|Republika e Shqipërisë
|Form of government
||UTC + 1 (CET)
|Telephone area code
Albania lies on the Adriatic Sea and is separated
from Italy by the approximately 80 km wide sea road from
Otranto . The country borders Greece to the south,
Macedonia to the east and Montenegro and Kosovo to the
Two thirds of the total area of 28.748 km² are
mountainous and are above 1,000 m. The north and east of
the country are occupied by the Albanian Alps, which
belong to the Dinaric Fold Mountains. At 2,694 m, the
Jezerca is the highest peak here. In the south of
Albania there are foothills of the Epirus (Tumori
Mountains with heights of up to 2,400 m), in the central
part of a strongly broken up chain mountain country. In
the western part of the country, the mountain ranges
merge into the low mountain ranges and the hilly
landscape. Between this and the Adriatic Sea lies the
coastal region of Lower Albania, which in its northern
part is an alluvial plain interspersed with lagoons
(maximum 60 km wide, partially marshy), and in the
southern part is a steep coast (Albanian Riviera).
In the mountainous east of the country there are
large lakes on plateaus, such as Lake Ohrid on the
border with Macedonia and Lake Prespa, in which Greece
and Macedonia also have a share. The most important
river in Albania is the Shkumbin, the longest river with
around 285 km is the Drin, which emerges from a
confluence of the white and black rivers and flows into
the Adriatic Sea. The capital of Albania is Tirana.
In the western part of the country near the coast
there is a Mediterranean climate with dry and hot
summers and mild, humid winters. The average
temperatures in Vlorë on the south coast of Albania are
9 กใ C in January, 25 กใ C in July, 7 กใ C in Tirana in
January and 25 กใ C in July. The average annual rainfall
is 1,000 to 1,200 mm.
In the mountain regions and inland, the climate is
more continental, the winters are cold and snowy (mean
January temperature around 0 กใ C), the summers also with
high temperatures (approx. 20 กใ C), but more
precipitation (approx. 2,000 mm).
Flora and fauna
Almost a third of Albania is still forested today. In
the Mediterranean parts of the country there are forests
of evergreen oak or maquis, gorse and thorn bushes in
the places that have been cut down. In the higher areas
there are extensive mixed deciduous forests (elms,
beeches, oaks, chestnuts) as well as pines and firs.
Subalpine vegetation with dwarf shrubs and mats follows
from a height of approximately 1,800 m.
The mountains offer retreats for larger mammals such
as bears and wolves, and deer, chamois and wild boars
also live here. The golden eagle, the heraldic animal of
Albania, can also be found in the sparsely populated
eastern part of the country.
Around 3.2 million people live in Albania, including
around 600,000 in the capital Tirana (agglomeration).
According to COUNTRYAAH,
around 95% of the population are Albanians, who can be
divided into two main groups: the north live in the
country, the tokens live in the south. The official
language, Albanian, established in 1945, is a Tuscan
dialect. Greeks and Macedonians are the main minorities
in the country.
Around 70% of the population are Muslims, around 30%
are Christians (around two thirds of whom are followers
of the Greek Orthodox Church, one third are Catholics).
Despite the mid-range birth rate, the country's
population growth is only about 0.54%, which is due to
the emigration of many people. The standard of living is
low, Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe.
In terms of social and health care, the country has not
yet recovered from the political upheaval in 1992.
Life expectancy is around 77 years. Literacy is
According to the transitional constitution of 1991,
Albania is a parliamentary republic with a multi-party
system. In 1998 a new constitution was adopted by the
parliament. The head of state is the President (Bujar
Nishani since 2012), who is elected by the Parliament
(People's Assembly) for five years. The head of
government is the Prime Minister (Prime Minister, Edi
Rama since 2013). At his suggestion, the President
appoints the cabinet ministers.
The legislature lies with the People's Assembly (Kuvendi
Popullor), which has 140 seats. The deputies are elected
by the people in a proportional election for four years.
The main political groups in Albania are the Democratic
Party and the Socialist Party.
Albania is divided into 12 districts. Decisions of
the constitutional court bind the state organs. There is
a Supreme Court.
The political upheaval in 1992 with the abandonment
of communism and the opening of the markets brought the
poor and underdeveloped country to the brink of economic
collapse. Although it has made significant progress
since 1998, the agricultural state remains one of the
poorest countries in Europe. Albania continues to
receive foreign aid, especially from the EU. Economic
growth has been around 6% for several years, but is
mainly due to transfers from Albanians abroad and
informal construction work. Problems are caused by
widespread corruption and energy shortages that lead to
frequent power cuts. Another obstacle to the economic
upswing is the poorly developed infrastructure in the
country. A motorway network has been in constant
expansion since 2000.
An important industry in Albania is agriculture,
which can use the country's fertile soil; almost half of
the workforce is employed here. Fruit and vegetables as
well as wheat, corn and sugar beet are cultivated.
Cotton, olives, citrus and wine thrive in the country's
western regions. Albania also exports tobacco. 20% of
the workforce is employed in the service sector and 36%
The country's energy requirements can be met from its
own resources (oil, natural gas, coal). In the industry,
the processing companies for the mining raw materials
are in the foreground, companies from the areas of food
processing, textiles and clothing, chemicals and
building material production also play a role. The main
export goods include crude oil, textiles and clothing,
raw materials as well as iron and steel, and mainly
food, petroleum and chemical products are imported. The
main trading partner is Italy (31% of imports and 53% of
exports), followed by Greece and Turkey.
The currency is the Albanian lek (= 100 Qindarka).