The population of Albania

The population of Albania has changed during last 30 years. This comes especially because of the changes in economic system, passing from centralized economy to an open market system, which has given its effect in births, deaths, migration, and definitely has an impact in the future of Albanian population.


Fig. 1 Births, Deaths and Net Migration


It is important to know how many inhabitants currently live in the country and how many there will be in the future, so there can be better decisions regarding the construction of schools, hospitals and roads. It is also important to know how old the population is and will be in the coming years in order to plan for pensions, health care for example.

Decreasing population

On 1 January 2019, population of Albania was 2.86 million and compared with 2011 has decreased by 1.5 %. The decreasing trend continues to be present even in preceding years. It may be a problem because it can impact on economic growth which depends on the level of consumption or investments. If population decreases there will be fewer demands for consumption and investments which can be reflected as an economic decline.



Decreasing of births

During the period 2011-2018 the number of births per year has decreased significantly, from about 34 thousand in 2011 to about 29 thousand in 2018, while the number of deaths per year has remained between 20 thousand and 22 thousand. More boys are naturally being born than girls but since men have a higher mortality there are more old women than men.


TFR (Total Fertility Rate)

Total fertility rate is the average number of children born alive to a woman taking into consideration current fertility rates. It tells us how many children a woman is expected to give birth during her lifetime. It is widely accepted that 2.1 children per woman is the replacement level needed for the population of a given country.

The total fertility rate has been decreasing since 2011 when it was 1.65 children per woman, to 1.37 in 2018. In figure two you can see the evolution of this important indicator and its trend.


Fig. 2 Total Fertility Rate



TFR can be reflected in the number of population in the next decades and have impact not only in decreasing the population, but more at the effects that derivate from that situations, which can be social or economic, such as: decreasing the purchasing power, increasing the old dependency ratio, putting in risk the scheme of pensions, etc.

Some of the social factors that can influence fertility rates are: cultural norms, level of education, religion, use of contraceptive methods, abortion, impact of migration, children as a source of labor (on family farms), children as support for couples at older ages, costs of raising children, etc.

Children expected to live longer

Infant mortality is the death of a child aged less than one year. The infant mortality rate is defined as the number of deaths of children less than one year of age during a year divided by the number of live births in that year; the value is expressed per 1,000 live births.

During these years the infant mortality has remained between 8 to 9 deaths aged less than one year per 1,000 live births but it has been halved, decreasing from 17.4 in 2001 to 8.9 in 2018.

Albanians live longer than before

How long is a person expected to live? This is measured through the indicator life expectancy.

It can be expressed as the life expectancy at birth, which is the number of years a new-born baby can expect to live. In 2018 the female life expectancy is 80.5 years and 77.4 years for males.



Fig. 3 Life expectancy


Life expectancy at birth has been increasing since 2011, with women who have higher expectations to live but the trend of men is increasing faster than that of women.

Albanian men born in 2018 expect to live 5.3 years more than those who are born in 2005, while for women this figure is 3.2 years more.


Aging population

Albanian median age of population has increased from nearly 33 years in 2011 to 36 in 2018. The median age of population has also increased from 31.3 years for males and 33.9 years for females in 2011 to 35.0 and 37.2 in 2018.

Migration has a big influence on population

The population of Albania started to decline from 1990, as a consequence of a massive emigration. During 2011-2018 is estimated that an average of 45 thousand persons emigrated every year and 27 thousand people immigrated on average every year. (Population pyramid) Mainreason for emigration is better opportunities to work, education, and healthcare.



Population structure

In this graph we can see the fact that the population of Albania is aging. This is showed by the proportion that people over 65 year old take, compared with young people (under 15 years old) from 2011 to 2019 (population of first January)


Fig. 4 Population structure


Population distribution by prefectures

About a third of the total population lives in the prefecture of Tirana - the most populated prefecture in the country, followed by the prefecture of Fier, Durrës and Elbasan with about 10 percent of the population each.

Only three prefectures in the country marked an increase in population for 2018-2019 periods, respectively Tirana, Durrës and Vlora.

The prefecture of Gjirokastra has the lowest part of the population with about 2.1 % of the total population followed by the prefecture of Kukës, which has 2.7 % of the total population.


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