Population in Albania 1870-2011

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Open data Albania pursued an in depth investigation on the population inhabiting the territory of what is today Albania. The data runs back from XIX century, respectively from 1870, year on which we have the earliest statistical data, up to 2011, when the last population census was effectuated by the Republic of Albania.

Data sources on Albanian population 1870-2011 are as follows:

Angus Maddison (1926-2010) a British economic historian, well known for collecting and elaborating historical time series on population and economy; Statistical yearly publications from the Ministry of Interior of Albania, the State Planning Commission and publications from the Institute of Statistics.
Definitions

Population means the number of people with permanent residency in the territory of the Albania at the time when the census was effectuated. Density is the number of population divided by the territory expressed in square kilometers. Country’s area was thought to be 27,538 square kilometres in 1930s. Later, new measurements determined the country’s area 28,748 sqm, which is the current official figure. In our investigation we have used this figure for calculation of density back on 1930s.
The Compounded Annual Growth rate (CAGR) is the difference between the last year logarithm and the first year logarithm divided by the number of years.

The Area of Albania is considered the current territory of the Republic of Albania.

Data accuracy

Agnus Maddison is economic historian well known for the creation of time series for comparison in time and space. He is a source of reference for many developmental economics as a unique source of data that can be used for comparison in long periods and among different countries, whose territory had changed multiple times through history. The data on population and economy of Albanian state for the period 1870-1913 are drawn from Maddison database as the only available source of information.

Albania started to keep a civic register after the National Congress held in Lushnja (Central Albania) in 1921. The infant government started to build up a central administration to register life events, such as births, deaths, marriages, divorces and displacements. At that time, those responsible to report life events were subject to a given charge, which was one of the reasons for underreporting.
The first ever population census was organized in 2913. Teki Selenica was an employee in the rank of Inspector in the Ministry of Interior. He personally published several books with precious statistical and as well historical data for 1930s. His reports contain detailed information on Albania, including data on socio-economic statistics, demography, and information on state institutions and on criminology.

He reported the population of Albania in 1923 of 814,380 inhabitants. Selenica expressed doubts on the accuracy of the census, saying that he had indentified unaccounted people and suggesting that the real figure was somehow higher. Population density in 1923 was 28.4 inhabitants per SQM.
After the second census organized by Kingdom of Albania in 1930, the population present in the country resulted 1,003,097 inhabitants, with average growth rate of 2.9 per cent for the seven year period 1923-1930. This is a very high rate of growth for that period and most probably reflects the inaccuracies of the 1923 census.

Data for 1938 reflects the average yearly figure estimated based on the data from civic register (no census).  For 1942, the Italian Fascist authorities report Albanian population at 1,128,143 inhabitants, and this figure is also an estimate based on civic registers.


Source: Groningen Growth and Development Center http://www.rug.nl/research/ggdc/databases Accessed on 14 January 2013                                               
T. Selenica Shqipria mė 1927, L’albanie en 1927 Tiranė, Shtypshkonja “Tirana” 1928                                        Republika Popullore e Shqipėrisė, Drejtoria e Statistikės Vjetari Statistikor i R.P.SH 1965.                                    Orjan Sjoberg Rural Change and Development in Albania Westview Press 1991, Oxford                                    Republika Popullore Socialiste e Shqipėrisė, Komisioni i Planit tė Shtetit, Drejtoria e Statistikės. Vjetari Statistikor i Vitit 1986 Tiranė, 1986                                               
Comments and analysis: ODA


In the census effectuated on 30 september 1945 from the post-war government, population found in the country was 1,12 million and the compound average rate of growth compared to 1930 was 0.75 per cent per year. Population growth accelerated in 1950s and peaked in the five year periods 1955-1960 with an average yearly growth of 3,1 per cent, one of the highest rate of growth win the world. Pace of growth decelerated in the following decades and fell to 2.11 per cent for the decade 1979-1989.


Source: Groningen Growth and Development Center http://www.rug.nl/research/ggdc/databases Accessed on 14 January 2013                                               
T. Selenica Shqipria mė 1927, L’albanie en 1927 Tiranė, Shtypshkonja “Tirana” 1928                                        Republika Popullore e Shqipėrisė, Drejtoria e Statistikės Vjetari Statistikor i R.P.SH 1965.                                    Orjan Sjoberg Rural Change and Development in Albania Westview Press 1991, Oxford                                    Republika Popullore Socialiste e Shqipėrisė, Komisioni i Planit tė Shtetit, Drejtoria e Statistikės. Vjetari Statistikor i Vitit 1986 Tiranė, 1986                                               
Comments and analysis: ODA


Albania reached its highest population and population density in 1991, after which, massive emigration brought a halt and later outright fall. In the first decade after communism, population present in Albania fell by 0.35 per cent per year while in the second decade, 2001-2011, the rate of decrease accelerated to 0.92 per cent per year. 


Source: Groningen Growth and Development Center http://www.rug.nl/research/ggdc/databases Accessed on 14 January 2013                                               
T. Selenica Shqipria mė 1927, L’albanie en 1927 Tiranė, Shtypshkonja “Tirana” 1928                                        Republika Popullore e Shqipėrisė, Drejtoria e Statistikės Vjetari Statistikor i R.P.SH 1965.                                    Orjan Sjoberg Rural Change and Development in Albania Westview Press 1991, Oxford                                    Republika Popullore Socialiste e Shqipėrisė, Komisioni i Planit tė Shtetit, Drejtoria e Statistikės. Vjetari Statistikor i Vitit 1986 Tiranė, 1986                                               
Comments and analysis: ODA


Conclusions

Population of Albania showed its fastest growth between 1945-1972 when it doubled within 22 years period.

The highest population within the country was registered in 1991 with about 3.2 inhabitants.

Population of Albania in 2011 was 2.8 million, the lowest registered since 1983.

Between 1923 and 1989 population of Albania increased by 2.9 times or 290 per cent.

Between 1989 and 2011, population of Albania decreased by 12.5 per cent.

Through 100 years since independence, 11 national censuses were effectuated.

Bibliography

Groningen Growth and Development Center http://www.rug.nl/research/ggdc/databases Accessed on 14 January 2013

T. Selenica Shqipria mė 1927, L’albanie en 1927 Tiranė, Shtypshkonja “Tirana” 1928

Republika Popullore e Shqipėrisė, Drejtoria e Statistikės Vjetari Statistikor i R.P.SH 1965.

Orjan Sjoberg Rural Change and Development in Albania Westview Press 1991, Oxford

Republika Popullore Socialiste e Shqipėrisė, Komisioni i Planit tė Shtetit, Drejtoria e Statistikės. Vjetari Statistikor i Vitit 1986 Tiranė, 1986




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    Contributer: Gjergj Erebara
    Translated by: Gjergj Erebara
    Edited by: ODA