Mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast
Mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers; interior is cooler and wetter
Population: 3,020,209 (July 2014 est.)
Languages: Albanian 98.8% (official—derived from Tosk dialect), Greek 0.5%, other 0.6% (including Macedonian, Roma, Viach, Turkish, Italian, and Serbo-Croatian), unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)
Muslim 56.7%, Roman Catholic 10%, Orthodox 6.8%, atheist 2.5%, Bektashi (a Sufi order) 2.1%, other 5.7%, unspecified 16.2%; Note: all mosques and churches were closed in 1967 and religious observances prohibited; in November 1990, Albania began allowing private religious practice (2011 est.)
Albania, a formerly closed, centrally-planned state, is making the difficult transition to a more modern open-market economy. Albania managed to weather the first waves of the global financial crisis but, more recent, its negative effects have put some pressure on the Albanian economy. The government is focused on establishing a favorable business climate through the simplification of licensing requirements and tax codes.
Under communist rule from 1946 to 1992, many Albanians were forced to live in large, poorly constructed apartment buildings that provided only a couple of rooms for a family of four or more people. Many dwellings still lack central heating. There is a shortage of water, and there are frequent electric power outages in the larger cities. There is no regular rubbish collection, and cities are littered with trash. There are no regulations against smoking in Albania.
US Military Presence/Support
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) (1:07)