Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro

Area: total: 28,748 sq km 
land: 27,398 sq km 
water: 1,350 sq km

Land boundaries: total: 720 km 
border countries: Greece 282 km, Macedonia 151 km, Montenegro 172 km, Serbia 115 km

Coastline: 362 km

Climate: mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers; interior is cooler and wetter

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, coal, bauxite, chromite, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt, timber, hydropower

Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands 
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Population: 3,581,655 (July 2006 est.)

Nationality: Albanian

Ethnic groups: Albanian 95%, Greek 3%, other 2% (Vlach, Roma (Gypsy), Serb, Macedonian, Bulgarian) (1989 est.) 
note: in 1989, other estimates of the Greek population ranged from 1% (official Albanian statistics) to 12% (from a Greek organization)

Religions: Muslim 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, Roman Catholic 10% 
note: percentages are estimates; there are no available current statistics on religious affiliation; all mosques and churches were closed in 1967 and religious observances prohibited; in November 1990, Albania began allowing private religious practice

Economy - overview: Lagging behind its Balkan neighbors, Albania is making the difficult transition to a more modern open-market economy. The government has taken measures to curb violent crime and to spur economic activity and trade. The economy is bolstered by annual remittances from abroad of $600-$800 million, mostly from Greece and Italy; this helps offset the towering trade deficit. Agriculture, which accounts for about one-quarter of GDP, is held back because of frequent drought and the need to modernize equipment, to clarify property rights, and to consolidate small plots of land. Energy shortages and antiquated and inadequate infrastructure contribute to Albania's poor business environment, which make it difficult to attract and sustain foreign investment. The planned construction of a new thermal power plant near Vlore and improved transmission and distribution facilities will help relieve the energy shortages. Also, the government is moving slowly to improve the poor national road and rail network, a long-standing barrier to sustained economic growth. On the positive side: growth was strong in 2003-05 and inflation is not a problem.

GDP (purchasing power parity): $18.87 billion 
note: Albania has a large gray economy that may be as large as 50% of official GDP (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate): $8.657 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 5.5% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP): $5,300 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 23.2% 
industry: 18.8% 
services: 57.9% (2005 est.)

Labor force: 1.09 million (not including 352,000 emigrant workers) (2004 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 58% 
industry: 19% 
services: 23% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate: 14.3% official rate, but may exceed 30% (2005 est.)

Budget: revenues: $1.96 billion 
expenditures: $2.377 billion; including capital expenditures of $500 million (2005 est.)

Agriculture - products: wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, sugar beets, grapes; meat, dairy products

Industries: food processing, textiles and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower

Industrial production growth rate: 3.1% (2004 est.)

Electricity - production: 5.68 billion kWh (2004)

Oil - production: 3,600 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Natural gas - production: 30 million cu m (2003 est.)

Exports: $650.1 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports - partners: Italy 72.4%, Greece 10.5%, Serbia and Montenegro 5% (2005)

Imports: $2.473 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports - partners: Italy 29.3%, Greece 16.4%, Turkey 7.5%, China 6.6%, Germany 5.4%, Russia 4% (2005)

Economic aid - recipient: ODA: $366 million (top donors were Italy, EU, Germany) (2003 est.)

Currency (code): lek (ALL)

Exchange rates: leke per US dollar - 102.649 (2005), 102.78 (2004), 121.863 (2003), 140.155 (2002), 143.485 (2001)

Airports: 11 (2006)

Airports - with paved runways: total: 3 
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2006)

Pipelines: gas 339 km; oil 207 km (2004)

Foreign Investment:

Foreign and domestic firms are treated equally under the law and are guaranteed safety from expropriation or nationalization. The government does not screen foreign investments, and nearly all sectors of the economy are open to foreign investment. Foreigners may not purchase agricultural land but are permitted to lease agricultural land for up to 99 years.
The International Monetary Fund reports that both residents and non-residents may hold foreign exchange accounts.

The banking sector remains underdeveloped, and the economy is largely a cash economy. The government privatized the second largest bank, the National Commercial Bank, in June 2000 and the Savings Bank of Albania, which accounted for 80 percent of all deposits, in early 2004. The private sector now controls most banking assets, and the government plans to sell its 40 percent stake in two small banks: Italian–Albanian Bank and United Albanian Bank. In October 2003, the government sold a 39 percent stake in the state-owned insurance company, INSIG.