Population: 3,335,000 (July 1991), growth rate
1.8 percent (1991). Birth rate 24 per 1,000 population, death
rate 5 per 1,000 population. Total fertility rate 2.9 children
per woman. Infant mortality rate 50 deaths/1,000 live births.
Life expectancy at birth 72 years for males, 79 years for females.
Ethnic Groups: Albanian 90 percent, divided
into two groups: the Gegs to the north of the Shkumbin River and
the Tosks to the south. Greeks probably 8 percent, others (mostly
Vlachs, Gypsies, Serbs and Bulgarians) at least 2 percent.
Languages: Albanian (Tosk is official dialect,
Geg also a much-used variant), Greek.
Religion: In 1992, an estimated 70 percent of
people were Muslim, 20 percent Orthodox, and 10 percent Roman
Catholic. In 1967 all mosques and churches were closed and religious
observances prohibited; in December 1990, the ban on religious
observance was lifted.
Education: Free at all levels. Eight-grade primary
and intermediate levels compulsory beginings at age six. Literacy
rate raised from about 20 percent in 1945 to an estimated 75 percent
in recent years. In 1990, primary school was attended by 96 percent
of all school-age children, and secondary school by 70 percent.
School operations were seriously disrupted by breakdown of public
order in 1991.
Health and Welfare: All medical services are
free. Six months of maternity leave at approximately 85 percent
salary; noncontributory state social insurance system for all
workers, with 70-100 percent of salary during sick leave. Pension
about 70 percent of average salary. Retirement age 50-60 for men,
45-55 for women. In the early 1990s, the health and welfare system
was adversely affected by economic and social disintegration.
Data as of April 1992