Introduction

Europe :: Albania

Background:
Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, but was conquered by Italy in 1939. Communist partisans took over the country in 1944. Albania allied itself first with the USSR (until 1960), and then with China (to 1978). In the early 1990s, Albania ended 46 years of xenophobic communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven challenging as successive governments have tried to deal with high unemployment, widespread corruption, dilapidated infrastructure, powerful organized crime networks, and combative political opponents. Albania has made progress in its democratic development since first holding multiparty elections in 1991, but deficiencies remain. International observers judged elections to be largely free and fair since the restoration of political stability following the collapse of pyramid schemes in 1997; however, each of Albania's post-communist elections have been marred by claims of electoral fraud. The 2009 general elections resulted in a coalition government, the first such in the country's history. Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and is a potential candidate for EU accession. Although Albania's economy continues to grow, the country is still one of the poorest in Europe, hampered by a large informal economy and an inadequate energy and transportation infrastructure.

Geography

Location:
Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece in the south and Montenegro and Kosovo to the north

Geographic coordinates:
41 00 N, 20 00 E

Map references:
Europe

Area:
Total: 28,748 sq km
Country comparison to the world: 145
Land: 27,398 sq km
Water: 1,350 sq km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries:
Total: 717 km
Border countries: Greece 282 km, Macedonia 151 km, Montenegro 172 km, Kosovo 112 km

Coastline:
362 km

Maritime claims:
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation

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 (Golem Korab) 2,764 m

Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, coal, bauxite, chromite, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt, timber, hydropower

Land use:
Arable land: 21.63%
Permanent crops: 2.57%
Other: 75.79% (2011)

Irrigated land:
1,884 sq km (2006)

Total renewable water resources:
41.7 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 1.31 cu km/yr (43%/18%/39%)
Per capita: 413.6 cu m/yr (2006)

Natural hazards:
destructive earthquakes; tsunamis occur along southwestern coast; floods; drought

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

Environment - international agreements:
Party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, 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 and Society

Nationality:
Noun: Albanian(s)
Adjective: Albanian

Ethnic groups:
Albanian 95%, Greek 3%, other 2% (Vlach, Roma (Gypsy), Serb, Macedonian, Bulgarian) (1989 est.)
note: in 1989, other estimates of the Greek population ranged from 1% (official Albanian statistics) to 12% (from a Greek organization)

Languages:
Albanian (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek, Vlach, Romani, Slavic dialects

Religions:
Muslim 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, Roman Catholic 10%
note: percentages are estimates; there are no available current statistics on religious affiliation; all mosques and churches were closed in 1967 and religious observances prohibited; in November 1990, Albania began allowing private religious practice

Population:
3,011,405 (July 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 137

Age structure:
0-14 years: 19.9% (male 316,240/female 282,958)
15-24 years: 19.6% (male 300,977/female 287,976)
25-54 years: 39.7% (male 568,330/female 626,949)
55-64 years: 10% (male 150,665/female 151,068)
65 years and over: 10.8% (male 153,818/female 172,424) (2013 est.)

Dependency ratios:
Total dependency ratio: 45.7 %
Youth dependency ratio: 30.1 %
Elderly dependency ratio: 15.6 %
Potential support ratio: 6.4 (2013)

Median age:
Total: 31.2 years
Male: 29.9 years
Female: 32.4 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
0.29% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 169

Birth rate:
12.57 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 159

Death rate:
6.36 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 155

Net migration rate:
-3.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 180

Urbanization:
Urban population: 52% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 2.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
TIRANA (capital) 419,000 (2011)

Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.11 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.12 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:
23.9
note: Median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2009 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
27 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 129

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 13.65 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 123
Male: 15.18 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 11.94 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 77.77 years
Country comparison to the world: 60
Male: 75.16 years
Female: 80.67 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.49 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 190

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
69.3% (2008/09)

Health expenditures:
6.6% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 96

Physicians density:
1.15 physicians/1,000 population (2007)

Hospital bed density:
2.8 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Drinking water source:
Improved:
urban: 96% of population
rural: 94% of population
total: 95% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 4% of population
rural: 6% of population
total: 5% of population (2010 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
Improved:
urban: 95% of population
rural: 93% of population
total: 94% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 5% of population
rural: 7% of population
total: 6% of population (2010 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
21.3% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 88

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
6.3% (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 79

Education expenditures:
NA

Literacy:
Definition: age 9 and over can read and write
Total population: 96.8%
Male: 98%
Female: 95.7% (2011 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Total: 11 years
Male: 11 years
Female: 11 years (2003)

Child labor - children ages 5-14:
Total number: 72,818
Percentage: 12 % (2005 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
Total: 27.2%
Country comparison to the world: 33
Male: 26.2%
Female: 28.3% (2009)

Government

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

Government type:
parliamentary democracy

Capital:
Name: Tirana (Tirane)
Geographic coordinates: 41 19 N, 19 49 E
Time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions:
12 counties (qarqe, singular - qark); Berat, Diber, Durres, Elbasan, Fier, Gjirokaster, Korce, Kukes, Lezhe, Shkoder, Tirane, Vlore

Independence:
28 November 1912 (from the Ottoman Empire)

National holiday:
Independence Day, 28 November (1912) also known as Flag Day

Constitution:
approved by parliament 21 October 1998; adopted by popular referendum 22 November 1998; promulgated 28 November 1998

Legal system:
civil law system except in the northern rural areas where customary law known as the "Code of Leke" prevails

International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
Chief of state: President of the Republic Bujar NISHANI (since 24 July 2012)
Head of government: Prime Minister Edi Rama (since 10 September 2013)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, nominated by the president, and approved by parliament
Elections: president is elected by the Assembly for a five-year term and is eligible for a second term (a candidate needs a three-fifths majority of the Assembly's 140 votes (84 votes) in one of the first three rounds of voting or a simple majority in round four or five to become president; up to five rounds of voting are held, if necessary); four election rounds held between 30 May and 11 June 2012 (next election to be held in 2017); prime minister appointed by the president on the proposal of the party or coalition of parties that has the majority of seats in the Assembly
Election results: Bujar NISHANI elected president on fourth round of voting; Assembly vote (for first three rounds three-fifths majority, 84 votes, required; fourth round, a simple majority of votes is required): Bujar NISHANI 73 votes; note - NISHANI took office 24 July 2012

Legislative branch:
unicameral Assembly or Kuvendi (140 deputies; 100 deputies elected directly in single member electoral zones with an approximate number of voters; 40 deputies elected from multi-name lists of parties or party coalitions according to their respective order; elected for a four-year term)
Elections: last held on 23 June 2013 (next to be held in 2017)
Election results: percent of vote by party- PS 41.12%, PD 30.41%, LSI 10.44%, PR 3.04%, PDIU 2.59%, other 12.4%; seats by party- PS 66, PD 49, LSI 16, PDIU 4, PR 3, other 2

Judicial branch:
Highest court(s): Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges, including a chairman); Court of Cassation (consists of 14 judges, including the chief justice)
Judge selection and term of office: Constitutional Court judges appointed by the president with the consent of the Assembly to serve single 9-year terms; chairman elected by the People's Assembly for single 3-year term; Court of Cassation judges, including the chairman, appointed by the president with the consent of the Assembly to serve single, 9-year terms)
Subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance

Political parties and leaders:
Alliance for Employment, Prosperity, and Integration or APMI (coalition of 25 centrist and center-right parties) [Sali BERISHA]:
Democratic Party or PD [Sali BERISHA]
New Democracy Party or PDR [Genc POLLO]
Party for Justice, Integration and Unity or PDIU [Shpetim IDRIZI]
Republican Party or PR [Fatmir MEDIU]

Alliance for a European Albania or ASHE (coalition of 37 opposition parties from far left to right wing) [Edi RAMA]:
Social Democracy Party or PDS [Paskel MILO]
Social Democratic Party or PSD [Skender GJINUSHI]
Socialist Movement for Integration or LSI [Ilir META]
Socialist Party or PS [Edi RAMA]
Unity for Human Rights Party or PBDNJ [Vangjel DULE]

Other parties:
New Democratic Spirit or FRD [Bamir TOPI]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Red and Black Alliance [Kreshnik SPAHIU]
Front for Albanian National Unification or FBKSH [Gafur ADILI]
Mjaft Movement [Elton KACIDHJA]
Omonia [Vasil BOLLANO]
Union of Independent Trade Unions of Albania or BSPSH [Gezim KALAJA]

International organization participation:
BSEC, CD, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, EITI (candidate country), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Gilbert GALANXHI
Chancery: 1312 18th Street NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20036
Telephone: [1] (202) 223-4942
FAX: [1] (202) 628-7342
Consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Alexander ARVIZU
Embassy: Rruga e Elbasanit, Labinoti #103, Tirana
Mailing address: US Department of State, 9510 Tirana Place, Dulles, VA 20189-9510
Telephone: [355] (4) 2247285
FAX: [355] (4) 2232222

National symbol(s):
double-headed eagle

National anthem:
Name: "Hymni i Flamurit" (Hymn to the Flag)

Lyrics/music: Aleksander Stavre DRENOVA/Ciprian PORUMBESCU
note: adopted 1912

Economy

Economy - overview:
Albania, a formerly closed, centrally-planned state, is making the difficult transition to a more modern open-market economy. Macroeconomic growth averaged around 6% between 2004-08, but declined to about 3% in 2009-11, and 0.5% in 2012. Inflation is low and stable. The government has taken measures to curb violent crime, and recently adopted a fiscal reform package aimed at reducing the large gray economy and attracting foreign investment. Remittances, a significant catalyst for economic growth declined from 12-15% of GDP before the 2008 financial crisis to 8% of GDP in 2010, mostly from Albanians residing in Greece and Italy. The agricultural sector, which accounts for almost half of employment but only about one-fifth of GDP, is limited primarily to small family operations and subsistence farming because of lack of modern equipment, unclear property rights, and the prevalence of small, inefficient plots of land. Energy shortages because of a reliance on hydropower - 98% of the electrical power produced in Albania - and antiquated and inadequate infrastructure contribute to Albania's poor business environment and lack of success in attracting new foreign investment needed to expand the country's export base. FDI is among the lowest in the region, but the government has embarked on an ambitious program to improve the business climate through fiscal and legislative reforms. The completion of a new thermal power plant near Vlore has helped diversify generation capacity, and plans to upgrade transmission lines between Albania and Montenegro and Kosovo would help relieve the energy shortages. Also, with help from EU funds, the government is taking steps to improve the poor national road and rail network, a long-standing barrier to sustained economic growth. The country will continue to face challenges from increasing public debt, having slightly exceeded its former statutory limit of 60% of GDP in 2012. Strong trade, remittance, and banking sector ties with Greece and Italy make Albania vulnerable to spillover effects of the global financial crisis.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$26.54 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 120
$26.2 billion (2011 est.)
$25.44 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
Albania has an informal, and unreported, sector that may be as large as 50% of official GDP

GDP (official exchange rate):
$12.69 billion (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
1.3% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 154
3% (2011 est.)
3.5% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$8,200 (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 131
$8,100 (2011 est.)
$7,900 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

Gross national saving:
15.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 100
13.1% of GDP (2011 est.)
14.5% of GDP (2010 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:
Household consumption: 88.1%
Government consumption: 7.5%
Investment in fixed capital: 26%
Investment in inventories: 4.1%
Exports of goods and services: 31.6%
Imports of goods and services: -57.3%
(2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 20%
Industry: 18.7%
Services: 61.3%
(2012 est.)

Agriculture - products:
wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, sugar beets, grapes; meat, dairy products; sheep

Industries:
perfumes and cosmetic products, food and tobacco products; textiles and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower

Industrial production growth rate:
-1.2% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 147

Labor force:
1.088 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 140

Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture: 47.8%
Industry: 23%
Services: 29.2%
(September 2010 est.)

Unemployment rate:
13.3% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 133
13.3% (2011 est.)
note: these are official rates, but actual rates may exceed 30% due to preponderance of near-subsistence farming

Population below poverty line:
12.5% (2008 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: 3.5%
Highest 10%: 29% (2008)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
34.5 (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 89
26.7 (2005)

Budget:
Revenues: $3.054 billion
Expenditures: $3.477 billion (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
24.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 132

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-3.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 126

Public debt:
59.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 48
58.2% of GDP (2011 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 41
3.5% (2011 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
5% (31 December 2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 67
5.25% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
10.88% (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 65
12.43% (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$2.657 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 118
$2.575 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$9.951 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 107
$9.426 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$8.591 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 106
$8.408 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Current account balance:
-$1.45 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 125
-$1.695 billion (2011 est.)

Exports:
$921 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 161
$962.1 million (2011 est.)

Exports - commodities:
textiles and footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil; vegetables, fruits, tobacco

Exports - partners:
Italy 44.2%, Spain 9%, China 6.8%, Greece 4.9%, Turkey 4.7% (2012)

Imports:
$4.234 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 137
$4.461 billion (2011 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals

Imports - partners:
Italy 34.9%, Greece 11.7%, China 7.5%, Turkey 5.6%, Germany 4.3% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$2.6 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 114
$2.473 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Debt - external:
$5.917 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 117
$5.938 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Exchange rates:
leke (ALL) per US dollar -
108.19 (2012 est.)
100.9 (2011 est.)
103.94 (2010 est.)
94.98 (2009)
79.546 (2008)

Energy

Electricity - production:
5.209 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 116

Electricity - consumption:
4.521 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 118

Electricity - exports:
1.906 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 41

Electricity - imports:
1.005 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 64

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
1.61 million kW (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 110

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
9.9% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 194

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 38

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
90.1% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 13

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 103

Crude oil - production:
15,520 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 76

Crude oil - exports:
6,920 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 59

Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 150

Crude oil - proved reserves:
199.1 million bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 61

Refined petroleum products - production:
6,377 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 108

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
38,390 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 110

Refined petroleum products - exports:
914.5 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 111

Refined petroleum products - imports:
24,610 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 94

Natural gas - production:
30 million cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 86

Natural gas - consumption:
30 million cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 110

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 53

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 152

Natural gas - proved reserves:
849.5 million cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 101

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
4.893 million Mt (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 123

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
338,800 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 111

Telephones - mobile cellular:
3.1 million (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 127

Telephone system:
General assessment: despite new investment in fixed lines, teledensity remains low with roughly 10 fixed lines per 100 people; mobile-cellular telephone use is widespread and generally effective
Domestic: offsetting the shortage of fixed line capacity, mobile-cellular phone service has been available since 1996; by 2011 multiple companies were providing mobile services and mobile teledensity had reached 100 per 100 persons; Internet broadband services initiated in 2005 but growth has been slow; Internet cafes are popular in Tirana and have started to spread outside the capital
International: country code - 355; submarine cable provides connectivity to Italy, Croatia, and Greece; the Trans-Balkan Line, a combination submarine cable and land fiber-optic system, provides additional connectivity to Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Turkey; international traffic carried by fiber-optic cable and, when necessary, by microwave radio relay from the Tirana exchange to Italy and Greece (2011)

Broadcast media:
3 public TV networks, one of which transmits by satellite to Albanian-language communities in neighboring countries; more than 60 private TV stations; many viewers can pick up Italian and Greek TV broadcasts via terrestrial reception; cable TV service is available; 2 public radio networks and roughly 25 private radio stations; several international broadcasters are available (2010)

Internet country code:
.al

Internet hosts:
15,528 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 124

Internet users:
1.3 million (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 91

Transportation

Airports:
4 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 183

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
Total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2012)

Heliports:
1 (2013)

Pipelines:
gas 331 km; oil 249 km (2013)

Railways:
Total: 339 km
Country comparison to the world: 117
Standard gauge: 339 km 1.435-m gauge (2009)

Roadways:
Total: 18,000 km
Country comparison to the world: 116
Paved: 7,020 km
Unpaved: 10,980 km (2002)

Waterways:
41 km (on the Bojana River) (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 104

Merchant marine:
Total: 17
Country comparison to the world: 99
By type: cargo 16, roll on/roll off 1
Foreign-owned: 1 (Turkey 1)
Registered in other countries: 5 (Antigua and Barbuda 1, Panama 4) (2010)

Ports and terminals:
Major seaport(s): Durres, Sarande, Shengjin, Vlore

Military

Military branches:
Land Forces Command, Navy Force Command, Air Forces Command (2013)

Military service age and obligation:
19 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; 18 is the legal minimum age in case of general/partial compulsory mobilization (2012)

Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 731,111
Females age 16-49: 780,216 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
Males age 16-49: 622,379
Females age 16-49: 660,715 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 31,986
Female: 29,533 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
1.49% of GDP (2005 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 104

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
none

Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Stateless persons: 7,443 (2012)

Trafficking in persons:
Current situation: Albania is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; Albanian victims of sexual exploitation are trafficked within Albania and in Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Kosovo, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, and the UK; some Albanian women become sex trafficking victims after accepting offers of legitimate jobs; Albanian children are forced to beg or perform other forms of forced labor; Filipino victims of labor trafficking were identified in Albania during 2012
Tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Albania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government decreased its trafficking investigations, prosecutions, and convictions over the last year and, because of inconsistent implementation of operating procedures, continues to punish victims for unlawful acts that are a direct result of being subjected to sex trafficking; the high turnover rate of law enforcement personnel prevents progress at the local level in identifying and protecting trafficking victims; removal of the national anti-trafficking coordinator hinders efforts to implement the 2011 national action plan against trafficking; the government provides limited funding to NGO shelters (2013)

Illicit drugs:
increasingly active transshipment point for Southwest Asian opiates, hashish, and cannabis transiting the Balkan route and - to a lesser extent - cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe; limited opium and expanding cannabis production; ethnic Albanian narcotrafficking organizations active and expanding in Europe; vulnerable to money laundering associated with regional trafficking in narcotics, arms, contraband, and illegal aliens

Flag of Albania



Flag description:
red with a black two-headed eagle in the center; the design is claimed to be that of 15th-century hero George Castriota SKANDERBEG, who led a successful uprising against the Turks that resulted in a short-lived independence for some Albanian regions (1443-78); an unsubstantiated explanation for the eagle symbol is the tradition that Albanians see themselves as descendants of the eagle; they refer to themselves as "Shkypetars," which translates as "sons of the eagle"