Dialing code +355
ISO 2 code AL
ISO 3 code ALB
Capital Tirana
Main Language Albanian
Currency Lek (ALL)
GDP $21.8 billion 114th
Population 2,986,952 137th


Continent Europe
Location Southeastern Europe bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea between Greece in the south and Montenegro and Kosovo to the north
Land 28,748 km2 144th
Terrain Mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast
Climate Mild temperate; cool cloudy wet winters; hot clear dry summers; interior is cooler and wetter
Natural Hazards Mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast
Note: Strategic location along Strait of Otranto (links Adriatic Sea to Ionian Sea and Mediterranean Sea)

Neighbouring Countries

Greece Kosovo Macedonia Montenegro Serbia


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 a dilapidated physical 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 there have been claims of electoral fraud in every one of Albania's post-communist elections. In the 2005 general elections the Democratic Party and its allies won a decisive victory on pledges to reduce crime and corruption promote economic growth and decrease the size of government. The election and particularly the orderly transition of power was considered an important step forward. 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.
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Life Expectancy 77.96 years 43rd
Median Age 29.9 years 81st
Birth Rate 15.29 births/1,000 population 129th
Death Rate 5.55 births/1,000 population 160th
Sex Ratio 0.87 male(s)/female 49th
Literacy 98.7% 48th

3.0 million


Roadways 18000 km 116th
Railways 896 km 95th
Airports 8 160th
Waterways 43 km 103rd
Heliports 1 65th
Airports paved 3 43rd


Currency Lek (ALL)
GDP $21.8 billion 114th
GDP per capita (PPP) $6000 119th