Albania

Article

May 28, 2022

Albania (Alb. Shqipëria), the full official form is the Republic of Albania (Alb. Republika e Shqipërisë [ɾɛpuˈblika ɛ ʃcipəˈɾiːs]), is a state in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula. The population, according to the Albanian Institute of Statistics as of January 1, 2021, is 2,829,741 people, the territory is 28,748 km². It ranks 139th in the world in terms of population and 139th in terms of territory. The main religion is Islam, about 64% of the population are Sunni Muslims. The capital is Tirana. The official language is Albanian. Albania is a unitary state, a parliamentary republic. Ilir Meta has been the President of Albania since July 24, 2017, and Edi Rama has been Prime Minister since September 15, 2013. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the country was classified as a hybrid regime in 2018 on the Democracy Index. In administrative-territorial division it is subdivided into 12 regions. It is located in the southeast of Europe on the coast of the Adriatic and Ionian seas. The Strait of Otranto separates Albania from Italy. In the northeast it borders with Serbia, partially recognized by the Republic of Kosovo, in the northwest - with Montenegro, in the east - with North Macedonia, in the southeast - with Greece. Albania, along with the partially recognized Republic of Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, is one of the countries in Europe with a predominantly Muslim population. Albania has been a member of NATO since 2009. Official candidate for EU accession (since 2014).

Etymology

The toponym "Albania" comes from the medieval Latin name of the country. It may have come from the name of the Illyrian tribe Albans (Alb. Albanët), noted by Ptolemy, a geographer and astronomer from Alexandria, who compiled a map in 150 AD, which showed the city of Albanopolis, located northeast of the city of Durrës. The name of the medieval settlement called Albanon or Arbanon probably came from him, although there is no certainty that it was located on the site of the former Albanopolis. In his history, written in the 11th century, the Byzantine historian Michael Attaliates first mentions the Albanians who participated in the uprising against Constantinople in 1043, and the Arbanites as subjects of Duke Dyrrachius. In the Middle Ages, the Albanians called their country Arbe