin, Vlore
  • Military and Security :: Albania
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Land Forces Command, Navy Force Command (includes Coast Guard), Air Forces Command, Support Command, Training and Doctrination Command (2019)
    Military expenditures field listing
    1.3% of GDP (2019 est.)
    1.2% of GDP (2018)
    1.1% of GDP (2017)
    1.1% of GDP (2016)
    1.2% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    the Albanian military has approximately 10,000 total active duty personnel (8,000 Army; 1,500 Navy; 500 Air Force; note - as many as 4,000 personnel are assigned to support forces) (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the Albanian military was previously equipped with mostly Soviet-era weapons that were sold or destroyed; its inventory now includes a mix of mostly donated and second-hand European and US equipment; since 2010, it has received equipment from France, Germany, Italy, and the US (2019 est.)
    Military deployments field listing
    100 Afghanistan (NATO) (June 2020)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    19 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; 18 is the legal minimum age in case of general/partial compulsory mobilization (2012)
  • Terrorism :: Albania
  • Terrorist group(s) field listing
    Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps/Qods Force (2020)
    note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix T
  • Transnational Issues :: Albania
  • Disputes - international field listing


    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    stateless persons: 3,687 (2019)
    note: 11,052 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (January 2015-October 2020)
    Illicit drugs field listing
    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; significant source country for 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