Albania 1991Albania

 Albania | | | | | |
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Thrifty Traveler

Albania - Introduction 1991
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Background: In 1990 Albania ended 44 years of xenophobic communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven difficult as corrupt governments have tried to deal with severe unemployment and widespread gangsterism .

Albania - Geography 1991
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries:
768 km total
Greece 282 km, Yugoslavia 486 km

Coastline: 362 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: not specified
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


Natural resources: crude oil, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, timber, nickel
Land use

Land use: arable land: 21%; permanent crops: 4%; meadows and pastures 15%; forest and woodland 38%; other 22%; includes irrigated 1%

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

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

Albania - People 1991
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Population: 3,335,044 (July 1991), growth rate 1.8% (1991)

Nationality: noun--Albanian(s; adjective--Albanian

Ethnic groups: Albanian 90%, Greeks 8%, other 2% (Vlachs, Gypsies, Serbs, and Bulgarians) (1989 est.)

Languages: Albanian (Tosk is official dialect), Greek

Religions: all mosques and churches were closed in 1967 and religious observances prohibited; in November 1990 Albania began allowing private religious practice and was considering the repeal of the constitutional amendment banning religious activities; estimates of religious affiliation--Muslim 70%, Greek Orthodox 20%, Roman Catholic 10%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 24 births/1000 population (1991)

Death rate: 5 deaths/1000 population (1991)

Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1000 population (1991)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: subject to destructive earthquakes; tsunami occur along southwestern coast; deforestation seems to be slowing

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 50 deaths/1000 live births (1991)

Life expectancy at birth: 72 years male, 79 years female (1991)

Total fertility rate: 2.9 children born/woman (1991)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 72% (male 80%, female 63%) age 9 and over can read and write (1955)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Albania - Government 1991
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Albania

Government type: nascent democracy with strong Communist party influence; basic law has dropped all references to socialism

Capital: Tirane

Administrative divisions: 26 districts (rrethe, singular--rreth; Berat, Dibre, Durres, Elbasan, Fier, Gjirokaster, Gramsh, Kolonje, Korce, Kruje, Kukes, Lezhe, Librazhd, Lushnje, Mat, Mirdite, Permet, Pogradec, Puke, Sarande, Shkoder, Skrapar, Tepelene, Tirane, Tropoje, Vlore

Dependent areas

Independence: 28 November 1912 (from Ottoman Empire; People's Socialist Republic of Albania declared 11 January 1946

National holiday: Liberation Day, 29 November (1944)

Constitution: an interim basic law was approved by the People's Assembly on 29 April 1991; a new constitution is to be drafted for adoption in four to six months

Legal system: has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal and compulsory at age 18

Executive branch: Chief of State--President of the Republic Ramiz ALIA (since 22 November 1982; Head of Government--Prime Minister of the interim Council of Ministers Ylli BUFI (since 5 June 1991)

Legislative branch: Albanian People's Army, Albanian Coastal Defense Command, Air and Air Defense Force, Frontier Troops, Interior Troops

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ECE, FAO, IAEA, IOC, ISO, ITU, LORCS, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic representation
In the us: the Governments of the United States and Albania agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations to be effective from 15 March 1991 and to exchange diplomatic missions at the level of ambassador

Flag descriptionflag of Albania: red with a black two-headed eagle in the center below a red five-pointed star outlined in yellow Albania AlbaniaAlbania

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Albania - Economy 1991
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Economy overview: As the poorest country in Europe, Albania's development lags behind even the least favored areas of the Yugoslav economy. For over 40 years, the Stalinist-type economy has operated on the principles of central planning and state ownership of the means of production. In recent years Albania has implemented limited economic reforms to stimulate its lagging economy, provide incentives, and decentralize decisionmaking. In an effort to expand international ties, Tirane has reestablished diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union and the US. The Albanians have also passed legislation allowing foreign investment. Albania possesses considerable mineral resources and, until 1990, was largely self-sufficient in food; several years of drought have hindered agricultural development. Numerical estimates of Albanian economic activity are subject to an especially wide margin of error because the government until recently did not release economic information.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: arable land: per capita among lowest in Europe; one-half of work force engaged in farming; produces wide range of temperate-zone crops and livestock; claims self-sufficiency in grain output

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

Industrial production growth rate: NA

Labor force: 1,500,000 (1987; agriculture about 60%, industry and commerce 40% (1986)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $2.3 billion; expenditures $2.3 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (1989)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $378 million (f.o.b., 1987 est.)
Commodities: asphalt, bitumen, petroleum products, metals and metallic ores, electricity, oil, vegetables, fruits, tobacco
Partners: Italy, Yugoslavia, FRG, Greece, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary

Imports: $255 million (f.o.b., 1987 est.)
Commodities: machinery, machine tools, iron and steel products, textiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
Partners: Italy, Yugoslavia, FRG, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, GDR

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $NA

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: leke (L) per US$1--8.00 (noncommercial fixed rate since 1986), 4.14 (commercial fixed rate since 1987)

Albania - Energy 1991
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Albania - Communication 1991
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Albania - Military 1991
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Military expenditures
Percent of gdp: 1.0 billion leks, NA% of GDP (FY90; note--conversion of defense expenditures into US dollars using the official administratively set exchange rate would produce misleading results

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Albania - Transportation 1991
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 12 total, 10 usable; more than 5 with permanent-surface runways; more than 5 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 5 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: crude oil, 145 km; refined products, 55 km; natural gas, 64 km (1988)



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

Merchant marine: 11 cargo ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 52,886 GRT/75,993 DWT

Ports and terminals

Albania - Transnational issues 1991
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Disputes international: Kosovo question with Yugoslavia; Northern Epirus question with Greece

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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