Albania’s population drain remains on the rise

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 16, 2019 10:05

Albania’s population drain remains on the rise

Story Highlights

  • The region most affected by birth rate decline is that of Gjirokastra by 115 births, with a decrease of 18.4 percent compared to the third quarter of 2018. In this region the number of deaths exceeds births by 53.

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TIRANA, Nov. 15 – Periodic demographic data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) in the country continue to show a decline in the number of births and consequently the natural population growth.

In the third quarter of 2019 in Albania 800 children were born less than the same period of 2018 while natural population growth recorded a decrease of 17.1 percent compared to the third quarter of the previous year.

The region most affected by birth rate decline is that of Gjirokastra by 115 births, with a decrease of 18.4 percent compared to the third quarter of 2018. In this region the number of deaths exceeds births by 53. 

According to official data, the highest number of births for the third quarter of 2019 is registered in the district of Tirana, with 2,410 births. But even this number of births in Tirana is 11.3 percent lower compared to the third quarter of 2018. 

Demographic movements researchers link the decline in birth rates not only to immigration and internal migration but also to economic and social factors..

Researchers have long been concerned with the state of the country in a demographic emergency and have asked institutions to prioritize ways to mitigate the effects of natural population decline.

Albania’s natural population growth registered negative growth in the first quarter of this year as the number of deaths slightly exceeded births in a dramatic but warned situation that takes place for the first time in nine decades since Albania established a civil registry in the late 1920s.

The country’s deaths outnumbered births by 285 in the first quarter of this year as the birth rate dropped by an annual 18 percent to hit a record low of 5,670, according to data published by INSTAT.

The decline in Albania’s birth rate is a result of cultural changes in the typical Albanian household during the past quarter of a century of the country’s transition to democracy and a market economy, lower marriages and fertility rates and high migration rates which in the past few years transformed into asylum-seeking in wealthy EU member states.

Due to massive migration and a sharp decline in fertility rates, natural population growth has been even more dramatic as it dropped from about 60,000 in the early 1990s to less than 9,000 in 2017.

The high number of asylum seekers in the past four years, the ongoing legal migration and a sharp decline in birth rates have sparked concerns over a rapidly shrinking population with negative impacts for the country’s developing economy of 2.8 million residents, already suffering one of the world’s highest per capita migration with 1.5 million Albanians living and working abroad.

Rapidly ageing population and high migration rates also pose key threats to Albania’s labor productivity which already remains Europe’s poorest performing,  the World Bank has warned.

In a report examining job dynamics in the country, the World Bank describes Albania’s labor productivity, measured as GDP output per worker, as the lowest in Eastern Europe.

“Labor productivity levels are low in Albania – lower, in fact, than in any other country in Eastern Europe. Labor productivity, measured as GDP output per worker, was about US$31,000 per worker in Albania in 2016, while it was US$60,000 per worker in Lithuania, US$57,000 in Estonia, and US$48,000 in Romania,” the World Bank has previously reported. 

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 16, 2019 10:05