Ethnic Groups of Albania

Women in traditional dress in Albania. Editorial credit: Daniel Reiner /
Women in traditional dress in Albania. Editorial credit: Daniel Reiner /

Albania is a country located in southeast part of Europe and shares its land border with North Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Greece. The country also shares its maritime border with Italy. The country has several different ethnic groups, and, aside from the majority ethnic group of the Albanians, the government recognizes nine minority ethnic groups. 


Albanians are an ethnic group native to the Balkan region, and they are identified by their common culture, ancestry, language, and history. They are the largest ethnic groups in Albania and account for 82.58% of the population. Other Albanians are found in different countries such as Montenegro, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, Greece, Croatia, and Italy as well as other countries in the diaspora in Oceania, other parts of Europe, and North America.


Aromanians are an ethnic group in the Balkan region and elsewhere such as central part of Greece, North Macedonia, south-western part of Bulgaria, and Kosovo. Aromanians are found in South and central parts of Albania. The ethnic group speaks the Aromanian language, which is believed to have been derived from Latin vernacular, and it is almost similar to Romanian. The Aromenian ethnic group in Albania is believed to be about 100,000 to 200,000 people, and this includes those who no longer speak the language. It is estimated that they account for 2% of the total population in Albania.

Ashkali and Balkan Egyptians

The Ashkali and Balkan Egyptians are among the minority ethnic groups in Albania, and they are also live in Kosovo. During the Civil War, they were displaced as refugees in Serbia, Albania, and North Macedonia. In Albania, there are estimated to be 2,368 Ashkali and Balkan Egyptians.


The Greek-Albanian ethnic community is found mainly in the Southern part of the country, and the region of northern Epirus and they are commonly referred to as northern Epirotes. It is not easy to know the number of Greek ethnic groups in Albania, but the government has claimed that there could be about 300,000 ethnic groups in Albania, but other countries estimate to be around 200,000.


Ethnic Bulgarians living in Albania are mostly found in the regions of Gora, Golo Brdo, and Mala Prespa. The Bulgarian state agency for Bulgarians abroad estimates that there are between 40,000 and 50,000 people of Bulgarian origin living in Albania; however, other sources estimate that Albanians Bulgarians could number 100,000. 7.


Albanian Bosniaks refer to one of the ethnic communities living in Albania. In Albania they live around the Shijak region and their presence can be traced back to 1875 when they inhabited the village of Borakaj and other villages like Koxhas. In 1924, some of the Bosniaks settled in Libofshe, where they were assimilated linguistically. In October of 2017, the government of Albania passed legislation that recognizes Bosniaks and other ethnic groups as a national minority in the country. 

Other Minority Ethnic Groups in Albania

Other ethnic groups found in Albania include Macedonians, and according to the census of 2011, there were 5,870 ethnic Macedonians living in the country. Another minority ethnic group in Albania is the Serbo Montenegrin which was estimated to be between 2,000 and 30,000 people according to the census of 2011, and they are found mainly in the Vraka region. Most of them are bilingual and follow the Eastern Orthodox religion, and some follow the Islamic faith.


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