Demographics of Albania

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Demographics of Albania
Indicator Rank Measure
Population
Population 136th 2,876,591
Density 110th 101
Ethnic diversity 13th 0.097000
Cultural diversity 29th 0.082000
Society
Human Development Index 75th 0.764
Inequality 51st 0.661
Literacy Rate 19th 97.6%
Life Expectancy 37th 77.8
Birth rate 153rd 13.1
Fertility rate 144th 1.8
Infant mortality 12.3
Death rate 152nd 6.47
Suicide rate 162nd 3.8
Albanian population development.

This article is about the demographic features of the population of Albania, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population. The demography of the Albania is monitored by the Institute of Statistics of Albania. The institute has performed demographic censuses since the 1924s.[1] The latest census in Albania was performed in April 2011.

Albania is a fairly linguistically homogeneous country with ethnic Albanians forming the majority in the country. Albania has 2,876,591 inhabitants according to the INSTAT calculations current as of January 1, 2017.

The first official population statistics for Albania was the 1923 census, when the country had a total of 823,000 inhabitants. Previous censuses carried out by the Ottoman Empire, which are not yet available. A shift in administrative borders in 1913 made comparison of various periods more complicated. Maddison from 2001, estimates that in Albania, about 200,000 people lived up to the year 1600, and that the population grew to 300,000 by 1700, implying an annual average growth rate of 0.4% in that period. However, population growth accelerated from the declaration of independence in 1912 to 1944 to 0.7% per year. This was due in part because Albania had the largest birth rate and the smallest death rate in Europe at the time.[2] After the second World War, population increase policies pursued by the communist government and a large life expectancy fueled a 2.5 percent annual increase for the following 45 years. The growth strained economic resources during communism in a Malthusian fashion that led to the collapse of the regime and the emigration of about 20 to 25 percent of the population in the following two decades. Albania experienced a demographic transition starting from 1960s, when crude birth rates began a slow decline, despite a government policy that called for a population increase. After the 1990s, the population showed an average decline of about 0.3 percent per year, caused by emigration. In the 2001 Census, the population declined to 3,023,000 from almost 3.3 million in 1990.

The latest census in Albania was scheduled for April 2011, and the results will be published in the following months. The permanent population of Albania at the 2011 census had reached 2.83 million. The population density was 98.5 inhabitants per square kilometre, and the overall life expectancy in Albania at birth was 78 years in 2011.[3] For the first time in the history of population censuses in Albania, the population in urban areas (53.7%) was larger than the population of rural areas (46.3%).[4] The Albanian language is the official language, but minority languages are officially used in some local government units. Albanian is declared as the native language by 98.76% of the population. The Albanian people are considered of the most polyglot nation and people in Europe.[5] They generally speak more than two languages, which are French, Greek, Italian, and English, which are increasing due to migration return, and new Greek and Italian communities in the country. The main religions of Albania are Roman Catholicism (10.02), Eastern Orthodoxy (6.75%) and Islam (58.79%).

Albania has a high Human Development Index of 0.764, ranking 75th in the world in 2016.[6] In 2016, Albania had a total population of 2,886,026 million, 1,461,326 million being males and 1,424,700 females. Otherwise 42,922 inhabitants have left Albania and at the same year the number of immigrants in the country was by 25,846 inhabitants.[7]

Population[edit]

Population development from 1960 to 2010.
2016 Albanian population pyramid.

With a population of 2.87 million in 2017, Albania ranks 136th in the world by population. The population density is 101 inhabitants per square kilometre.[8] The overall life expectancy in Albania at birth is 78 years.[9] The total fertility rate of 1.80 children per mother is one of the lowest in the world. In 2016, the population of Albania was about 2,89 million, comprising 1,447 million male and 1,443 female persons.[10] There were 38,003 live births and 20,737 deaths in Albania. The natural increase of the population was positive, as the number of births exceeded the number of deaths by 17,266. Due to external migration, the population declined by 18,307. The total dependency ratio of population in Albania is 46.8%.

In 2001, the number of households amounted to 726.895.[11] The age structure was under 6 years by 10.8% and 65 years and older by 7.5%. However, the sex ratio amountet to 49.9% males and 50.1% females of the total population. However, 2.737.614 of the population was older than 6 years. In 2011, the total population was 2.831.741.[12] The comparison of the figures shows that the population has decreased by 7.7% in about ten years. Large scale emigration and fertility decline are supposed to be the main causes of the observed population decrease. A preliminary estimate of the number of persons that refused to participate in the census is 29.355 (1.04 percent). This figure is based on the number of dwellings for which a refusal was recorded and is included in the total population. The total population is composed of 1.421.810 males (50.2 percent) and 1.409.931 females (49.8 percent). For the first time in the history of population censuses in the nation, the population in urban areas is larger than the population of rural areas. According to 2011 Census preliminary results, 53.7 percent of the population lives in urban areas and 46.3 percent in rural areas.

The 2011 census is regarded as unreliable and inaccurate by the Council of Europe, showing incompatibility with the protection of national minorities.[13] Also, the World Council of Churches sent letters to the United Nations Human Rights Council regarding the matter, having conducted their own questionnaire which showed major irregularities.[14] It was the first census to include ethnicity, was struck by controversy since according to article 20 of the Census law, there is a $1,000 fine for anyone who declare anything other than what was written down on the individual's birth certificate.[15] Some of the minorities, mainly the Greeks, boycotted the census.[16] The religious affiliation of the population was 56.7% Muslims, 13.79% undeclared, 10.03% Catholics, 6.75% Orthodox believers, 5.49% other, 2.5% Atheists, 2.09% Bektashis and 0.14% other Christians.[17]

According to the Institute of Statistics INSTAT, the population in 2016 was 2,886,026. Tirana County is the area with the highest population of 811,649 in the country. Fier County remains the population with the second highest population with a total of 312,488. The Counties with the lowest result are Gjirokastër, Kukës and Dibër respectively with 70,331, 84,035 and 134,153 inhabitants.[18] About 53.4% of Albania's population living in cities. The three largest counties account for half of the population.

Almost 53.4% of the population of Albania living in cities. As of the Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), the three largest counties account for half of the population. Over 1 million people lives in the Tirana and Durrës, making it the largest urban area in Albania.[19] The capital Tirana, is one of largest cities in the Balkan Peninsula and ranks 7th with a population about 800,000.[20] The second largest is the port city of Durrës, with a population of 201.110, followed by Vlorë, the largest city in southern Albania, with 141.513 inhabitants. The Institute of Statistics forecast that the population may even increase by less than a fifth from 763.560 by 2011 to 909.252 by 2031, depending on the actual birth rate and the level of net migration.[21]

Language[edit]

Map illustrating the various dialects of the Albanian language in Southern Europe.

The Albanian language is the official language of Albania. It has two distinct dialects, Tosk, spoken in the south, and Gheg, spoken in the north. The Shkumbin river is the rough dividing line between the two dialects. The language is spoken primarily in Greece, Italy, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro. Centuries-old communities speaking Albanian-based dialects can be found scattered in Greece (Arvanites), Southern Italy, Sicily and Calabria (Arbëreshë) and in Ukraine. However, due to the large Albanian diaspora, the total number of speakers is much higher than the native speakers in Southern Europe. The four dialects include Tosk Albanian, Gheg Albanian, Arbëresh and Arvanitika.

Albanians are considered of the most polyglot nation and people in Europe.[5] Albanians generally speak more than two languages. These languages are French, Greek, Italian, and English which are increasing due to migration return, and new Greek and Italian communities in the country. Italian is widely spoken throughout Albania. La Francophonie states that 320,000 French speakers can be found in Albania. Greek, the language of the Greek minority of the south, is also very widespread in that region. Nowadays, knowledge of English is growing very rapidly, especially among the youth.

The ethnic minorities languages include Aromanian, Serbian, Macedonian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Gorani, and Roma. Greek is the largest minority language of the country as well as the first largest foreign language. Approximately 5,000 Macedonian language-speakers can be found in Albania. Most of these living in the southeastern part of the country.

Religion[edit]

Religion in Albania[1]
Religion Percent
Islam
  
56.70%
Bektashi
  
2.09%
Catholicism
  
10.02%
Eastern Orthodoxy
  
6.75%
Nondenominational
  
5.50%
Atheism
  
2.5%
Other
  
16.44%
Population of Albania according to religious group 1923-2011
Religion
group
census 19231 census 19272 census 20113
Number  % Number  % Number  %
Muslim 558,000 68.5 563,000 67.6 1,636,236 58.9
Catholic Christian 85,000 10.5 88,739 10.6 280,921 10.0
Orthodox Christian 171,000 20.5 181,000 21.7 188,992 6.8
No Religion 223,625 8.0
Not stated 454,046 16.2
Protestant 5,616 0.2

The main religions of Albania are as of the 2011 Census, Islam 58.79%, Roman Catholicism 10.02, Eastern Orthodoxy 6.75%, Bektashi 2.09%, Evangelism 0.14%, Atheism 2.50%, 5.50% Nondenominational and 16.30% Others. Religious observance and practice is generally lax and polls have shown that, compared to the populations of other countries, few Albanians consider religion to be a dominant factor in their lives. Today, religion plays an important role in the lives of only 39% of Albanians. In addition, Albania is ranked among the least religious countries in the world.

The Constitution of Albania extends freedom of religion to all citizens and the government generally respects this right in practice. It declares no official religion and provides for equality of all religions. However, the predominant religious communities enjoy a greater degree of official recognition and social status based on their historical presence in the country. All registered religious groups have the right to hold bank accounts and to own property and buildings. Religious freedoms have in large part been secured by the generally amicable relationship among religions. The Ministry of Education has the right to approve the curricula of religious schools to ensure their compliance with national education standards while the State Committee on Cults oversees implementation. There are also 68 vocational training centers administered by religious communities.[22]

Government policy and practice contributed to the generally free exercise of religion. The government is secular and the Ministry of Education asserts that public schools in the country are secular and that the law prohibits ideological and religious indoctrination. Religion is not taught in public schools.[22]

Education[edit]

The University of Tirana is the largest and highest ranking university in Albania.

Literacy in the country is 98.7 percent.[23] The School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) of Albania is 16 years. The nation ranks 25th out of 167 countries in the World.[24] In 2015, the overall literacy rate in Albania was 98.7%; the male literacy rate was 99.2% and female literacy rate was 98.3%.

Education for primary (arsimi fillorë), secondary (arsimi i mesëm), and tertiary (arsimi universitarë) levels are mostly supported by the state. The academic year is much similar to that as in the United States, clases starts in September or October and ends in June or July.[25] Albanian is the primary language of instruction in all public schools.[26] Education takes place in three stages, the primary, secondary, and pre-university education. The primary education is obligatory from grade 1 to 9. Students must pass the graduation exams at the end of the 9th grade in order to continue their education. After the primary school, the general education is provided at the secondary schools. Students get prepared for the Matura examination, allowing them to obtain their matura diploma, which grants admission to higher education. The country follows the Bologna model in accordance with the 2007 Law on 'Higher Education'.[27] These institutions can be public or private, and may offer one, two or three levels of higher education depending on the institution.

Health[edit]

Albania has a universal health care system. In 2000, Albania had the world's 55th best healthcare performance.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Albania ranks around the 40th in the world in terms of life expectancy.[28][29] Compared to other Western countries, Albania has a low rate of obesity,[30] probably thanks to the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.[31]

Diaspora[edit]

Distribution of Albanians in Europe.

Since antiquity, Albanians have established communities in many regions throughout southern Europe. The modern Albanian diaspora was formed largely in the 15th century, when many Albanians emigrated to southern Italy, especially in Sicily and Calabria also to Greece, to escape either various socio-political difficulties and the Ottoman conquest. Other destinations includes Turkey, United States, Argentina and Chile.

Over the last twenty years, Albania has experienced major demographic changes, having the highest population growth in Europe following the collapse of communism in the country.[32] Albania has also shifted to population decline since the changes. However, during the final days of the transition from a communism to a capitalism in 1990, over a million Albanians moved to foreign countries. These include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. About 440,000 of them settling in Greece, where Albanians make up 60% of immigrants. This number has grown and Greek and Albanian estimates the number of immigrants to be as high as 700,000.[33] 350,000 Albanians have migrated to Italy over the 1990s to 2000s, however the number has increased substantially.[34] The situation in Kosovo is similar. More than a million Albanians have left Kosovo since the late 1980s permanently, not counting those fleeing the Kosovo War who have subsequently returned.[35] Important destinations for emigrating Albanians from Kosovo have been Switzerland and Germany.[36]

Ethnic groups[edit]

Albania is inhabited mostly by Albanians (98%). It recognizes three national minorities. These include Greeks, Macedonians and Montenegrins, and two cultural minorities, which are Aromanians and Roma.[37] As conducting a satisfactory census of ethnic minorities is one of the country's commitments to the European Union, the Government of Albania conducted an official census to clarify the ethnic composition of the population in 2011. The last census to include data on ethnic minorities was conducted in 1989.[38] The census conducted in 2001 did not collect information about ethnic groups and nationalities in the population.

Population of Albania according to ethnic group 1945-2011[citation needed]
Ethnic group Census 1945 Census 1950 Census 1955 Census 1960 Census 1979 Census 1989[39] Census 20111
Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  %
Albanians 1,075,500 95.9 1,186,100 97.3 1,349,100 97.0 1,581745 97.3 2,535,913 97.9 3,117,601 98.0 2,312,356 82.58
Greeks 26,535 2.4 29,000 2.4 35,345 2.5 40,000 2.5 49,307 1.9 58,758[40] 1.8 24,243 0.87
Romani - - - - - - - - - - - - 8,301 0.30
Aromanians - - - - - - - - - - 782[41] - 8,266 0.30
Macedonians 14,400 1.3 2,273 0.2 3,341 0.2 4,235 0.3 4,097 0.2 4,697[42] 0.15 5,512 0.20
Balkan Egyptians - - - - - - - - - - - - 3,368 0.12
Serbs–Montenegrins - - 1,570 0.1 3,713 0.3 300 0.0 1,283 0.0 100[43] 0.00 366 0.01
Other - - - - - - - - 5,600 0.5 1,261 0.04 2,644 0.11
1 At the 2011 census a total of 390,938 (14% of the total population) did not declare their nationality, while another 44,144 (1.6%) considered the nationality as 'not relevant'. The census is regarded unreliable and inaccurate by the Council of Europe.

Vlachs (Aromanians) live in the south of the country,[44] whereas Montenegrins live in the north.[45] Macedonians mostly live in Mala Prespa and the regions along the Macedonian border, known as 'Golo Brdo' and 'Gora'.

Vital statistics[edit]

Before WWI[edit]

After WWII[edit]

Current vital statistics[edit]

[51]

  • Births from January–June 2016 = Decrease 14,528
  • Births from January–June 2017 = Decrease 13,114
  • Deaths from January–June 2016 = Positive decrease 10,926
  • Deaths from January–June 2017 = Positive decrease 10,702
  • Natural growth from January–June 2016 = Decrease 3,602
  • Natural growth from January–June 2017 = Decrease 2,412

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Background". instat.gov.al. The first statistical office was opened in 1924. It used to work out economic data on the Ministry of Public Affairs and Agriculture. 
  2. ^ "Albania - history - geography". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2 October 2017. 
  3. ^ "Dendësia e Popullsisë Population Density" (PDF). instat.gov.al. p. 21. Population Densitiy; number of persons per km2 
  4. ^ "POPULATION AND HOUSING CENSUS IN ALBANIA" (PDF). instat.gov.al. p. 16. For the first time in the history of population censuses in Albania, the population in urban areas is larger than the population of rural areas. According to 2011 census preliminary results, 53.7% of the population lives in urban areas and 46.3% in rural areas. 
  5. ^ a b Gloyer, Gillian (2008). Albania: the Bradt travel guide (3rd ed.). Chalfont St. Peter: Bradt Travel Guides. p. 44. ISBN 9781841622460. 
  6. ^ "Human Development Report 2016" (PDF). hdr.undp.org. p. 237. 
  7. ^ "Population of Albania" (PDF). instat.gov.al. Tirana. 19 February 2016. 
  8. ^ "Population of Albania" (PDF). instat.gov.al. p. 1. The population of Albania on January 1st is 2,886,026 inhabitants, compared to the population of 2015 there is a decrease of 6,276 inhabitants. The population of Albania consists of 1,461,326 males and 1,424,700 females. The sex ratio of this population is 102.6 males for 100 females. The median age of the population of Albania on January the 1st 2015 is 34.7 years. 
  9. ^ "Life expectancy at birth (years) 2000-2015". gamapserver.who.int. 
  10. ^ "Demographics of Albania 2016". countrymeters.info. 30 June 2017. 
  11. ^ Albania: 2001 population census, official web site. Retrieved on 19 June 2009
  12. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  13. ^ "Third Opinion on Albania adopted on 23 November 2011" (PDF). Council of Europe. 4 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "Letter of concern at the Albania Census 2011" (PDF). World Council of Churches. 6 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Macedonians and Greeks Join Forces against Albanian Census". balkanchronicle. Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  16. ^ Cesari, Jocelyne (30 October 2014). "The Oxford Handbook of European Islam". OUP Oxford. Retrieved 2 October 2017 – via Google Books. 
  17. ^ "Albanian census 2011" (PDF). Instat.gov.al. Retrieved 3 October 2017. 
  18. ^ "Popullsia e Shqipërisë" (PDF). instat.gov.al (in Albanian). p. 1. Retrieved 1 January 2016. Qarqet me popullsinë më të ulët në vend janë Gjirokastra, Kukësi dhe Dibra, respektivisht me nga 70.331, 84.035 dhe 134.153 banorë. 
  19. ^ "Popullsia e Shqipërisë" (PDF). instat.gov.al (in Albanian). p. 1. Retrieved 1 January 2016. Qarku Qarku me popullsinë më të lartë në Shqipëri mbetet Tirana me 811.649 (28,1%) banorë, e ndjekur nga Fieri me 312.488 (10,8%) dhe Elbasani me 298.913 (10,4%) banorë 
  20. ^ "Population – INSTAT". Instat.gov.al. Retrieved 3 October 2017. 
  21. ^ "Population projections at Prefecture level" (PDF). instat.gov.al. p. 45. The number of inhabitants in Tirana prefecture is forecasted to increase by less than a fifth from 763,560 in 2011 to 909,252 in 2031, according the low internal migration scenario which also assumes a redirection of migrants to other centres of Albania. 
  22. ^ a b "International Religious Freedom Report 2004: Albania". United States Department of State. 2004. Retrieved 2 June 2017.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  23. ^ "Albania: Literacy rate, ages 15 and above, total (%)". factfish.com. 
  24. ^ "SCHOOL LIFE EXPECTANCY". world.bymap.org. 31 January 2017. 
  25. ^ "The Albanian education system described and compared with the Dutch system" (PDF). nuffic.nl. p. 5. The academic year runs from October to June. Education is compulsory for children aged between six and fifteen. 
  26. ^ "The Albanian education system described and compared with the Dutch system" (PDF). nuffic.nl. p. 5. The language of education is Albanian. 
  27. ^ "The Albanian education system described and compared with the Dutch system" (PDF). nuffic.nl. p. 6. In principle, Albania follows the Bologna model in accordance with the 2007 Law on Higher Education (and supplements from 2010). 
  28. ^ "Albania". who.int. 
  29. ^ "LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH". CIA – The World Factbook. 
  30. ^ "The World Is Getting Fatter and No One Knows How to Stop It". bloomberg.com. 6 April 2016. 
  31. ^ "Living Smart, the Mediterranean Way of Being Albanian". agroweb.org. 1 May 2017. 
  32. ^ "Total Fertility Rates in selected European countries" (PDF). instat.gov.al. p. 6. Albania’s fertility no longer the highest in Europe 
  33. ^ Data on immigrants in Greece, from Census 2001 Archived March 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  34. ^ Istituto nazionale di statistica: La popolazione straniera residente in Italia
  35. ^ "KOSOVO ENDE der GEDULD" (in German). Seit dem Abschluß des Rückführungsabkommens zwischen Bonn und Belgrad im Oktober 1996 kehrten jedoch erst rund 5000 Albaner zurück. Das Abkommen sieht vor, daß innerhalb von drei Jahren 135 000 Albaner die Bundesrepublik verlassen müssen. 
  36. ^ 150,000 Albanians resided in Switzerland as of 2000 (6% of the total population of Switzerland). Eidgenössiche Volkszählung 2000: Sprachenlandschaft in der Schweiz
  37. ^ "Minority Rights and the Republic of Albania: Missing the Implementation". lup.lub.lu.se. p. 11. From the ethnic point of view, according to the Albanian government’s reports, 98 percent of the population is Albanian and only two percent consist of Greek, Macedonian, Montenegrin recognized as national Minorities and Roma, Aromaninan recognized as ethnic - linguistic Minorities by the Albanian state. 
  38. ^ "2.3 Specific information on minorities" (PDF). lup.lub.lu.se. According to the data from 1989 Population and Housing Census 
  39. ^ "Ethnic composition". pop-stat.mashke.org. 
  40. ^ "2.3 Specific information on minorities" (PDF). lup.lub.lu.se. p. 17. According to the data from 1989 Population and Housing Census33 the number of this population was 58.758 inhabitants or in other terms 90.6 percent of completely ethnic minorities’ population. 
  41. ^ "2.3.5.4 The number of Aromanian minority population" (PDF). lup.lub.lu.se. While in 1989 registration, the number of Aromanians living in Albania was reported to be of 782 inhabitants. 
  42. ^ "2.3.2.4 The number of Macedonian minority population" (PDF). lup.lub.lu.se. The population census of 1945 revealed 3.431 inhabitants of Macedonian ethnicity. The census of 1960 revealed 4.235 inhabitants and that of 1989 revealed 4.697 inhabitants39. 
  43. ^ "2.3.3.4 The number of Serbian-Montenegrin minority population" (PDF). lup.lub.lu.se. The statistical data on the number of this minority people were not defined specifically and accurately in the census of 1960, but according to the census of 1989, the number of Serbian-Montenegrin is 100 inhabitants. 
  44. ^ "NL22_2: Map of Albania". Farsarotul.org. Retrieved 2 October 2017. 
  45. ^ Gruber, Siegfried. "Regional variation in marriage patterns in Albania at the beginning of the 20th century". Gewi.kfunigraz.ac.at. Retrieved 2 October 2017. 
  46. ^ a b c B.R. Mitchell. European historical statistics, 1750-1975.
  47. ^ a b c "United Nations Statistics Division - Demographic and Social Statistics". unstats.un.org. Retrieved 2 October 2017. 
  48. ^ a b c "Population - INSTAT". Instat.gov.al. Retrieved 2 October 2017. 
  49. ^ "QUARTERLY STATISTICAL BULLETIN" (PDF). Instat.gov.al. Retrieved 3 October 2017. 
  50. ^ "QUARTERLY STATISTICAL BULLETIN" (PDF). Instat.gov.al. Retrieved 3 October 2017. 
  51. ^ "Demographic Indicators Second Quarter" (PDF). Instituti I Statiskave. Retrieved 26 September 2017. 

External links[edit]