Country Listing

Albania Table of Contents



Population: 3,335,000 (July 1991), growth rate 1.8 percent (1991). Birth rate 24 per 1,000 population, death rate 5 per 1,000 population. Total fertility rate 2.9 children per woman. Infant mortality rate 50 deaths/1,000 live births. Life expectancy at birth 72 years for males, 79 years for females.

Ethnic Groups: Albanian 90 percent, divided into two groups: the Gegs to the north of the Shkumbin River and the Tosks to the south. Greeks probably 8 percent, others (mostly Vlachs, Gypsies, Serbs and Bulgarians) at least 2 percent.

Languages: Albanian (Tosk is official dialect, Geg also a much-used variant), Greek.

Religion: In 1992, an estimated 70 percent of people were Muslim, 20 percent Orthodox, and 10 percent Roman Catholic. In 1967 all mosques and churches were closed and religious observances prohibited; in December 1990, the ban on religious observance was lifted.

Education: Free at all levels. Eight-grade primary and intermediate levels compulsory beginings at age six. Literacy rate raised from about 20 percent in 1945 to an estimated 75 percent in recent years. In 1990, primary school was attended by 96 percent of all school-age children, and secondary school by 70 percent. School operations were seriously disrupted by breakdown of public order in 1991.

Health and Welfare: All medical services are free. Six months of maternity leave at approximately 85 percent salary; noncontributory state social insurance system for all workers, with 70-100 percent of salary during sick leave. Pension about 70 percent of average salary. Retirement age 50-60 for men, 45-55 for women. In the early 1990s, the health and welfare system was adversely affected by economic and social disintegration.

Data as of April 1992