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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 28,748 square kilometres (slightly smaller than Maryland) with 3,619,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Albania

The landscape offers mostly mountains and hills with 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 and interior is 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

Albania Flag Icon

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

SummaryContinent: Europe
Neighbours: Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia
Capital: Tirana
Size28,748 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 11,099 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than Maryland
CurrencyName Lek, Currency Code:ALL
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).al
Telephone Country Prefix+355
Mobile Phone Connections4,162,000
Landline Phone Connections363,000

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 nameValueWorld Rank
Area28,748 (sq km)145

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population3,011,405 137
Population growth rate0.29 (%)168
Birth rate12.57 (births/1,000 population)158
Death rate6.36 (deaths/1,000 population)154
Net migration rate-3.32 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)179
Maternal mortality rate27.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)127
Infant mortality rate13.65 (deaths/1,000 live births)123
Life expectancy at birth77.77 (years)60
Total fertility rate1.49 (children born/woman)190
Health expenditures6.60 (% of GDP)96
Obesity - adult prevalence rate21.30 (%)88
Children under the age of 5 years underweight6.30 (%)79
Unemployment, youth ages 15-2427.20 (%)33


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)26,540,000,000 120
GDP - real growth rate1.30 (%)154
GDP - per capita (PPP)8,200 131
Labor force1,071,000 141
Unemployment rate13.00 (%)133
Distribution of family income - Gini index34.50 89
Investment (gross fixed)25.80 (% of GDP)44
Taxes and other revenues25.70 (% of GDP)117
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.20 (% of GDP)118
Public debt60.60 (% of GDP)47
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.00 (%)33
Central bank discount rate5.25 (%)67
Commercial bank prime lending rate12.43 (%)66
Stock of narrow money2,677,000,000 119
Stock of broad money9,951,000,000 107
Stock of domestic credit8,587,000,000 107
Industrial production growth rate3.00 (%)96
Current account balance-1,450,000,000 125
Exports2,121,000,000 142
Imports5,219,000,000 126
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold2,350,000,000 119
Debt - external5,281,000,000 113


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production5,209,000,000 (kWh)117
Electricity - consumption4,521,000,000 (kWh)119
Electricity - exports1,906,000,000 (kWh)42
Electricity - imports1,005,000,000 (kWh)65
Electricity - installed generating capacity1,610,000 (kW)111
Electricity - from fossil fuels9.90 (% of total installed capacity)195
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants90.10 (% of total installed capacity)13
Crude oil - production15,520 (bbl/day)77
Crude oil - exports6,920 (bbl/day)60
Crude oil - proved reserves199,100,000 (bbl)62
Refined petroleum products - production6,377 (bbl/day)109
Refined petroleum products - consumption38,390 (bbl/day)111
Refined petroleum products - exports915 (bbl/day)112
Refined petroleum products - imports24,610 (bbl/day)95
Natural gas - production30,000,000 (cu m)87
Natural gas - consumption30,000,000 (cu m)111
Natural gas - proved reserves849,500,000 (cu m)102
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy4,893,000 (Mt)124


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use338,800 111
Telephones - mobile cellular3,100,000 127
Internet hosts15,528 124
Internet users1,300,000 91


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports5 178
Railways339 (km)117
Roadways18,000 (km)115
Waterways41 (km)104
Merchant marine17 99


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures1.49 (% 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

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 ...