According to preliminary data from the Directorate of Civil Status provided to Monitor through the right to information, the total deaths in the country were 28,026 people in 2020, with a strong increase of almost 28% compared to the previous year, or about 6 thousand more people than the previous year, marking a record high level. For the same period, according to the birth certificate, about 27,600 births were registered in the country, with a slight contraction of 0.2%.
For the first time in the country's history, deaths easily exceeded births (by about 400 people). This is the lowest level of natural increase of the population, at least since 1948, a few years after the end of World War II, according to iNSTAT data. But the earliest data show that Albania has the natural increase of the population at the lowest level since 1923, since the census began, as the increase of the population during the years 1923-1945, according to official data, it was on average over 18 thousand people per year. Since its peak in the early 1990s, natural population growth has been steadily declining, reflecting an increase in the average age of the population, high levels of emigration, declining fertility (currently around 1.35 births per woman, among the lowest in Europe).
Another factor influencing the population decline is the high level of emigration in recent decades, with about 40% of the population living abroad. The trend of emigration has accelerated again in recent years, including the departure of families. Official iNSTAT figures show that during 2011-2019 over 360 thousand people left the country, or 13% of the resident population in 2011. The results came from the large immigration survey conducted by INSTAT, in cooperation with donors in about 20 thousand families (the survey took place in April-July 2019). The survey has revealed a frightening fact in the past decade, as the phenomenon has expanded to the emigration of the whole family. During the last 10 years, 6.6% of families have left the country, a total of 49,500, while in the years 2001-2011, 4.4% of families had left.