Albania Population 2019
Albania is located in Southeastern Europe and is a member of the UN and NATO. Albania is one of the smallest countries in Europe with 28,700 square kilometers (11,000 square miles) of area, ranking 144th in the world.
In 2019, Albania has an estimated population of 2.88 million, and it is the 140th most populous country in the world.
Albania Area and Population Density
The Southeastern European nation of Albania is located on the Balkan Peninsula along the Adriatic and Ionian seas and sharing borders with Greece, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Kosovo. Albania is fairly densely populated for a small country with 2,938,938 people living in 11,100 square miles (28,748 square kilometers) of area, which ranks 146th in terms of area. These numbers give Albania a population density of 265 people per square mile (102 people per square kilometer), which ranks 85th in the world in this regard.
Largest Cities in Albania
Roughly 58% of the people living in Albania reside in or around a major metropolitan area. The largest city is Albania's capital, Tiranë, which has a population of 421,000, with a greater metropolitan population of 764,000. Tiranë is the cultural, economic, social and political center of the nation, sitting in a valley between the Dajiti Mountain and the Adriatic Sea. The second-largest metropolitan area in Albania is the ancient city of Durrës has a population of 201,519 and is the heart of the nation's economy. Other major cities include Vlorë (141,513), Elbasan (126,703) and Shkodër (102,075).
Ethnicity is a delicate issue in Albania, and one that is debated. Official statistics show Albania is very homogeneous with more than 97% Albanian majority, but minority groups like the Roman, Greeks and Macedonians have questioned this data and claim a larger share. Three national minorities are recognized: Greeks, Macedonians and Montenegrins.
There are also two cultural minorities -- Aromanians and Romani -- and other Albanian minorities like the Bulgarians and Jews. The Greek government estimates 300,000 Greeks in the country, while the Albanian government claims just 60,000.
At the 2011 census, the population of Albania was officially 83% Albanian, 0.9% Greek, 0.2% Macedonian, 0.01% Montenegrin, 0.3% Aromanian, 0.3% Romani, 0.1% Balkan Egyptian, 14% no declared ethnicity and 1.6% not relevant.
Many minority groups have criticized the country's census law which imposes a $1,000 fine on anyone who declares an ethnicity that differs from what is on their birth certificate.
Albania Religion, Economy and Politics
Almost 58% of Albanian's are Muslim, with a Christian population of 17%. About 25% of the population belongs to another religion or has no religion. While Albania was the only European country whose Jewish population grew during the Holocaust, the mass emigration to Israel has left just 200 Albanian Jews in the country. In 1967 Albania saw a violent crackdown on any religious activity and became the world's first officially Atheist state.
As a developing nation, the economy in Albania has been particularly susceptible to the fluctuations of the world market and has experienced some downturn in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Agriculture employs nearly half of the Albanian population, but 19% of the nation's GDP. Common crops include tobacco, citrus, figs, grapes and various vegetables. There is also something of a strong wine industry in Albania. Albania is currently experiencing high amounts of public debt and remittances continue to be a significant source of the country's GDP.
Albania Population History
The Italian army invaded the land that is now Albania just before the beginning of the Second World War to cut through and attack Greece. By 1943, the Germans had forced the Italians to surrender and took control of Albania, but the Albanian Communist Party resisted and forced the Germans to withdraw just a year later. As they became more independent, the strength of the communist party increased and by 1948 Albania had broken ties with Yugoslavia in favor of an alliance with the Soviet Union. Their relationship with the Soviet Union was short-lived, however, and by 1961 Albania had allied itself with China.
In 1989, after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, politics in Albania became less extreme as independent political parties began forming and Albanians were allowed to travel abroad, and by 1992 the Democratic party had won the election. In 1997, the son of a late king, Leka, returned to Albania after years in hiding in a failed attempt to restore a monarchy, but he did manage to stir up enough trouble to have communism be able to take a stronghold again. Between 1999-2002, Albania saw an influx in immigrants from Kosovo in response to their country's political unrest.
Albania has a very low fertility rate of just 1.49 children per woman, and massive migration affected its demographics after the fall of Communism in 1990. Between 1991 and 2004, close to 1 million people left Albania, most destined for Greece, and the population decreased in the North and South of the country and increased in Tirana and Durrës.
Albania Population Growth
The annual growth rate of the population in Albania has been wavering between small percentages on both sides of zero since the turn of the century, gaining numbers just to lose some a few years later leading to little overall change. As of 2019, the population was close to a standstill growing at just 0.14% a year. Net migration is relatively low, yet negative, and the largest contributing factor to the low amount has been the below-average birth rate of 1.71 children being born to the average Albanian woman, a number that the Albanian death rate has recently surpassed. The birth rate has been declining steadily for a while now, and starting in 2020 the government will start offering financial incentives to parents to increase the number of babies born.
Albania Population Projections
The declining growth rate in Albania is expected to continue in the coming years, with the rate becoming negative around the year 2027 and getting down to roughly -0.66% in 2050. Over this period, it is expected that the net migration will remain negative, but steady and that the decrease in numbers will be due to the increasing gap between the low birth rate and high death rate. Current projections believe that the population of Albania will be roughly 2,942,034 in 2020, before declining to 2,933,419 in 2030, 2,833,058 by 2040, and 2,663,591 by the year 2050.
Components of Population Change
|One birth every 16 minutes|
|One death every 23 minutes|
|One net migrant every 38 minutes|
|Net loss of one person every 160 minutes|