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Capital: Tiranė
Population: 288,217
Description: Albanian is spoken by practically the entire population. There are about 200,000 speakers of Greek in the south.
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Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece and Serbia and Montenegro

Geographic coordinates: 41 00 N, 20 00 E

Map references: Europe

total: 28,750 sq km
land: 27,400 sq km
water: 1,350 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries:
total: 720 km
border countries: Greece 282 km, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 151 km, Serbia and Montenegro 287 km (114 km with Serbia, 173 km with Montenegro)

Coastline: 362 km

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

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

Terrain: mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point : Maja e Korabit 2,753 m

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

Land use:
arable land: 21%
permanent crops: 5%
permanent pastures: 15%
forests and woodland: 38%
other: 21% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 3,410 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: destructive earthquakes; tsunamis occur along southwestern coast

Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution from industrial and domestic effluents

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, 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)


Population: 3,510,484 (July 2001 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 0-14 years: 29.53% (male 536,495; female 500,026)
15-64 years:15-64 years: 63.48% (male 1,073,351; female 1,155,115)
65 years and over: 6.99% (male 107,476; female 138,021) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate:0.88% (2001 est.)

Birth rate:19.01 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 6.5 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: - 3.69 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years:0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over : .78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2001 est.)

Infant mortality rate:39.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population :71.83 years
male: 69.01 years
female:74.87 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.32 children born/woman (2001 est.)

noun: Albanian(s)
adjective: Albanian

Ethnic groups: Albanian 95%, Greeks 3%, other 2% (Vlachs, Gypsies, Serbs, and Bulgarians) (1989 est.)
note: in 1989, other estimates of the Greek population ranged from 1% (official Albanian statistics) to 12% (from a Greek organization)

Religions: Muslim 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, Roman Catholic 10%
note: all mosques and churches were closed in 1967 and religious observances prohibited; in November 1990, Albania began allowing private religious practice

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

definition: age 9 and over can read and write
total population: 93% (1997 est.)
male: 80%
female: 63% (1955 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

Data code: AL

Government type: emerging democracy

National capital: Tirane

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

Independence: 28 November 1912 (from Ottoman Empire)

National holiday: Independence Day, 28 November (1912)

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

Legal system: has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:
chief of state : President of the Republic Rexhap MEIDAINI since 24 July 1997)
head of government: Prime Minister Ilir META (since 29 October 1999)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and approved by the president
elections: president elected by the People's Assembly for a five-year term; election last held 24 July 1997 (next to be held NA 2002); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Rexhep MEIDANI elected president; People's Assembly vote by number - total votes 122, for 110, against 3, abstained 2, invalid 7

Legislative branch: unicameral People's Assembly or Kuvendi Popullor (155 seats; most members are elected by direct popular vote and some by proportional vote for four-year terms)
elections:last held 29 June 1997 (next held 24 June 2001, 2nd round 8 July 2001)
election results: percent of vote by party - PS 53.36%, PD 25.33%, PSD 2.5%, PBDNJ 2.78%, PBK 2.36%, PAD 2.85%, PR 2.25%, PLL 3.09%, PDK 1.00%, PBSD 0.84%; seats by party - PS 101, PD 27, PSD 8, PBDNJ 4, PBK 3, PAD 2, PR 2, PLL 2, PDK 1, PBSD 1, PUK 1, independents 3

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, chairman of the Supreme Court is elected by the People's Assembly for a four year term.

Political parties and leaders: Albanian National Front (Balli Kombetar) or PBK [Abaz ERMENJI]; Albanian Republican Party or PR [Fatmir MEDIU]; Albanian Socialist Party or PS (formerly the Albania Workers Party) [Fatos NANO, chairman]; Christian Democratic Party or PDK [Zef BUSHATI]; Democratic Alliance or PAD [Neritan CEKA]; Democratic Party or PD [Sali BERISHA]; Group of Reformist Democrats [Leonard NDOKA]; Liberal Union Party [Teodor LACO]; note - Teodor LACO of the Liberal Union Party was leader of the Social Democratic Union of Albania or PBSD; Movement of Legality Party or PLL [Nderim KUPI]; OMONIA [Vagjelis DULES]; Party of National Unity or PUK [Idajet BEQUIRI]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Skender GJINUSHI]; Unity for Human Rights Party or PBDNJ [Vasil MELO, chairman]

International organization participation: BSEC, CCC, CE, CEI, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NACC, OIC, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNOMIG, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador Petrit BUSHATI
chancery:2100 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 223-4942, 8187
FAX: [1] (202) 628-7342

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador Joseph LIMPRECHT
embassy: Rruga E. Labinoti 103, Tirane
mailing address: PSC 59, Box 100 (A), APO AE 09624
telephone: [355] (42) [355] (4) 247285 ,
FAX: [355] (4) 232222

Flag description: red with a black two-headed eagle in the center


Economy - overview: An extremely poor country by European standards, Albania is making the difficult transition to a more open-market economy. The economy rebounded in 1993-95 after a severe depression accompanying the collapse of the previous centrally planned system in 1990 and 1991. However, a weakening of government resolve to maintain stabilization policies in the election year of 1996 contributed to renewal of inflationary pressures, spurred by the budget deficit which exceeded 12%. The collapse of financial pyramid schemes in early 1997 - which had attracted deposits from a substantial portion of Albania's adult population - triggered unrest in much of the south in early 1997. The economy continues to be buoyed by remittances of some 20% of the labor force which works abroad, mostly in Greece and Italy. These remittances supplement GDP and help offset the large foreign trade deficit. Most agricultural land was privatized in 1992, substantially improving peasant incomes. Overall economic performance is likely to be substantially worse in 1997; inflation will easily top 50% and GDP may drop by 5% or more.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $10.5 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 7.5% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity -$3,000 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 55%
industry: 24%
services: 21% (2000)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 17.4% (1996)

Labor force:
total: 1.692 million (1994 est.) (including 352,000 emigrant workers and 261,000 domestically unemployed)
by occupation : agriculture (nearly all private) 49.5%, private sector 22.2%, state (nonfarm) sector 28.3% (including state-owned industry 7.8%); note - includes only those domestically employed

Unemployment rate: 16% (2000 est.) officially; may be as high as 25%

revenues: $393 million
expenditures : $$676 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)

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

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

Electricity - capacity: 1.533 million kW (1995)

Electricity - production:5.332 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 1,221 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture - products: wide range of temperate-zone crops and livestock

total value: $310 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
commodities : textiles and footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil; vegetables, fruits, tobacco
partners: Italy 67%, Greece 15%, Germany 5%, Austria 2%, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 2% (2000)

total value: $1 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
commodities : machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals
partners: Italy 37%, Greece 28%, Turkey 6%, Germany 6%, Bulgaria 3% (2000)

Debt - external: $1 billion (2000)

Economic aid:
recipient :$NA; aid for energy from China, Germany, Norway (2000)

Currency: 1 lek (L) = 100 qintars

Exchange rates: leke (L) leke per US dollar - 146.08 (December 2000),143.71 (2000) 137.69 (1999), 150.63 (1998), 148.93 (1997), 104.50 (1996); note - leke is the plural of lek

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones: 87,000 (1997)

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

Radio broadcast stations: AM 16, FM 3, shortwave 2 (1999)

Radios:810,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 9 (plus 264 repeaters) (1995)

Televisions: 405,000 (1997)


total : 670 km
standard gauge: 670 km 1.435-m gauge (1995)

total: 18,000 km
paved: 4,650 km
unpaved: 12,600 km (1998 est.)

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

Pipelines: crude oil 145 km; petroleum products 55 km; natural gas 64 km (1991)

Ports and harbors: Durres, Sarande, Shengjin, Vlore

Merchant marine:
total: 8 cargo ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 39,201 GRT/57,938 DWT (1996 est.)

Airports: 11(2000 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (1994 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 6
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m : 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (1994 est.)


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

Military manpower - military age: 19 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 870,768 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: : : 712,763 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 35,792 (2001 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $42 million (1999)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.5% to 2.0% (1999)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: the Albanian Government supports protection of the rights of ethnic Albanians outside of its borders; Albanian majority in Kosovo seeks independence from Serbian Republic; Albanians in Macedonia claim discrimination in education, access to public-sector jobs and representation in government

Illicit drugs: increasingly active transshipment point for Southwest Asian opiates, hashish, and cannabis transiting the Balkan route and cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe; limited opium and cannabis production; ethnic Albanian narcotrafficking organizations active in Central and Eastern Europe

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