Population of Albania 1800-2020

Population of Albania from 1800 until 2020 (in thousands)

by Aaron O'Neill, last edited Dec 3, 2019
Population of Albania 1800-2020 The population of Albania was just over 400,000 people in 1800. From this point onwards it increased on a non-negligible scale, until it changed dramatically in the 1990s. The early 1900s in Albania was characterized by the rise nationalism, and after several failed attempts, Albania finally claimed its independence in 1912, successfully revolting against the Ottoman Empire (who had ruled the area for over five centuries). The First World War saw increased instability in the area, and Austro-Hungarian troops eventually took control of the region after defeating the Serbian army. Instability continued in the interwar period, with increased pressure from Italy and neighboring states, as well rising tensions between the various ethnic groups in Albania. Albania's population reached one million people in 1927.

Steady growth in the communist era

During the Second World War, Albania's population growth experienced some slight deviation from its trajectory. In 1939, Albania was annexed by Italy, and when they surrendered in 1943, Germany assumed control until communists successfully reclaimed the country in the later stages of the war. UN estimates put Albania's total wartime dead at approximately 30,000 people (although the population still grew because of the birth rate). Following the war, Albania became a satellite state of the Soviet Union, and remained behind the Iron Curtain until it's collapse in the 1990s (although its allegiances shifted from the Soviet Union to China in the 1960s). Throughout this time, Albania's population grew quickly and steadily, passing two million people in 1968, and three million in 1986.

Immediate decline following communism's end

Albania's population peaked at 3.3 million in 1990, before the end of communism brought drastic change to the country. Increased freedom of movement, improved access to contraception and major lifestyle changes caused the population to fall into decline. The population did increase in the late 90s, despite a civil war in the first half of 1997 (in which over 2 thousand people died) sparked by a failure of the financial system in Albania. The Albanian Army was also involved in the war in neighboring Kosovo between 1998 and 1999. The 2000s brought about further decline, and the population is just 2.9 million in 2020, a decline of approximately 400,000 people in thirty years, although Albania has been a candidate for accession to the EU since 2014, and membership would bring further change to the country.
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Population of Albania from 1800 until 2020 (in thousands)

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