Europe :: Albania
  • Introduction :: Albania
  • Background:

    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 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, dilapidated 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. 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 a candidate for EU accession. Albania in April 2017 received a European Commission recommendation to open EU accession negotiations. 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:
    Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece to the south and Montenegro and Kosovo 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
    country comparison to the world: 145
    Area - comparative:
    slightly smaller than Maryland
    Land boundaries:
    total: 691 km
    border countries (4): Greece 212 km, Kosovo 112 km, Macedonia 181 km, Montenegro 186 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:
    mean elevation: 708 m
    elevation extremes: 0 m lowest point: Adriatic Sea
    2764 highest point: Maja e Korabit (Golem Korab)
    Natural resources:
    petroleum, natural gas, coal, bauxite, chromite, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt, timber, hydropower, arable land
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 42.86% (2014 est.)
    arable land: 52.42% (2014 est.) / permanent crops: 6.84% (2014 est.) / permanent pasture: 40.73% (2014 est.)
    forest: 28.19% (2014 est.)
    other: 28.95% (2014 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    3,537 sq km (2014)
    Population distribution:
    a fairly even distribution, with somewhat higher concentrations of people in the western and central parts of the country
    Natural hazards:
    destructive earthquakes; tsunamis occur along southwestern coast; floods; drought
    Environment - current issues:
    deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution from industrial and domestic effluents; loss of biodiversity due to lack of resources for sound environmental management
    Environment - international agreements:
    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:
    strategic location along Strait of Otranto (links Adriatic Sea to Ionian Sea and Mediterranean Sea)
  • People and Society :: Albania
  • Population:
    3,057,220 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    Nationality:
    noun: Albanian(s)
    adjective: Albanian
    Ethnic groups:
    Albanian 82.6%, Greek 0.9%, other 1% (including Vlach, Romani, Macedonian, Montenegrin, and Egyptian), unspecified 15.5% (2011 est.)
    Languages:
    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:
    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:
    0-14 years: 17.84% (male 287,750 /female 257,675)
    15-24 years: 16.84% (male 267,695 /female 247,230)
    25-54 years: 41.31% (male 604,250 /female 658,773)
    55-64 years: 11.77% (male 176,420 /female 183,391)
    65 years and over: 12.23% (male 174,752 /female 199,284) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 44 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 26 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 18.1 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 5.5 (2015 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 33.4 years
    male: 32 years
    female: 34.7 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Population growth rate:
    0.3% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    Birth rate:
    13.2 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Death rate:
    6.9 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    Net migration rate:
    -3.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    Population distribution:
    a fairly even distribution, with somewhat higher concentrations of people in the western and central parts of the country
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 60.3% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 1.69% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    476,000 TIRANA (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.09 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.12 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 0.91 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth:
    24.5 years (2014 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate:
    29 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 11.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 12.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 10.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 78.6 years (2018 est.)
    male: 76 years (2018 est.)
    female: 81.6 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    Total fertility rate:
    1.52 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    69.3% (2008/09)
    Health expenditures:
    8.2% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    Physicians density:
    1.29 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
    Hospital bed density:
    2.9 beds/1,000 population (2013)
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 84.3% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 81.8% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 83.6% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 15.7% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 18.2% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 16.4% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 95.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 90.2% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 93.2% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 4.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 9.8% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 6.8% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    <.1 (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    1,400 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    <100 (2017 est.)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    21.7% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
    6.3% (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    Education expenditures:
    3.5% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
    total population: 97.6% (2015 est.)
    male: 98.4% (2015 est.)
    female: 96.9% (2015 est.)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 16 years (2015)
    male: 15 years (2015)
    female: 16 years (2015)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
    total: 39.8% (2015 est.)
    male: 39.3% (2015 est.)
    female: 40.8% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
  • Government :: Albania
  • 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
    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:
    parliamentary republic
    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
    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:
    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) also known as Flag Day
    Constitution:
    history: several previous; latest approved by the Assembly 21 October 1998, adopted by referendum 22 November 1998, promulgated 28 November 1998 (2017)
    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 (2017)
    International law organization participation:
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship:
    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:
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch:
    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:
    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:
    highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of 17 judges, including the chief justice); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges, including the chairman)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges, including the chairman, appointed by the president with the consent of the Assembly to serve single 9-year terms; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the president with the consent of the Assembly to serve single 9-year terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years; chairman elected by the People's Assembly for a single 3-year term
    subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance
    Political parties and leaders:
    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 [Skender GJINUSHI]Socialist Movement for Integration or LSI [Monika KRYEMADHI]
    Socialist Party or PS [Edi RAMA]
    International organization participation:
    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:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Floreta FABER (since 18 May 2015)
    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:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Donald LU (since 13 January 2015)
    embassy: Rruga e Elbasanit, 103, Tirana
    mailing address: US Department of State, 9510 Tirana Place, Dulles, VA 20189-9510
    telephone: [355] (4) 2247-285
    FAX: [355] (4) 2232-222
    Flag description:
    red with a black two-headed eagle in the center; the design is claimed to be that of 15th-century hero George 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):
    black double-headed eagle; national colors: red, black
    National anthem:
    name: "Hymni i Flamurit" (Hymn to the Flag)
    lyrics/music: Aleksander Stavre DRENOVA/Ciprian PORUMBESCU

    note: adopted 1912

  • Economy :: Albania
  • Economy - overview:

    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):
    $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):
    $13.07 billion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    3.8% (2017 est.)
    3.4% (2016 est.)
    2.2% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $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:
    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:
    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:
    agriculture: 21.7% (2017 est.)
    industry: 24.2% (2017 est.)
    services: 54.1% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, olives and olive oil, grapes; meat, dairy products; sheep and goats
    Industries:
    food; footwear, apparel and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower
    Industrial production growth rate:
    6.8% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Labor force:
    1.198 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 41.4%
    industry: 18.3%
    services: 40.3% (2017 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    13.8% (2017 est.)
    15.2% (2016 est.)

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

    country comparison to the world: 168
    Population below poverty line:
    14.3% (2012 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 19.6% (2015 est.)
    highest 10%: 19.6% (2015 est.)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index:
    29 (2012 est.)
    30 (2008 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    Budget:
    revenues: 3.614 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 3.874 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    27.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Public debt:
    71.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    73.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    Fiscal year:
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    2% (2017 est.)
    1.3% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    Central bank discount rate:
    1.25% (31 December 2017)
    1.25% (31 December 2016)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    Commercial bank prime lending rate:
    8.22% (31 December 2017 est.)
    9.78% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    Stock of narrow money:
    $4.155 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $3.397 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    Stock of broad money:
    $4.155 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $3.397 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Stock of domestic credit:
    $8.122 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $7.065 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Market value of publicly traded shares:

    NA

    Current account balance:
    -$908 million (2017 est.)
    -$899 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Exports:
    $900.7 million (2017 est.)
    $789.1 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    Exports - partners:
    Italy 53.4%, Kosovo 7.7%, Spain 5.6%, Greece 4.2% (2017)
    Exports - commodities:
    apparel and clothing, footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil; cement and construction materials, vegetables, fruits, tobacco
    Imports:
    $4.103 billion (2017 est.)
    $3.671 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    Imports - commodities:
    machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals
    Imports - partners:
    Italy 28.5%, Turkey 8.1%, Germany 8%, Greece 8%, China 7.9%, Serbia 4% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $3.59 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $3.109 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Debt - external:
    $9.505 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $8.421 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
    $6.12 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $5.452 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    Exchange rates:
    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:
    electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
    Electricity - production:
    7.135 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    Electricity - consumption:
    7.094 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    Electricity - exports:
    1.869 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    Electricity - imports:
    1.827 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    1.897 million kW (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    5.2% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    94.8% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    0.1% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    Crude oil - production:
    22,750 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    Crude oil - exports:
    19,100 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Crude oil - imports:
    1,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    168.3 million bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    290 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    27,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    16,250 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    13,250 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    Natural gas - production:
    35 million cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    Natural gas - consumption:
    35 million cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    Natural gas - imports:
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    821.2 million cu m (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    4.3 million Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
  • Communications :: Albania
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 247,010 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 3,497,950 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 115 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    Telephone system:
    general assessment: 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; of 3.5 million active mobile telephone users, 1.3 million use mobile broadband services (3G/4G); (2017)
    domestic: offsetting the shortage of fixed-line capacity, mobile-cellular phone service has been available since 1996; four companies  providing mobile services and mobile teledensity 115 per 100 persons; Internet broadband services initiated in 2005, and the penetration rate rose to over 65% by 2016; Internet cafes are popular in major urban areas (2017)
    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 (2016)
    Broadcast media:
    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 (2017)
    Internet country code:
    .al
    Internet users:
    total: 2,016,516 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 66.4% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 293,623 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 10 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
  • Transportation :: Albania
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 1 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 1 (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 151,632 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0 mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    ZA (2016)
    Airports:
    4 (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 4 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 1 (2012)
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2012)
    Heliports:
    1 (2013)
    Pipelines:
    498 km gas (a majority of the network is in disrepair and parts of it are missing), 249 km oil (2015)
    Railways:
    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:
    total: 18,000 km (2002)
    paved: 7,020 km (2002)
    unpaved: 10,980 km (2002)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Waterways:
    41 km (on the Bojana River) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Merchant marine:
    total: 57 (2017)
    by type: bulk carrier 1, general cargo 49, other 7 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Durres, Sarande, Shengjin, Vlore
  • Military and Security :: Albania
  • Military expenditures:
    1.22% of GDP (2017)
    1.23% of GDP (2016)
    1.16% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    Military branches:
    Land Forces Command, Navy Force Command, Air Forces Command (2013)
    Military service age and obligation:
    19 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; 18 is the legal minimum age in case of general/partial compulsory mobilization (2012)
  • Transnational Issues :: Albania
  • Disputes - international:
    none
    Refugees and internally displaced persons:
    stateless persons: 4,460 (2017)
    Illicit drugs:
    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