Counties of Albania

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Updates: 

Jose Gavinha sent me the results of the Albanian census of 2011-10-01, found at source [3].

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter number II-1, dated 2010-02-03, changes the ISO codes for nine counties, prefixing a '0' to each of the one-digit codes. Now all the county codes are two digits.

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter number I-6, dated 2004-03-08, shows a change in terminology. Formerly, the top-level subdivisions of Albania were called prefectures, or prefekturė in Albanian. According to the new document, they should be called counties (qark). (However, the statistics bureau's "Albania in Figures" uses the term prefekturat, or prefectures in English.) ISO's format indicates that it considers the districts as the primary subdivisions of Albania, and the counties are regarded just as groupings of districts.

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter Number I-2 was published on 2002-05-21. It lists the twelve new counties, assigns ISO codes to them, and changes two district names and one district code. Laē (ISO code LA) was changed to Kurbin (KB), and Malėsia e Madhe was changed to Malėsi e Madhe. FIPS Publication Change Notice No. 9, issued on 2004-10-01, assigns FIPS codes to the new counties.

Country overview: 

Short nameALBANIA
ISO codeAL
FIPS codeAL
LanguageAlbanian (sq)
Time zone+1 ~
CapitalTirana

 

Albania was still part of Turkey at the beginning of the 20th century. It declared its independence in 1912. The country went through several forms of government, including occupation during the World Wars, until it became a republic on 1946-01-11.

Other names of country: 

  1. Albanian: Shqipėria, Republika e Shqipėrisė (formal)
  2. Danish: Albanien
  3. Dutch: Albaniė, Republiek Albaniė (formal)
  4. English: Republic of Albania (formal)
  5. Finnish: Albania
  6. French: Albanie f
  7. German: Albanien n
  8. Icelandic: Albanķa
  9. Italian: Albania f
  10. Norwegian: Albania, Republikken Albania (formal)
  11. Portuguese: Albānia, Repśblica f da Albānia f (formal)
  12. Russian: Республика Албания (formal)
  13. Spanish: Albania f
  14. Swedish: Albanien
  15. Turkish: Arnavutluk

Origin of name: 

Ancient inhabitants were called Albanoi by Ptolemy. Shqipėria is Albanian for "land of the men of the eagle".

Primary subdivisions: 

Albania is divided into twelve qarqe (sing. qark: counties, or regions).

CountyHASCISOFIPSPop-2011Pop-2001Area(km.²)Area(mi.²)Capital
BeratAL.BE01AL40141,944193,8551,802696Berat
DibėrAL.DB09AL41137,047191,0352,507968Peshkopi
DurrėsAL.DU02AL42262,785247,345827319Durrės
ElbasanAL.EB03AL43295,827366,1373,2781,266Elbasan
FierAL.FI04AL44310,331384,3861,887729Fier
GjirokastėrAL.GK05AL4572,176114,2932,8831,113Gjirokastėr
KorēėAL.KE06AL46220,357266,3223,7111,433Korēė
KukėsAL.KK07AL4785,292112,0502,373916Kukės
LezhėAL.LZ08AL48134,027159,7921,581610Lezhė
ShkodėrAL.SD10AL49215,347257,0183,5621,375Shkodėr
TiranėAL.TI11AL50749,365601,5651,586612Tiranė
VlorėAL.VR12AL51175,640193,3612,7061,045Vlorė
12 counties2,800,1383,087,15928,70311,082
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: County codes from ISO 3166-2. For full identification in a global context,
    prefix "AL-" to the code (ex: AL-04 represents Fier).
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Pop-2011: 2011-10-01 census.
  • Pop-2001: 2001-04-01 census. Populations and areas of counties were calculated
    by adding the component districts.

Further subdivisions:

See the Communes of Albania page.

Underneath the counties there are 36 rrethe (districts). Under them there are about 3000 smaller divisions called lokalitet (pl. lokaliteteve).

Postal codes: 

Albania adopted a new set of four-digit postal codes in 2006-10, but the Albanian post office has been slow to implement them (Source [1]).

Territorial extent: 

Vlorė includes Saseno (Sazan) Island.

Origins of names: 

  1. Durrės: from Ancient Greek dyrrachion, possibly meaning dangerous cliffs
  2. Elbasan: Turkish el: the people, basan: dominating (originally a fortress)
  3. Korēė: South Slavic gorica: small mountain
  4. Tiranė: from Ancient Greek Tyrrenos: Etruscans; or, named after Tehran, Iran, to commemorate a victory
  5. Vlorė: from Ancient Greek aulon: narrow passage, strait

Change history: 

  1. 1912-11-28: Albania, consisting of the vilayet of Scutari and parts of Monastir and Yanina, declared independence from Turkey.
  2. 1923: Albania acquired a strip of territory in the south from Greece.
  3. ~1925: Albania had the following ten prefectures, further subdivided into 57 districts. Dibėr was later renamed Peshkopi, and Kukės renamed Kosovo.
PrefecturePop-1930Pop-1945Area(km.²)CapitalBecame
Berat142,616126,9133,666BeratBerat, Fier, Lushnjė, Skrapar
Dibėr86,99283,6772,151PeshkopijėDibėr, Mat
Durrės77,890104,4881,550DurrėsDurrės, Krujė
Elbasan111,422111,2863,539ElbasanElbasan, Gramsh, Librazhd
Gjinokastėr143,926121,2534,125GjinokastėrGjirokastėr, Pėrmet, Sarandė, Tepelenė
Korēė147,536149,4333,750KorēėKolonjė, Korēė, Pogradec
Kukės49,08149,3442,038KukėsKukės, Tropojė
Shkodėr132,336157,6655,560ScutariLezhė, Mirditė, Pukė, Shkodėr
Tirana57,80893,216911TiranaTiranė
Vlonė53,461115,0801,448VlonėVlorė
1,003,0681,112,35528,738
  • Pop-1930: 1930 census.
  • Pop-1945: 1945 census.
  • Became: Districts formed from this prefecture in 1958.
  1. 1949: A new set of subdivisions was implemented. No details available.
  2. 1953: The ten prefectures were restored.
  3. 1958-1959: The ten prefectures were re-organized into 26 rrethet (singular, rreth: districts).
  4. ~1978: Ersekė renamed Kolonjė.
  5. ~1991-06: Bulqizė district split from Dibėr; Delvinė district split from Sarandė; Devoll district split from Korēė; Has district split from Kukės; Kavajė district split from Durrės; Kuēovė district split from Berat; Laē district split from Krujė; Malesia e Madhe district split from Shkodėr; Mallakastėr district split from Fier; Peqin district split from Elbasan. The FIPS standard, which had previously listed Tiranė district and Tiranė qytet (municipality) as separate entities, merged them into one. I don't have any other sources that indicate that Tiranė was ever split in this way.
  6. 1993: Twelve qark (counties, or regions) were created, each one consisting of two to four districts. Apparently their competency was limited at first, but expanded in 1995.
  7. 1998-11-28: Albania's new Constitution took effect. It specified that the districts would be replaced as administrative units by the regions. The communes and municipalities would remain as secondary subdivisions. This provision was not implemented immediately.
  8. 1998-12-15: ISO 3166-2 published, superseding ISO/DIS 3166-2 (draft standard). Code for Peqin district changed from PG to PQ; for Tepelenė, from SP to TE; for Tropojė, from BC to TP. This change fixed an error in the draft standard, where the same code PG had been assigned to two districts.
  9. 1999-03-01: FIPS PUB 10-4 Change Notice 2 issued. It assigned FIPS codes from AL29 to AL38 to the ten districts created in 1991, and AL39 to Tiranė municipality (not shown in other sources). The other FIPS codes listed below were unchanged.
  10. ~1999: Name of Laē district changed to Kurbin. This change was reported in Change Notice 4 to FIPS PUB 10-4, dated 2000-02-25. In ISO 3166-2 Newsletter Number I-2, dated 2002-05-21, the name change is reported and the corresponding code is changed from LA to KB.
  11. The districts were then as listed here:
DistrictISOFIPSPopulationArea(km.²)CountyCapital
BeratBRAL01128,410915BeratBerat
BulqizėBUAL2942,985718DibėrBulqizė
DelvinėDLAL3010,859367VlorėDelvinė
DevollDVAL3134,744429KorēėBilisht
DibėrDIAL0286,144761DibėrPeshkopi
DurrėsDRAL03182,988455DurrėsDurrės
ElbasanELAL04224,9741,290ElbasanElbasan
FierFRAL05200,154850FierFier
GjirokastėrGJAL0655,9911,137GjirokastėrGjirokastėr
GramshGRAL0735,723695ElbasanGramsh
HasHAAL3219,842374KukėsKrumė
KavajėKAAL3378,415393TiranėKavajė
KolonjėERAL0817,179805KorēėErsekė
KorēėKOAL09143,4991,752KorēėKorēė
KrujėKRAL1064,357372DurrėsKrujė
KuēovėKCAL3435,571112BeratKuēovė
KukėsKUAL1164,054956KukėsKukės
KurbinKBAL3554,519235LezhėLaē
LezhėLEAL1268,218479LezhėLezhė
LibrazhdLBAL1372,5201,102ElbasanLibrazhd
LushnjėLUAL14144,351712FierLushnjė
Malesia e MadheMMAL3636,770897ShkodėrKoplik
MallakastėrMKAL3739,881325FierBallsh
MatMTAL1561,9061,028DibėrBurrel
MirditėMRAL1637,055867LezhėRrėshen
PeqinPQAL3832,920191ElbasanPeqin
PėrmetPRAL1725,837929GjirokastėrPėrmet
PogradecPGAL1870,900725KorēėPogradec
PukėPUAL1934,4541,034ShkodėrPukė
SarandėSRAL2035,235730VlorėSarandė
ShkodėrSHAL21185,7941,631ShkodėrShkodėr
SkraparSKAL2229,874775BeratÇorovodė
TepelenėTEAL2332,465817GjirokastėrTepelenė
TiranėTRAL28523,1501,193TiranėTiranė
TropojėTPAL2628,1541,043KukėsBajram Curri
VlorėVLAL27147,2671,609VlorėVlorė
36 districts3,087,15928,703
  • ISO: District codes from ISO 3166-2. For full identification in a global
    context, prefix "AL-" to the code (ex: AL-SK represents Skrapar).
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4, a U.S. government standard.
  • Population: 2001-04-01 census.
  • County: Post-1993.

Other names of subdivisions: 

The Italian names are often used by Western Europeans in general.

  1. Dibėr: Dibra, Dibrė (variant)
  2. Durrės: Durresi, Durrsi (variant); Durazzo (Italian)
  3. Gjirokastėr: Gjinokastėr (variant); Argirocastro (Italian); Argyrocastro, Argyrokastron (Greek)
  4. Kolonjė: Ersekė (obsolete); Kolonja (variant)
  5. Korēė: Coriza, Corizza, Koritsa, Koritza (Italian); Korēa (variant); Kortscha (German)
  6. Kukės: Kosova, Kossovo (obsolete)
  7. Lezhė: Alessio (Italian); Lezha (variant)
  8. Lushnjė: Lushenjė, Lushnja (variant)
  9. Shkodėr: Escśtari (Portuguese-obsolete); Shkodra, Skodėr (variant); Scutari (Italian)
  10. Tiranė: Tiran (Turkish); Tirana (Italian, Spanish)
  11. Vlorė: Vlona, Vlora, Vlonė (variant); Valona (Italian)

According to Address Doctor (Source [1]), city names have two grammatical forms in Albanian, the definite and the indefinite. "Tirana" is definite and "Tiranė" is indefinite.

Population history:

District1960c1970c1973e1978e1982e1988a
Berat85,000115,000124,300140,600154,000173,700
Dibrė78,00099,000106,800122,000134,800148,200
Durrės127,000169,000182,400202,000217,000242,500
Elbasan105,000142,000154,700187,700208,000238,600
Fier112,000158,000171,500195,000212,000239,700
Gjirokastėr44,00051,00053,50057,10060,30065,500
Gramsh20,00027,00029,40034,50038,00043,800
Kolonjė17,00019,00019,20021,00022,30024,600
Korēė139,000168,000175,400187,500199,000213,200
Krujė43,00069,00075,60084,60093,000105,300
Kukės48,00065,00071,40075,40086,00099,400
Lezhė27,00037,00040,50048,20053,00061,100
Librazhd36,00044,00048,50056,30063,00070,800
Lushnjė66,00091,00094,100106,400115,400132,200
Mat39,00050,00053,50060,60067,00075,900
Mirditė17,00027,00029,40040,50045,00049,700
Pėrmet27,00030,00031,70034,10036,40039,400
Pogradec36,00046,00049,30056,50062,00070,500
Pukė23,00029,00032,80040,10045,00048,200
Sarandė48,00062,00066,50072,00076,70086,600
Shkodėr128,000167,000178,500191,400206,200233,000
Skrapar20,00028,00030,80037,80042,00045,800
Tepelenė26,00035,00037,80041,60045,20049,100
Tiranė194,000254,000272,000286,200310,000363,100
Tropojė21,00028,00030,50036,40039,80044,200
Vlorė101,000126,000133,500144,900155,000174,000
1,627,0002,136,0002,293,6002,560,4002,786,1003,138,100
  • Key: a = average population for the year; c = census; e = official estimate

Sources: 

  1. [1] Postal code information from Address Doctor , retrieved 2009-03-22.
  2. [2] Statistical Yearbook of P.S.R. of Albania 1988. Tirane.
  3. [3]Census 2011 Publications . Instituti i Statistikave, Tiranė (retrieved 2013-10-19).
  4. [4] Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States 1992. Europa Publications Ltd., London, 1992.
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