The Albanian population is approximately 2.88 million inhabitants, with about 113 inhabitants per square meter. The Albanian population is generally young and it is distinguished for its vitality. The most populated parts of the country are the area around the capital Tirana, the port of Durrës and generally in the western lowlands of the country. Albania is a country with a relatively homogeneous population. Minorities represent about 3 percent of the population. The largest one is the Greek minority (located in the southern part of the country, in the provinces of Dropull, Pogon and Vurg). Other minorities include Macedonians, located in the areas of the Great Prespa Lake, as well as Montenegrin, Roma etc. The largest populations are concentrated in the cities of Tirana, Durrës, Elbasan, Shkodra, Vlora, Korça etc. Other cities of tourist importance include Berat, Gjirokastra, Saranda, Kruja and Pogradec.
January 1 & 2 – New Year’s Day
March 14 – Summer Day
March 22 – Nowruz day
May 1 – Labor Day
October 19 – Beautification of Mother Teresa
November 28 – Independence Day
November 29 – Liberation Day
December 8 – National Youth Day December 25 – Christmas
The official language is Albanian. It constitutes a unique and original branch of Indo-European family. The Albanian language is an ancestor of the Illyrian language and it is one of the oldest languages spoken in the European continent. Its vocabulary contains words from other languages such as Persian ,Turkish, Greek, Latin and Slavic languages, but it has preserved its originality as an unique language. The Albanian language is recognized for its two distinct dialects, which are: “Gheg” and “Tosk”. The Shkumbin River, which divides the country into two almost equal parts, is the natural border of these two dialects. Gheg is spoken in the north, while Tosk is spoken in the south. The Albanian alphabet has 36 letters.
Albania has a Mediterranean climate with each season offering distinct- yet pleasant weather. Some features of the climate vary by region: The coastal areas have a Central Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The alpine areas have a Central Continental climate with cold, snowy winters and temperate summers. The lowlands have mild winters, averaging about 7°C, and summer temperatures average 24°C. Lowland rainfall ranges from 1,000 mm to more than 1,500 mm annually, with greater rainfall in the north. Nearly 95% of rainfall occurs in the winter and rainfall in the upland mountain ranges is heavier. Despite the rain, Albanians enjoy a great deal of sunshine. The overall climate is pleasant and is favorable for outdoor activity. On average, Albanians enjoy a great deal of sunshine, second only to Spain (in Europe) in average annual sunny days.
The economy of Albania went through a process of transition from a centralized economy to a market- based economy on the principles of the free market. Albania's economy is based on the service (54.1%), agriculture (21.7%), and industrial (24.2%) sectors. The country has some natural resources, and the economy is mainly bolstered by agriculture, food processing, lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydro power, tourism, textile industry, and petroleum extraction. The strongest sectors are energy, mining, metallurgy, agriculture, and tourism. Primary industrial exports are clothing and chrome. Tourism has been a notable source of national income, particularly during the summer months. With over 6.4 million tourists annually in 2019, tourism generates revenue in excess of $2.4 billion. According to the World Bank, Albania has transformed from one of the poorest countries in Europe to an upper- middle-income country. The country is implementing important reforms to revitalize growth and job creation, while advancing the European Union integration agenda./p>
There are four official religious beliefs in Albania.
These belong to the Sunni Muslim, Orthodox Christian, Catholic Christian and Bektashi Muslim.
Followers of Islam are found throughout the country. Catholics are concentrated mostly in the northern
part of the country, the Orthodox in the south and center of the country, and the Bektashi sect of Sufism
is found in some specific regions such as Berat, Skrapar, Permet, Krujë, Elbasan, Mat, Mallakastër, Korçë,
etc. Freedom of religion is a right guaranteed by the Albanian Constitution. Besides official religions,
there are followers of other doctrines such as; Baha’i, Christian Evangelism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.
Additionally, there are also atheists and non-religious people.
Albania became unique in Europe in 1967, when all religious activity was banned by closing down
churches, mosques, religious schools and tekkes. For about 23 years, Albania was the only atheist
country in the world. In 1990, after a democratic movement, the freedom of religion was restored and
churches and mosques were rebuilt, as well as many other religious buildings. Albania has several places
of religious pilgrimage. The most important are those in honor of Shna Nues (St. Anthony) on 13 June at
the Church of Lac, the pilgrimage of Abas Ali on 19 August in Tomorr Mountain, the one in honor of St.
Mary on 15 August in some of the churches across the country, the pilgrimage in honor of Sari Salltik in Kruja and others.
The following are also public holidays that do not occur on the same date every year:
Catholic Easter: March/April/March
Orthodox Easter: March/April/May
Greater Bajram: End of Ramadan
Lesser Bajram: Varied