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Geography

Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece and Serbia and Montenegro

Geographic coordinates: 41 00 N, 20 00 E

Map references: Europe

Area:
total: 28,750 sq km
land: 27,400 sq km
water: 1,350 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries:
total: 720 km
border countries: Greece 282 km, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 151 km, Serbia and Montenegro 287 km (114 km with Serbia, 173 km with Montenegro)

Coastline: 362 km

Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers; interior is cooler and wetter

Terrain: mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point: Maja e Korabit 2,753 m

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, timber, nickel

Land use:
arable land: 21%
permanent crops: 5%
permanent pastures: 15%
forests and woodland: 38%
other: 21% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 3,410 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: destructive earthquakes; tsunamis occur along southwestern coast

Environment—current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution from industrial and domestic effluents

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography—note: strategic location along Strait of Otranto (links Adriatic Sea to Ionian Sea and Mediterranean Sea)

 
People

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Population: 3,330,754 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 33% (male 572,430; female 532,917)
15-64 years: 61% (male 941,076; female 1,086,541)
65 years and over: 6% (male 82,184; female 115,606) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.97% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 21.35 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 7.45 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -4.16 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 45.01 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 68.64 years
male: 65.58 years
female: 71.94 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.57 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Albanian(s)
adjective: Albanian

Ethnic groups: Albanian 95%, Greeks 3%, other 2% (Vlachs, Gypsies, Serbs, and Bulgarians) (1989 est.)
note: in 1989, other estimates of the Greek population ranged from 1% (official Albanian statistics) to 12% (from a Greek organization)

Religions: 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

Languages: Albanian (Tosk is the official dialect), Greek

Literacy:
definition: age 9 and over can read and write
total population: 72%
male: 80%
female: 63% (1955 est.)

 
Government

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Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Albania
conventional short form: Albania
local long form: Republika e Shqiperise
local short form: Shqiperia
former: People's Socialist Republic of Albania

Data code: AL

Government type: emerging democracy

National capital: Tirana

Administrative divisions: 36 districts (rrethe, singular—rreth); Berat, Bulquize, Delvine, Devoll (Bilisht), Dibre (Peshkopi), Durres, Elbasan, Fier, Gjirokaster, Gramsh, Has (Krume), Kavaje, Kolonje (Erseke), Korce, Kruje, Kucove, Kukes, Lac, Lezhe, Librazhd, Lushnje, Malesia e Madhe (Koplik), Mallakaster (Ballsh), Mat (Burrel), Mirdite (Rreshen), Peqin, Permet, Pogradec, Puke, Sarande, Shkoder, Skrapar (Corovode), Tepelene, Tirane, Tropoje (Bajram Curri), Vlore
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)

Independence: 28 November 1912 (from Ottoman Empire)

National holiday: Independence Day, 28 November (1912)

Constitution: an interim basic law was approved by the People's Assembly on 29 April 1991; a draft constitution was rejected by popular referendum in the fall of 1994 and a new draft is pending

Legal system: has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:
chief of state: President of the Republic Rexhep MEIDANI (since 24 July 1997)
head of government: Prime Minister Fatos NANO (since 24 July 1997)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and approved by the president
elections: president elected by the People's Assembly for a five-year term; election last held 24 July 1997 (next to be held NA 2002); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Rexhep MEIDANI elected president; People's Assembly vote by number - total votes 122, for 110, against 3, abstained 2, invalid 7

Legislative branch: unicameral People's Assembly or Kuvendi Popullor (155 seats; most members are elected by direct popular vote and some by proportional vote for four-year terms)
elections: last held 29 June 1997 (next to be held NA 2000)
election results: percent of vote by party—PS 53.36%, PD 25.33%, PSD 2.5%, PBDNJ 2.78%, PBK 2.36%, PAD 2.85%, PR 2.25%, PLL 3.09%, PDK 1.00%, PBSD 0.84%; seats by party—PS 101, PD 27, PSD 8, PBDNJ 4, PBK 3, PAD 2, PR 2, PLL 2, PDK 1, PBSD 1, PUK 1, independents 3

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, chairman of the Supreme Court is elected by the People's Assembly for a four-year term

Political parties and leaders: Albanian Socialist Party or PS (formerly the Albania Workers Party) [Fatos NANO, chairman]; Democratic Party or PD [Sali BERISHA]; Albanian Republican Party or PR [Fatmir MEHDIU]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Skender GJINUSHI]; Unity for Human Rights Party or PBDNJ [Vasil MELO, chairman]; National Front (Balli Kombetar) or PBK [Hysen SELFO]; Movement of Legality Party or PLL [Guri DUROLLARI]; Party of National Unity or PUK [Idajet BEQIRI]; Christian Democratic Party or PDK [Zef BUSHATI]; PBSD; Democratic Party of the Right or PDD [Petrit KALAKULA]; Democratic Alliance or PAD [Neritan CEKA]; Social Democratic Union Party or USdS [Teodor LACO]; Albanian United Right or DBSH

International organization participation: BSEC, CCC, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, OIC, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNOMIG, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Petrit BUSHATI
chancery: 2100 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 223-4942
FAX: [1] (202) 628-7342

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Marisa R. LINO (15 July 1996)
embassy: Rruga E. Labinoti 103, Tirana
mailing address: PSC 59, Box 100 (A), APO AE 09624
telephone: [355] (42) 328-75, 335-20
FAX: [355] (42) 322-22

Flag description: red with a black two-headed eagle in the center

 
Economy

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Economy—overview: An extremely poor country by European standards, Albania is making the difficult transition to a more open-market economy. The economy rebounded in 1993-95 after a severe depression accompanying the collapse of the previous centrally planned system in 1990 and 1991. However, a weakening of government resolve to maintain stabilization policies in the election year of 1996 contributed to renewal of inflationary pressures, spurred by the budget deficit which exceeded 12%. The collapse of financial pyramid schemes in early 1997—which had attracted deposits from a substantial portion of Albania's adult population - triggered severe social unrest which led to more than 1,500 deaths, widespread destruction of property, and an 8% drop in GDP. The new government installed in July 1997 has taken strong measures to restore public order and to revive economic activity and trade. The economy continues to be bolstered by remittances of some 20% of the labor force which works abroad, mostly in Greece and Italy. These remittances supplement GDP and help offset the large foreign trade deficit. Most agricultural land was privatized in 1992, substantially improving peasant incomes.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$4.5 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: -8% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$1,370 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 56%
industry: 21%
services: 23% (1995)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 40% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 1.692 million (1994 est.) (including 352,000 emigrant workers and 261,000 domestically unemployed)
by occupation: agriculture (nearly all private) 49.5%, private sector 22.2%, state (nonfarm) sector 28.3% (including state-owned industry 7.8%); note—includes only those domestically employed

Unemployment rate: 14% (October 1997) officially, but likely to be as high as 28%

Budget:
revenues: $624 million
expenditures: $996 million, including capital expenditures of $NA

Industries: food processing, textiles and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower

Industrial production growth rate: 6% (1995 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 1.892 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 4.435 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 1,314 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: wide range of temperate-zone crops and livestock

Exports:
total value: $228 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: asphalt, metals and metallic ores, electricity, crude oil, vegetables, fruits, tobacco
partners: Italy, Greece, Germany, Belgium, US

Imports:
total value: $879 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: machinery, consumer goods, grains
partners: Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Debt—external: $645 million (1996)

Economic aid:
recipient: $630 million pledged 1997

Currency: 1 lek (L) = 100 qintars

Exchange rates: leke (L) per US$1—152.28 (January 1998), 148.93 (1997), 104.50 (1996), 92.70 (1995), 94.62 (1994), 102.06 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year

 
Communications

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Telephones: 55,000

Telephone system:
domestic: obsolete wire system; no longer provides a telephone for every village; in 1992, following the fall of the communist government, peasants cut the wire to about 1,000 villages and used it to build fences
international: inadequate; international traffic carried by microwave radio relay from the Tirana exchange to Italy and Greece

Radio broadcast stations: AM 17, FM 1, shortwave 0

Radios: 577,000 (1991 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 9

Televisions: 300,000 (1993 est.)

 
Transportation

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Railways:
total: 670 km
standard gauge: 670 km 1.435-m gauge (1995)

Highways:
total: 18,000 km
paved: 5,400 km
unpaved: 12,600 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 43 km plus Albanian sections of Lake Scutari, Lake Ohrid, and Lake Prespa (1990)

Pipelines: crude oil 145 km; petroleum products 55 km; natural gas 64 km (1991)

Ports and harbors: Durres, Sarande, Shengjin, Vlore

Merchant marine:
total: 8 cargo ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 36,582 GRT/54,832 DWT (1997 est.)

Airports: 9 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (1997 est.)

Heliports: 1 (1997 est.)

 


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