Fast Facts

Population:
3,170,000
Capital:
Tirana; 367,000
Area:
28,748 square kilometers (11,100 square miles)
Language:
Albanian, Greek
Religion:
Muslim, Albanian Orthodox, Roman Catholic
Currency:
Lek
Life Expectancy:
74
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $4,400
Literacy Percent:
87
Flag: Albania
Map: Albania

Albania lies along the Adriatic Sea in southeastern Europe. The narrow coastal plain rises to mountains that are almost 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) high, which cover most of the country. These mountains are rich in mineral resources such as chrome, iron, nickel, and copper; however, mining requires investment that Albania lacks. It is one of the poorest countries in Europe (and the only one with a Muslim majority). It suffered from more than 40 years of communist rule, which ended in 1991. War in neighboring Kosovo brought 480,000 ethnic Albanian refugees into Albania in 1999—straining the country's resources. The largely agricultural economy is growing thanks to remittances from Albanian workers abroad—mostly in Greece and Italy.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Food processing, textiles and clothing; lumber, oil
  • Agriculture: Wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables; meat
  • Exports: Textiles and footwear, asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

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