Background: In 1990, after 44 years of a communist regime that hated foreigners, a multi-party democracy was established in Albania. The transition period proved to be difficult, the corrupt government was unable to find measures against severe unemployment, destruction of infrastructure, banditry and the practice of physical elimination of opponents. International observers considered the 2000 local elections fair and called them a step towards the democratization of society, but serious problems remain that need to be resolved before the 2001 parliamentary elections. See areacodesexplorer.com to know more about Albania History.
Location: Southeastern Europe, located on the coast of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, between Greece and Yugoslavia.
Geographical coordinates: 41° 00′ N. latitude, 20° 00′ E
Reference map: Europe.
Area: total: 28,748 km2; land surface area: 27,398 km2; water surface area: 1,350 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the state of Maryland.
Land borders: total: 720 km; with neighboring states: with Greece 282 km, with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 151 km, with Yugoslavia 287 km.
Coastline: 362 km.
Maritime claims: continental shelf: 200 m depth or to operational depth; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: mild, temperate; winter cool cloudy wet; hot clear dry summer; in the interior of the country it is cooler and wetter.
Terrain: dominated by mountains and hills; small coastal plains.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m; highest point: in the Korabi range 2,753 m.
Natural resources: oil, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, nickel, timber, hydropower.
Land use: arable land: 21%; cultivated land: 5%; pastures: 15%; forests and plantations: 38%; others: 21% (1993 est.).
Irrigated lands: 3,410 sq. km. (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: destructive earthquakes; tsunamis are sometimes observed near the southwestern coast; drought.
Current environmental issues: deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution by industrial and domestic liquid waste.
International agreements on environmental protection: participant: Biodiversity, Climate change, Desertification; Hazardous waste, Ozone layer protection, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: no.
Note to the section “Geography”: occupies a strategic position along the Strait of Otranto (connecting the Adriatic Sea with the Ionian and Mediterranean Seas).
Population: 3,510,484 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 29.53% (male 536,495; female 500,026); 15 to 64 years old: 63.48% (male 1,073,351; female 1,155,115); over 65: 6.99% (male 107,476; female 138,021) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 0.88% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 19.01 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 6.5 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -3.69 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.08 male/female; under 15: 1.07 male/female; from 15 to 64 years old: 0.93 male/female; over 65: 0.78 male/female; for the general population: 0.96 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 39.99 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 71.83 years; men: 69.01 years; women: 74.87 years (2001 est.);
General birth rate: 2.32 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.01% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: less than 100 (1999 OC).
AIDS deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Albanian; adjective: Albanian.
Ethnic groups: Albanians 95%, Greeks 3%, other 2% (Vlachs, Gypsies, Serbs and Bulgarians) (1989 est.); note: according to other estimates in 1989, the Greek population varied from 1% (official Albanian statistics) to 12% (Greek sources).
Believers: Muslims 70%, Orthodox 20%, Catholics 10%; note: in 1967 all mosques and churches were closed and religious ceremonies prohibited; since November 1990 private religious ceremonies have been allowed in Albania.
Language(s): Albanian (Tosk dialect is official), Greek.
Literacy: definition: persons over the age of 9 who can read and write; for the general population: 93% (1997 est.); men: no data; women: no data. State Name:
Common 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
State structure: a nascent democracy.
Administrative division: 36 districts (rreth) and 1 municipality* (bashki): Berat, Bupki-za, Vlora, Gjirokastra, Gramsci, Devopi (Bilisti), Delvina, Dibra (Peshkopia), Durres, Kavaja, Kopyonya (Ersek), Korca, Kruya, Kukes, Kurbneshi, Kuchova, Lezha, Librazhdi, Lushnya, Mapakastra (Bapshi), Malesi-i-Madhi (Kopliku-i-Siperm), Mati (Burreli), Mirdita (Resolution), Pekini, Per-meti, Pogradets, Puka, Saranda, Skrapari (Choro-voda), Tepelena, Tirana, Tirana*, Tropoya (Bay-ram-Tsurri), Fier, Khasi (Krum), Shkoder, Ep-basan; note: administrative regions have the same names as their administrative centers (except when the name of the administrative center is given in parentheses).
Independence: November 28, 1912 (until 1912 – under the rule of the Ottoman Empire).
National holiday: Independence Day, November 28 (1912).
Constitution: a referendum on 28 November 1998 adopted a new constitution; note: the opposition Democratic Party boycotted the vote.
Legal system: does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 18 pet; universal and mandatory.
head of state: President of the Republic Rexhep MEIDANI (since 24 July 1997);
head of government: Prime Minister Ilir META (Sg META) (since 29 October 1999);
Government: a council of ministers proposed by the prime minister and appointed by the president; elections: the president is elected for a five-year term by the People’s Assembly; elections last held 24 July 1997 (next to be held in 2002); the prime minister is appointed by the president; election results: Recep Meydani elected president; distribution of votes in the People’s Assembly: 110 in favor, 3 against, 2 abstentions, invalid ballots 7.
Legislative branch: unicameral People’s Assembly (Kuvendi Popullor) (155 seats; most members are elected by direct universal suffrage and some by proportional suffrage for four-year terms); elections: last held 29 June 1997 (next to be held June-July 2001); election results: distribution of votes between parties – PS 53.36%, PD 25.33%, PSD 2.5%, PBDNJ 2.78%, RVC 2.36%, PAD 2.85%, PR 2.25%, PLL 3.09%, PDK 1.00%, PBSD 0.84%; number of seats – PS 101, PD 27, PSD 8, PBDNJ 4, PBK 3, PAD 2, PR 2, PLL 2, PDK 1, PBSD 1, PUK1, independent
deputies assembly for a four-year term).
Political parties and leaders: Albanian National Front (RVK) (Abaz ERMENJI [Abaz ERMENJI]); Albanian Republican Party (PR) (Fatmir MEHDIU); Albanian Socialist Party (former Party of Labor of Albania) (PS) (Fatos NANO [Fatos NANO], chairman); Christian Democratic Party (PDK) (Zef BUSHATI); Democratic Alliance (PAD) (Neritan CEKA); Democratic Party (PD) (Sali BERISHA); Reform Democrats Group (Leonard NDOKA); Liberal Union (Teodor LACO, formerly leader of the Social Democratic Union of Albania [PBSD]); Law Movement Party (PLL) (Nderim KUPI); National Unity Party (PUK) (Idajet BEQIRI); Social Democratic Party (PSD) (Skender GJINUSHI); The consignment..
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ACCT (associate), BSEC, CCC, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNOMIG, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Petrit BUSHATI; office: 2100 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 223-4942; fax:  (202) 628-7342.
US Diplomatic Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador Joseph LIMPRECHT; embassy: Rruga Elbasanit 103, Tirana; mailing address: American Embassy, Tirana, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-9510; phone:  (42) 32875, 33520; fax:  (42) 32222.
Description of the flag: red with a black double-headed eagle in the center.