Albania Flag Icon

Albania Country Guide

Explore Albania in Europe

Albania with the capital city Tirana is located in Europe (Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea). It covers some 28,749 square kilometres (slightly smaller than Maryland) with 3,619,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Albania

The landscape offers mostly mountains and hills and small plains along coast. The average density of population is approximately 126 per km². The notable climate conditions in Albania can be described as mild temperate with cool, cloudy, wet winters, hot, clear, dry summers, interior being cooler and wetter. Potential threats by nature are destructive earthquakes or tsunamis occur along southwestern coast, floods or drought.

To reach someone in Albania dial +355 prior to a number. There are 363,000 installed telephones. And there are 4,162,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900, 1800 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".al". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 220V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Albania

Red with a black two-headed eagle in the center; the design is claimed to be that of 15th-century hero George Castriota SKANDERBEG, who led a successful uprising against the 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 "Shkypetars," which translates as "sons of the eagle".

Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, but was conquered by Italy in 1939. 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. International observers judged elections to be largely free and fair since the restoration of political stability following the collapse of pyramid schemes in 1997; however, each of Albania's post-Communist elections have been marred by claims of electoral fraud. The 2009 general elections resulted in a coalition government, the first such in the country''s history. Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and is a potential candidate for EU accession. Although Albania''s economy continues to grow, the country is still one of the poorest in Europe, hampered by a large informal economy and an inadequate energy and transportation infrastructure.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Europe
Neighbours: Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia
Capital: Tirana
Size 28,748 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 11,100 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than Maryland
Population 3,619,000
Currency Name: Lek, Currency Code: ALL
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .al
Telephone Country Prefix +355
Mobile Phone Connections 4,162,000
Landline Phone Connections 363,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 28,748 (sq km) 145

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 3,011,405 137
Population growth rate 0.29 (%) 168
Birth rate 12.57 (births/1,000 population) 158
Death rate 6.36 (deaths/1,000 population) 154
Net migration rate -3.32 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 179
Maternal mortality rate 27.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 127
Infant mortality rate 13.65 (deaths/1,000 live births) 123
Life expectancy at birth 77.77 (years) 60
Total fertility rate 1.49 (children born/woman) 190
Health expenditures 6.60 (% of GDP) 96
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 21.30 (%) 88
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 6.30 (%) 79
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 27.2 (%) 33


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 26,540,000,000 120
GDP - real growth rate 1.30 (%) 154
GDP - per capita (PPP) 8,200 131
Labor force 1,071,000 141
Unemployment rate 13.00 (%) 133
Distribution of family income - Gini index 35 89
Investment (gross fixed) 25.80 (% of GDP) 44
Taxes and other revenues 25.7 (% of GDP) 117
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -3.20 (% of GDP) 118
Public debt 60.60 (% of GDP) 47
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.00 (%) 33
Central bank discount rate 5.25 (%) 67
Commercial bank prime lending rate 12.43 (%) 66
Stock of narrow money 2,677,000,000 119
Stock of broad money 9,951,000,000 107
Stock of domestic credit 8,587,000,000 107
Industrial production growth rate 3.00 (%) 96
Current account balance -1,450,000,000 125
Exports 2,121,000,000 142
Imports 5,219,000,000 126
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 2,350,000,000 119
Debt - external 5,281,000,000 113


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 5,209,000,000 (kWh) 117
Electricity - consumption 4,521,000,000 (kWh) 119
Electricity - exports 1,906,000,000 (kWh) 42
Electricity - imports 1,005,000,000 (kWh) 65
Electricity - installed generating capacity 1610000 (kW) 111
Electricity - from fossil fuels 9.9 (% of total installed capacity) 195
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 90.1 (% of total installed capacity) 13
Crude oil - production 15,520 (bbl/day) 77
Crude oil - exports 6,920 (bbl/day) 60
Crude oil - proved reserves 199100000 (bbl) 62
Refined petroleum products - production 6,377 (bbl/day) 109
Refined petroleum products - consumption 38,390 (bbl/day) 111
Refined petroleum products - exports 915 (bbl/day) 112
Refined petroleum products - imports 24,610 (bbl/day) 95
Natural gas - production 30,000,000 (cu m) 87
Natural gas - consumption 30,000,000 (cu m) 111
Natural gas - proved reserves 849,500,000 (cu m) 102
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 4,893,000 (Mt) 124


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 338,800 111
Telephones - mobile cellular 3,100,000 127
Internet hosts 15,528 124
Internet users 1,300,000 91


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 5 178
Railways 339 (km) 117
Roadways 18,000 (km) 115
Waterways 41 (km) 104
Merchant marine 17 99


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 1.49 (% of GDP) 104

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint has been the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric. Following a period of prosperity under Byzantine administration, then a brief occupation by the Venetians, the city was abandoned in the lat ...
Historic Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra
Berat and Gjirokastra are inscribed as rare examples of an architectural character typical of the Ottoman period. Located in central Albania, Berat bears witness to the coexistence of various religious and cultural communities down the centuries. It ...