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Introduction Albania
Between 1990 and 1992 Albania ended 46 years of xenophobic Communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. transition has proven difficult as corrupt governments have tried to deal with high unemployment, a dilapidated infrastructure, widespread gangsterism, and disruptive political opponents. International observers judged legislative elections in 2001 to be acceptable and a step toward democratic development, but identified serious deficiencies that should be addressed through reforms in Albanian electoral code.
Geography Albania
Southeastern Europe, bordering Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece and Serbia and Montenegro
Geographic coordinates:
41 00 N, 20 00 E
Map references:
total: 28,748 sq km
water: 1,350 sq km
land: 27,398 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries:
total: 720 km
border countries: Greece 282 km, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 151 km, Serbia and Montenegro 287 km
362 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 NM
mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers; interior is cooler and wetter
mostly mountains and hills; limited plains along coast
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point: Maja e Korabit (Golem Korab) 2,753 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, timber, nickel, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 21.09%
permanent crops: 4.45%
other: 74.46% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
3,400 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
destructive earthquakes; tsunamis occur along southwestern coast; floods; drought
Environment - current issues:
deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution from industrial and domestic effluents
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of selected agreements
Geography - note:
strategic location along Strait of Otranto (links Adriatic Sea to Ionian Sea and Mediterranean Sea)
People Albania
Total Population:
3,582,205 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 28.1% (male 520,714; female 486,911)
15-64 years: 64.6% (male 1,115,887; female 1,196,477)
65 years and over: 7.3% (male 115,754; female 146,462) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 26.5 years
male: 24.8 years
female: 28.1 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
1.03% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
18.2 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
6.48 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
-1.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 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: 0.79 male(s)/female
Population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 37.28 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 34.71 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 39.68 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 72.37 years
male: 69.53 years
female: 75.42 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.22 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Albanian(s)
adjective: Albanian
Ethnic groups:
Albanian 95%, Greek 3%, other 2% (Vlach, Gypsy, Serb, and Bulgarian) (1989 est.)
note: in 1989, other estimates of Greek population ranged from 1% (official Albanian statistics) to 12% (from a Greek organization)
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
Albanian (Tosk is official dialect), Greek
definition: age 9 and over can read and write
Population: 86.5%
male: 93.3%
female: 79.5% (2003 est.)
Government Albania
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Albania
conventional short form: Albania
local short form: Shqiperia
former: People's Socialist Republic of Albania
local long form: Republika e Shqiperise
Government type:
emerging democracy
Administrative divisions:
12 counties (qarqe, singular - qark); Qarku i Beratit, Qarku i Dibres, Qarku i Durresit, Qarku i Elbasanit, Qarku i Fierit, Qarku i Gjirokastres, Qarku i Korces, Qarku i Kukesit, Qarku i Lezhes, Qarku i Shkodres, Qarku i Tiranes, Qarku i Vlores
28 November 1912 (from Ottoman Empire)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 28 November (1912)
a constitution previously adopted by popular referendum on 28 November 1998; note - opposition Democratic Party boycotted vote
Legal system:
has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch:
chief of state: President of Republic Alfred MOISIU (since 24 July 2002)
head of government: Prime Minister Fatos NANO (since 31 July 2002)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by prime minister and approved by president
elections: president elected by People's Assembly for a five-year term; election last held 24 June 2002 (next to be held NA June 2007); prime minister appointed by president
election results: Alfred MOISIU elected president; People's Assembly vote by number - total votes 116, for 97, against 19
Legislative branch:
unicameral People's Assembly or Kuvendi Popullor (140 seats; 100 are elected by direct popular vote and 40 by proportional vote for four-year terms)
elections: last held 24 June 2001 with subsequent rounds on 8 July, 22 July, 29 July, 19 August 2001 (next to be held NA June 2005)
election results: percent of vote by party - PS 41.5%, PD and coalition allies 36.8%, NDP 5.2%, PSD 3.6%, PBDNJ 2.6%, PASH 2.6%, PAD 2.5%; seats by party - PS 73, PD and coalition allies 46, NDP 6, PSD 4, PBDNJ 3, PASH 3, PAD 3, independents 2
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (chairman is elected by People's Assembly for a four-year term)
Political parties and leaders:
Agrarian Party of Albania or PASH [Lufter XHUVELI]; Christian Democratic Party or PDK [Zef BUSHATI]; Communist Party of Albania or PKSH [Hysni MILLOSHI]; Democratic Alliance or PAD [Nerltan CEKA]; Democratic Party or PD [Sali BERISHA]; Legality Movement Party or PLL [Guri DUROLLARI]; National Front Party (Balli Kombetar) or PBK [Abaz ERMENJI]; Party of National Unity or PUK [Idajet BEQUIRI]; Republican Party or PR [Fatmir MEDIU]; Social Democracy or DS [Paskal MILO]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Skender GJINUSHI]; Socialist Party or PS (formerly Albanian Party of Labor) [Fatos NANO]; Union for Human Rights Party or PBDNJ [Vasil MELO]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Omonia [Vangjel DULES]
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Fatos TARIFA
FAX: [1] (202) 628-7342
telephone: [1] (202) 223-4942
chancery: 2100 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from US:
chief of mission: Ambassador James F. JEFFREY
embassy: Rruga Elbasanit, Labinoti #103, Tirana
mailing address: U. S. Department of State, 9510 Tirana Place, Washington, DC 20521-9510
telephone: [355] (4) 247285
FAX: [355] (4) 232222
Flag description:
red with a black two-headed eagle in center
Economy Albania
Economy - overview:
Poor and backward by European standards, Albania is making difficult transition to a more modern open-market economy. government has taken measures to curb violent crime and to spur economic activity and trade. economy is bolstered by remittances from abroad of $400-$600 million annually, mostly from Greece and Italy; this helps offset sizable trade deficit. Agriculture, which accounts for half of GDP, is held back because of frequent drought and need to modernize equipment and consolidate limited plots of land. Severe energy shortages are forcing limited firms out of business, increasing unemployment, scaring off foreign investors, and spurring inflation. government plans to boost energy imports to relieve shortages. In addition, government is moving to improve poor national road network, a long-standing barrier to sustained economic growth.
buying power parity - $15.69 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
7.3% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $4,400 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 49%
industry: 27%
services: 24% (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line:
30% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
6% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
1.283 million (not includes 352,000 emigrant workers and 261,000 domestically unemployed) (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 50%, industry and services 50%
Unemployment rate:
17% officially; may be as high as 30% (2001 est.)
revenues: $697 million
expenditures: $1.5 billion, includes capital expenditures of $368 million (2002 est.)
food processing, textiles and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower
Industrial production growth rate:
9% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production:
5.289 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 2.9%
hydro: 97.1%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
5.898 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
221 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
1.2 billion kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
5,952 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
22,400 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
185.5 million bbl (37257)
Natural gas - production:
30 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
30 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
3.316 billion cu m (37257)
Agriculture - products:
wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, sugar beets, grapes; meat, dairy products
$340 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
textiles and footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil; vegetables, fruits, tobacco
Exports - partners:
Italy 76.6%, Germany 5.6%, Greece 2.7% (2002)
$1.5 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Italy 39.4%, Greece 24.5%, Turkey 6%, Germany 5% (2002)
Debt - external:
$784 million (2000)
Economic aid - recipient:
ODA: $315 million (top donors were Italy, EU, Germany) (2000 est.)
lek (ALL)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
leke per US dollar - NA (2002), 143.49 (2001), 143.71 (2000), 137.69 (1999), 150.63 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Albania
Telephones - main lines in use:
120,000 (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
250,000 (2001)
Telephone system:
general assessment: Albania has 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 fall of Communist government, peasants cut wire to about 1,000 villages and used it to build fences
international: inadequate; international traffic carried by microwave radio relay from Tirana exchange to Italy and Greece
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 13, FM 4, shortwave 2 (2001)
1 million (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
3 (plus 58 repeaters) (2001)
700,000 (2001)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
10 (2001)
Internet users:
12,000 (2001)
Transportation Albania
total: 447 km
standard gauge: 447 km 1.435-m gauge (2002)
total: 18,000 km
paved: 5,400 km
unpaved: 12,600 km (2000)
43 km
note: includes Albanian sections of Lake Scutari, Lake Ohrid, and Lake Prespa (1990)
gas 339 km; oil 207 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Durres, Sarande, Shengjin, Vlore
Merchant marine:
total: 13 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 21,954 GRT/34,412 DWT
ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 11, roll on/roll off 1, includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Croatia 1, Honduras 1 (2002 est.)
12 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 4 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
over 3,047 m: 1
1 (2002)
Military Albania
Military branches:
Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces, Interior Ministry Troops, Border Guards
Military manpower - military age:
19 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 906,168 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 742,837 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 36,985 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$56.5 million (FY02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.49% (FY02)
Transnational Issues Albania
Disputes - international:
Albanian Government calls for protection of rights of ethnic Albanians outside its borders in Kosovo region of Serbia and Montenegro, and in northern Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, while continuing to seek regional cooperation; some outside ethnic Albanian groups voice union with Albania
Illicit drugs:
increasingly active transshipment point for Southwest Asian opiates, hashish, and cannabis transiting Balkan route and - to a far lesser extent - cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe; limited opium and growing cannabis production; ethnic Albanian narcotrafficking organizations active and rapidly expanding in Europe; vulnerable to money laundering associated with regional trafficking in narcotics, arms, contraband, and illegal aliens