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News 14 Dec 12

Albania's Minorities Shrink Below 2 Per Cent

Data published on Thursday by Albania's National Institute of Statistics, INSTAT, show that in the 2011 census ethnic minorities make less than 1.5 per cent of the population.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana

According to INSTAT the ethnic Greek minority now accounts for only 0.87 per cent of the population, ethnic Macedonians make up 0.2 per cent and Roma 0.3 per cent.

The census data show that 83.2 per cent of the respondents declared themselves ethnic Albanians, while 14.07 per cent refused to answer questions on the basis of nationality.

“In 2011 there were no surprises when it comes to the ethnic make-up of the country,” said the Minister of Innovation and Technology, Genc Pollo, who presented the census data.

Although an official census had not been carried out in Albania for decades, the size of the ethnic Greek population has been estimated before to be larger. In the 1989 census the Greek minority in Albania was registered at 1.8 per cent of the population.

The data show that 99 per cent of the respondents in the census declared Albanian as their mother tongue, 0.54 per cent Greek, and 0.14 per cent Macedonian.

Data on the religious make-up of the country show that 56.7 per cent of Albanians declare themselves as Muslim, 10.53 per cent as Catholics, 6.75 per cent as Orthodox, and 2.09 per cent as Bektashi Muslims. Another 2.5 per cent are atheists and 5.53 per cent are non-denominational believers.

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