Albania State Overview

According to topschoolsintheusa, Albania is a republic located in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Montenegro to the north, Serbia (including Kosovo) to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south. It is washed by the Adriatic Sea to the west, and the Ionian Sea to the southwest. Its capital and largest city is Tirana.


The executive power is exerced by the government. Legislative power is vested in the Albanian government, parliament and Assembly (Kuvendi i Republikës së Shqipërisë).

According to a report by the European Commission published in 2006, 44% of the citizens of the Member States of the European Union oppose the entry of Albania into this organization, against 41% who were in favor.


The lowlands only occupy 1/7 of the country and are reduced to the littoral plain and very narrow valleys. The coastline facing the Adriatic Sea is jagged, dotted with gulfs and headlands. The coastal lands enjoy a Mediterranean climate, with average annual temperatures of around 16 ° C. On the other hand, in the interior it becomes a continental climate, with annual averages of 10 ° C and sharp contrasts in temperatures throughout the year.

In some mountainous areas, rainfall exceeds 2000 mm. Mediterranean vegetation with maquis and conifers stand out on the coastline, while coniferous and deciduous forests predominate in the mountainous interior. Its main rivers are the Drin, the Devoll and the Shkumbin.

In the southeast are the lakes of tectonic origin called Ohrid and Prespa, while to the north, near the Mediterranean coast, is the Lake of Shkodër.


On a basis focused on agriculture and mining, with large steel plants, little foreign trade and absolutely insufficient infrastructure, the timid reforms initiated in 1985 led to a harsh economic adjustment in the 1990s.

With outdated technology, economic indicators fell significantly, with declines in industrial production of between 55% and 60%, business abandonment and emigration to other countries such as Italy. The reduction in production also reached agriculture, where the communities were taken over by the peasants creating a family subsistence economy that did not produce surpluses.

At present, the 1991 adjustments after the first multi-party elections have put a part of the heavy industry back into operation, have extended the cultivation areas with foreign investment in irrigation, in the contribution of machinery and the banking sector has noticeably improved.


Life expectancy is 77 years. The average number of children per woman is 2.03. 86.5% of the population is literate. The Albanian population does not have a marked urban character, as it happens in other European countries since half of its workforce is dedicated to agriculture.

They generally reside in areas of medium altitude and only 37% live in urban areas. Its active population represents 63% of the total. The capital of Albania, Tirana, is the only city that exceeds 100,000 residents, with 700,000. Other major cities with more than 70,000 residents are Elbasan (70,000), Durrës (82,000) and Shkodër (71,000). Other important populations are Kavajë (23,000) and Vlorë (63,000).

The majority of the population is Albanian, with Greek minorities (estimated at 3% in 1989 by the Albanian government and 12% by Greek sources) and Slavs (FYROM / FYROM) residing respectively in the south and east of the country. The official language is Albanian, an Indo-European language that has two dialects, the Geg, spoken north of the DRIN River, and the official Tosk spoken in the south.


After World War II, Albania aligned itself with the Soviet Union, Tirana experienced rapid industrial growth. Throughout the next 13 years of Soviet communist rule, the Albanian authorities used Soviet materials and technical expertise to build large thermal and hydroelectric plants. Harnessing the natural energy of the rivers that crisscross rural Albania allowed Tirana to grow and modernize, and modern apartment blocks were built in the city to house the newcomers.

However, ideological differences with Moscow led to the severing of Albania’s ties with the Kremlin in 1961. Albanian leaders then entered into an alliance with Communist China, and with the technical expertise and help provided by the Chinese, the light industry sector expanded, providing thousands of jobs to Tirana residents. These workers were employed in the cosmetic, agricultural, glass, pharmaceutical, and textile industries. Other local workers found work in the food and metalindustry. Tirana’s economic growth was so spectacular that at the beginning of the decade of 1980 the city was able to supply almost the entire demand of the country in consumer goods. In 1986 the railway route linking Tirana with Eastern Europe and the Albanian port of Durrës was terminated, a fact that facilitated the movement of goods through the city.

But Tirana’s industrial growth began to collapse in the late 1980s. Many of its residents believed that the productive potential of the city was being hampered by the central government and by the low salaries implemented by the authorities, reluctant to depart from the Stalinist practices of government control. This stagnation of the economy sparked a political protest in 1991, and thousands of people demonstrated through the streets of the city to show their frustration at the slowness in the implementation of reforms. Since then, elected leaders are taking decisive steps to liberalize the economy. The international community accepts these reforms with reservations. To promote the tourism industry, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has financed the construction of two hotels in the city. Private investors are in turn making plans to modernize Tirana airport.

Albania State Overview