AL1 Urban/rural classification (Albania)


Albania has applied the European urban/rural classification based on a 1km square km population grid. Statistical data for urban and rural areas are important for the central government and for local authorities while planning and managing services for local communities. The allocation of health and social care funding, housing, roads, water and sewerage and the provision and maintenance of schools have all distinctive aspects in urban and rural areas. Employment for urban and rural population has different features as well.

In Albania, as in most other countries, it is difficult to distinguish exactly the urban population from the rural one. Even though not always reflecting what is certainly urban or rural, in Albania, the administrative definition based on the law is used also for statistical purposes. Using cell grids of equal size (1 km²) instead of local administrative units of different sizes has increased the data comparability considerably.

The main results of the analysis show that by using the new classification of urban and rural population (and areas), figures are very different in comparison to the classification based on laws and administrative entities. In October 2011, the urban population of Albania was 58.2% of the total population, as defined by the new EU typology. Its value is more than 10% higher than the urban population defined according to administrative criteria (cities defined by laws), 47.7 %.


The grid-based statistical classification of Albania population (and areas) will improve the comparability of Albanian statistics at different territorial levels with EU countries, and will provide more accurate information for development policies in the country.

Linked to

All SDGs that will require an urban/rural dimension to be monitored.