Photos of Albania

"The Albanians," a colorful mosaic on the facade of the National Historical Museum in Tirana, depicts the evolution of Albanian history from ancient Illyrians to 20th-century partisans.



After declaring independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, Albania experienced a period of political upheaval that led to a short-lived monarchy, which ended in 1939 when Italy conquered the country. Germany then occupied Albania in 1943, and communist partisans took over the country in 1944. Albania allied itself first with the USSR (until 1960) and then with China (until 1978). In the early 1990s, Albania ended communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. 

Government-endorsed pyramid schemes in 1997 led to economic collapse and civil disorder, which only ended when UN peacekeeping troops intervened. In 1999, some 450,000 ethnic Albanians fled from Kosovo to Albania to escape the war with the Serbs. Albania joined NATO in 2009 and became an official candidate for EU membership in 2014. 

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



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


total: 28,748 sq km

land: 27,398 sq km

water: 1,350 sq km

comparison ranking: total 144

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Maryland

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 691 km

border countries: Greece 212 km; Kosovo 112 km; North Macedonia 181 km; Montenegro 186 km


362 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation


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


mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast


highest point: Maja e Korabit (Golem Korab) 2,764 m

lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m

mean elevation: 708 m

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, coal, bauxite, chromite, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt, timber, hydropower, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 42.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 22.3% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 17.4% (2018 est.)

forest: 28.8% (2018 est.)

other: 28.2% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

1,820 sq km (2020)

Major lakes (area sq km)

fresh water lake(s): Lake Scutari (shared with Montenegro) - 400 sq km
note - largest lake in the Balkans

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: (Black Sea) Danube (795,656 sq km)

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

Geography - note

strategic location along Strait of Otranto (links Adriatic Sea to Ionian Sea and Mediterranean Sea)

People and Society


total: 3,107,100

male: 1,531,063

female: 1,576,037 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 137; male 138; total 137


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.)

note: data represent population by ethnic and cultural affiliation


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.)

major-language sample(s):
Libri i fakteve boterore, burimi i pazevendesueshem per informacione elementare (Albanian)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.


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: 18% (male 292,296/female 267,052)

15-64 years: 66.9% (male 1,023,515/female 1,055,388)

65 years and over: 15.1% (2024 est.) (male 215,252/female 253,597)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 48.2

youth dependency ratio: 24.1

elderly dependency ratio: 24.1

potential support ratio: 4.2 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 36.3 years (2024 est.)

male: 34.8 years

female: 37.8 years

comparison ranking: total 91

Population growth rate

0.16% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 181

Birth rate

12.3 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 141

Death rate

7.4 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 103

Net migration rate

-3.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 185

Population distribution

a fairly even distribution, with somewhat higher concentrations of people in the western and central parts of the country


urban population: 64.6% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.29% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

520,000 TIRANA (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.09 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

26.6 years (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

8 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 151

Infant mortality rate

total: 10.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 11.3 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 9.2 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 130

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 79.9 years (2024 est.)

male: 77.3 years

female: 82.8 years

comparison ranking: total population 61

Total fertility rate

1.55 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 194

Gross reproduction rate

0.75 (2024 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 97.3% of population

rural: 96.4% of population

total: 97% of population

unimproved: urban: 2.7% of population

rural: 3.6% of population

total: 3% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

6.7% of GDP (2018)

Physician density

1.88 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

2.9 beds/1,000 population (2013)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 99.8% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 99.9% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.2% of population

rural: 0.5% of population

total: 0.1% of population (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

21.7% (2016)

comparison ranking: 86

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 4.4 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 1.75 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 1.15 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 1.43 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.08 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 90

Tobacco use

total: 22.4% (2020 est.)

male: 38.8% (2020 est.)

female: 6% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 69

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

1.5% (2017/18)

comparison ranking: 114

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 1.4%

women married by age 18: 11.8%

men married by age 18: 1.2% (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

3.1% of GDP (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 154


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98.4%

male: 98.7%

female: 98.2% (2021)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 14 years

male: 13 years

female: 15 years (2020)


Environment - current issues

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

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


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

Land use

agricultural land: 42.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 22.3% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 17.4% (2018 est.)

forest: 28.8% (2018 est.)

other: 28.2% (2018 est.)


urban population: 64.6% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.29% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0.18% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 95

Revenue from coal

0.03% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 40

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 16.28 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 4.54 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 2.55 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 1,142,964 tons (2015 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

fresh water lake(s): Lake Scutari (shared with Montenegro) - 400 sq km
note - largest lake in the Balkans

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: (Black Sea) Danube (795,656 sq km)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 230 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 20 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 550 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

30.2 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)


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


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 (Tirana), Vlore


28 November 1912 (from the Ottoman Empire)

National holiday

Independence Day, 28 November (1912), also known as Flag Day


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 2020

Legal system

civil law system except in the northern rural areas where customary law known as the "Code of Leke" is still present

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


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


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Bajram BEGAJ (since 24 July 2022)

head of government: Prime Minister Edi RAMA (since 10 September 2013)

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 16, 23, and 30 May and 4 June 2022 (next election to be held in 2027); prime minister appointed by the president on the proposal of the majority party or coalition of parties in the Assembly

election results:
Bajram BEGAJ elected president in the fourth round; Assembly vote - 78-4, opposition parties boycotted

Ilir META elected president in the fourth round; Assembly vote - 87-2

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Assembly or Kuvendi (140 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by open party-list proportional representation vote using the D'Hondt method; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 25 April 2021 (next to be held in 2025)

election results: percent of vote by party/coalition - PS 48.7%, PD-Alliance for Change 39.4%, LSI 6.8%, PSD 2.3%, other 2.8%; seats by party/coalition - PS 74, PD-Alliance for Change 59, LSI 4, PSD 3; composition - men 90, women 50, percentage 35.7%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): 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

Alliance for Change (electoral coalition led by PD)
Democratic Party or PD [Lulzim BASHA]
Party for Justice, Integration and Unity or PDIU [Shpetim IDRIZI] (part of the Alliance for Change))
Social Democratic Party or PSD [Tom DOSHI]
Freedom Party of Albania or PL [Ilir META] (formerly the Socialist Movement for Integration or LSI)
Socialist Party or PS [Edi RAMA]

International organization participation


note: Albania is an EU candidate country whose satisfactory completion of accession criteria is required before being granted full EU membership

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Ervin BUSHATI (since 15 September 2023)

chancery: 2100 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 223-4942

FAX: [1] (202) 628-7342

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Chargé d’Affaires David WISNER (since August 2023)

embassy: Rruga Stavro Vinjau, No. 14, Tirana

mailing address: 9510 Tirana Place, Washington DC  20521-9510

telephone: [355] 4 2247-285

FAX: [355] 4 2232-222

email address and website:

Flag description

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)

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

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 4 (2 cultural, 1 natural, 1 mixed)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Butrint (c); Historic Berat and Gjirokastër (c); Primeval Beech Forests (n); Lake Ohrid Region (m)


Economic overview

upper-middle -income Balkan economy; EU accession candidate; growth bolstered by tourism, services, construction, and private consumption; fiscal consolidation through revenue collection to address public debt; challenges include weak governance, corruption, climate adaptation, vulnerability to energy sector shocks, and emigration of workers

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$43.032 billion (2022 est.)
$41.039 billion (2021 est.)
$37.682 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 120

Real GDP growth rate

4.86% (2022 est.)
8.91% (2021 est.)
-3.3% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 81

Real GDP per capita

$15,500 (2022 est.)
$14,600 (2021 est.)
$13,300 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 107

GDP (official exchange rate)

$18.916 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

6.73% (2022 est.)
2.04% (2021 est.)
1.62% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 106

Credit ratings

Moody's rating: B1 (2021)

Standard & Poors rating: B+ (2020)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 21.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 24.2% (2017 est.)

services: 54.1% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 162; industry 115; agriculture 42

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.)

Agricultural products

milk, maize, tomatoes, potatoes, watermelons, wheat, grapes, olives, cucumbers/gherkins, onions (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage


food; footwear, apparel and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower

Industrial production growth rate

7.86% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 30

Labor force

1.405 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 136

Unemployment rate

11.63% (2022 est.)
12.59% (2021 est.)
12.83% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 174

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 27.8% (2021 est.)

male: 28%

female: 27.6%

comparison ranking: total 47

Population below poverty line

22% (2020 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

29.4 (2020 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 151

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.4%

highest 10%: 22.8% (2020 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population


9.23% of GDP (2022 est.)
9.58% of GDP (2021 est.)
9.67% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities


revenues: $4.19 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $4.489 billion (2019 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 105

Public debt

82.38% of GDP (2021 est.)
83.89% of GDP (2020 est.)
75.7% of GDP (2019 est.)

note: central government debt as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 38

Taxes and other revenues

18.2% (of GDP) (2021 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 104

Current account balance

-$1.117 billion (2022 est.)
-$1.37 billion (2021 est.)
-$1.315 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 128


$7.057 billion (2022 est.)
$5.612 billion (2021 est.)
$3.461 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 125

Exports - partners

Italy 41%, Greece 10%, Spain 7%, Germany 5%, China 4% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

garments, footwear, iron alloys, electricity, crude petroleum (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars


$9.016 billion (2022 est.)
$8.004 billion (2021 est.)
$5.671 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 127

Imports - partners

Italy 25%, Turkey 14%, Greece 12%, China 10%, Germany 5% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, garments, electricity, cars, raw iron bars (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$5.266 billion (2022 est.)
$5.635 billion (2021 est.)
$4.817 billion (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 104

Debt - external

$9.311 billion (2019 est.)
$9.547 billion (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 115

Exchange rates

leke (ALL) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
113.042 (2022 est.)
103.52 (2021 est.)
108.65 (2020 est.)
109.851 (2019 est.)
107.989 (2018 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2022 est.)


installed generating capacity: 2.635 million kW (2022 est.)

consumption: 6.5 billion kWh (2022 est.)

exports: 2.123 billion kWh (2022 est.)

imports: 3.044 billion kWh (2022 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 1.423 billion kWh (2022 est.)

comparison rankings: transmission/distribution losses 115; imports 54; exports 56; consumption 121; installed generating capacity 113

Electricity generation sources

solar: 0.6% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

hydroelectricity: 99.4% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)


production: 379,000 metric tons (2022 est.)

consumption: 389,000 metric tons (2022 est.)

exports: 31,000 metric tons (2022 est.)

imports: 42,000 metric tons (2022 est.)

proven reserves: 522 million metric tons (2022 est.)


total petroleum production: 14,000 bbl/day (2023 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 26,000 bbl/day (2022 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 150 million barrels (2021 est.)

Natural gas

production: 50.623 million cubic meters (2022 est.)

consumption: 50.623 million cubic meters (2022 est.)

proven reserves: 5.692 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

3.856 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 608,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 3.153 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 94,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 144

Energy consumption per capita

30.306 million Btu/person (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: 115


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 177,000 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 6 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 121

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 2.782 million (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 98 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 143

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Albania’s small telecom market has experienced some significant changes in recent years;  upgrades were made to the fixed-line infrastructure to support broadband services; fixed-line telephony use and penetration in Albania is declining steadily as subscribers migrate to mobile solutions; the mobile sector is well provided with LTE networks, while operators have invested in 5G; some of these efforts have been made in conjunction with neighboring Kosovo, with the intention of a seamless 5G corridor along the highway connecting the two countries; the country has long sought accession to the European Union (EU) which has benefited its telecoms sector through closer scrutiny of its regulatory regime and through the injection of funding to help modernize infrastructure (2021)

domestic: fixed-line approximately 7 per 100, teledensity continues to decline due to heavy use of mobile-cellular telephone services; mobile-cellular telephone use is widespread and generally effective, 92 per 100 for mobile-cellular (2021)

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)

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 (2019)

Internet users

total: 2.291 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 79% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 132

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 508,937 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 91


National air transport system

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)


3 (2024)

comparison ranking: 184


9 (2024)


498 km gas (a majority of the network is in disrepair and parts of it are missing), 249 km oil (2015)


total: 424 km (2017)

2021-All the trains in the country suspended

comparison ranking: total 119


total: 3,581 km (2022)

comparison ranking: total 159


41 km (2011) (on the Bojana River)

comparison ranking: 114

Merchant marine

total: 69 (2023)

by type: general cargo 46, oil tanker 1, other 22

comparison ranking: total 110


total ports: 3 (2024)

large: 0

medium: 0

small: 1

very small: 2

ports with oil terminals: 0

key ports: Durres, Shengjin, Vlores

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Republic of Albania Armed Forces (Forcat e Armatosura të Republikës së Shqipërisë (FARSH); aka Albanian Armed Forces (AAF)): Land Forces, Naval Force (includes Coast Guard), Air Forces

Ministry of Interior: Guard of the Republic, State Police (includes the Border and Migration Police) (2024)

note: the State Police are primarily responsible for internal security, including counterterrorism, while the Guard of the Republic protects senior state officials, foreign dignitaries, and certain state properties

Military expenditures

2% of GDP (2024 est.)
1.7% of GDP (2023)
1.2% of GDP (2022)
1.2% of GDP (2021)
1.3% of GDP (2020)

comparison ranking: 68

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 7,000 total active-duty personnel (5,000 Army; 1,500 Navy; 500 Air Force) (2024)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

since joining NATO, the military has been in the process of modernizing by retiring its inventory of Soviet-era weapons and replacing them with Western equipment, including donated and secondhand purchases  (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18-27 (up to 32 in some cases) for voluntary military service for men and women; conscription abolished 2010 (2023)

note: as of 2023, women comprised about 15% of the military's full-time personnel, including 20% of the officers

Military - note

the Albanian Armed Forces (AAF) are responsible for defending the country’s independence, sovereignty, and territory, assisting with internal security, providing disaster and humanitarian relief, and participating in international peacekeeping missions; the it is a small, lightly armed force that has been undergoing a modernization effort to improve its ability to fulfill NATO missions, including training and equipment purchases; the AAF has contributed small numbers of forces to several NATO missions since Albania joined NATO in 2009, including peacekeeping/stability missions in Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Iraq, and multinational battlegroups in Bulgaria and Latvia; it has also contributed to EU and UN missions (2024)


Terrorist group(s)

Terrorist group(s): Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps/Qods Force; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS)

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

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 47,247 (Ukraine) (as of 30 January 2024)

stateless persons: 1,948 (2022)

note: 47,306 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (January 2015-February 2024)

Illicit drugs

a source country for cannabis and an active transshipment point for Albanian narco-trafficking organizations moving illicit drugs into European markets