There are an estimated seven million ethnic Albanians in the world, but fewer than half of them live within the boundaries of the Albanian state.
The largest concentrations of Albanian-speaking people outside Albania are in the portions of Yugoslavia and Macedonia bordering the country; notable is the Kosovo region, where Albanians constitute a majority population.
There are also large Albanian communities in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania. Since the 1970s, many Albanians have emigrated to western Europe and the United States.
No country in Europe has a more homogeneous population than Albania, where non-Albanians account for only 2 percent of the total population. Greeks, concentrated mainly in the southeast, and Slavs, almost all of them Macedonians, constitute the largest minorities.
Population (2007 est.): 3,600,523.
Growth rate (2007 est.): 0.529%.
Ethnic groups (2004 est., Government of Albania): Albanian 98.6%, Greeks 1.17%, others 0.23% (Vlachs, Roma, Serbs, Montenegrins, Macedonians, Egyptians, and Bulgarians).
Religions: Muslim (Sunni and Bektashi) 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, and Roman Catholic 10%.
Official language: Albanian.
Health (2007 est.): Life expectancy--males 74.95 years; females 80.53 years. Infant mortality rate--20.02 deaths per 1,000 live births.
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