Albania Country Overview

Albania Country Overview

Albania – country information

Country name Albania
Official name Republic of Albania
Capital Tirana
Continent Europe
Area 28,748 km2
Population 2,821,977 (2011)
Foundation of a state 28/11/1912
The highest mountains Korabi 2,751 m
Longest rivers Drina 282 km
The largest lakes Skadar 370 km 2 (in the country 148 km 2)
State system a pluralist republic with a unicameral parliament
The biggest cities Tirana (capital) 275,000, Durrës 92,000, Elbasan 88,000
Official language Albanian
Ethnicity/National Composition Albanians 98.0%, Greeks 1.8%, others 0.2%
Religious affiliation no religion 70%, Muslims 21%, Christians 8%
Currency 1 lek (Lk) = 100 qindars
gross domestic product (GDP) US$7,997 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 77.43 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture and fishing 28%, mining and industry 33%, construction 5%, services 34%

Albania – neighboring states

State Capital Area Population
Montenegro Podgorica 13,812 km2 620,029
Kosovo Pristina 10,887 km2 1,815,606
Macedonia Skopje 25,713 km2 2,062,294
Greece Athens 131,957 km2 10,815,197
Serbia Belgrade 77,474 km2 7,181,505

Albania is a small country in the south of the Adriatic coast of the Balkan Peninsula.

Natural conditions

Albania’s mountainous terrain contributed to its isolation within Europe. The Dinaric system culminates in the border mountains of Prokletije and the Korab massif. The Pindos mountain range extends from Greece to the south. The coastal plain is especially marshy in the north. The rivers Drina, Shkumbin, Seman and Vjosa with their tributaries divide the earth’s surface into a series of narrow mountain ranges with deep valleys. The climate is of the Mediterranean type, much harsher in mountainous areas.

People and history

According to LOVERISTS, the origin of the Albanians is derived from the Indo-European Illyrians. Northern and southern dialects can be distinguished in the country, and there is also a minority of Greeks.

In the 1st century BC, Albania was conquered by the Romans, followed by raids by the Greek Byzantines, Bulgarians, Normans and Serbs, until the country came under the vassalage of the Ottoman Empire in the 14th century. The independence won from Turkey as late as 1912 lasted until the Italian invasion in 1939. After the national liberation war, a new Albania was created in 1946 under the leadership of the Communist Party headed by General Enver Hoxha, who isolated the country from the Soviet bloc and oriented it towards China.

The Albanian communist regime was the last in Europe to fall due to dramatic events (mass exodus of Albanians to Italy). In 1991, the first free elections were held and, under pressure, new elections were held in 1992, in which the communists were already defeated. Economic growth is restored with foreign aid.


Albania is the most backward country in Europe. Agriculture employs nearly half of the workforce, but there is huge unemployment in a country of mostly young people. Wheat, corn, sugar, vegetables, wine, tobacco and olives are cultivated. Sheep, goats and cattle are raised; fishing is important. Abundant mineral resources provide chromium, ferro-nickel and copper ore, oil, coal and asphalt. Weak industry consists of refineries, small smelters and chemical plants, textile and food plants. The predominantly rural country has a disastrous infrastructure that limits economic development. Tourism has an excellent perspective.

Albania Country Overview