Counties of Albania
CategoryUnitary State
LocationRepublic of Albania
Populations59,381 (Gjirokastër)–906,166 (Tiranë)
Areas766 km2 (296 sq mi) (Durrës)–3,711 km2 (1,433 sq mi) (Korçë)

Counties (Albanian: qarqe or qarqet), also sometimes known as prefectures (prefekturë), are the first-level administrative subdivisions of Albania, replacing the earlier districts. Since 2000, there have been 12 counties. Since 2015, they have been divided into 61 municipalities and 373 communes.


Since its Declaration of Independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, Albania has reorganized its internal administration 21 times. The primary division until the year 2000 was into districts (Albanian: rrethe), whose number, size, and importance varied over time.[1] They were organized into groups comprising 12 counties beginning in 1991.[1]

The current status of the counties[2] is based on the 1998 constitution and was carried out on 31 July 2000.[3] The former districts were abolished entirely and replaced with urban municipalities (bashki) and rural municipalities (komuna), which further oversaw villages (fshatra) in the countryside. This was revised in 2014, so that the 2015 local elections divided the counties into municipalities (bashki) at the regional level and administrative units (njësi administrative) for local government.


County Seat Municipalities NUTS-2 Area Population (2020)[4] Emblem Geographic coordinates
Berat Berat Berat, Kuçovë, Poliçan, Skrapar, Ura Vajgurore Southern Region 1,798 km2 (694 sq mi) 122,003 Emblem of Berat County 40°44′N 19°59′E / 40.733°N 19.983°E / 40.733; 19.983 (Berat County)
Dibër Peshkopi Bulqizë, Dibër, Klos, Mat Northern Region 2,586 km2 (998 sq mi) 115,857 Emblem of Dibër County 41°42′N 20°22′E / 41.700°N 20.367°E / 41.700; 20.367 (Dibër County)
Durrës Durrës Durrës, Krujë, Shijak Northern Region 766 km2 (296 sq mi) 290,697 Emblem of Durrës County 41°23′N 19°30′E / 41.383°N 19.500°E / 41.383; 19.500 (Durrës County)
Elbasan Elbasan Belsh, Cërrik, Elbasan, Gramsh, Librazhd, Peqin, Prrenjas Central Region 3,199 km2 (1,235 sq mi) 270,074 Emblem of Elbasan County 41°6′N 20°8′E / 41.100°N 20.133°E / 41.100; 20.133 (Elbasan County)
Fier Fier Divjakë, Fier, Lushnjë, Mallakastër, Patos, Roskovec Southern Region 1,890 km2 (730 sq mi) 289,889 Emblem of Fier County 44°46′N 19°37′E / 44.767°N 19.617°E / 44.767; 19.617 (Fier County)
Gjirokastër Gjirokastër Dropull, Gjirokastër, Këlcyrë, Libohovë, Memaliaj, Përmet, Tepelenë Southern Region 2,884 km2 (1,114 sq mi) 59,381 Emblem of Gjirokastër County 40°12′N 20°15′E / 40.200°N 20.250°E / 40.200; 20.250 (Gjirokastër County)
Korçë Korçë Devoll, Kolonjë, Korçë, Maliq, Pogradec, Pustec Southern Region 3,711 km2 (1,433 sq mi) 204,831 Emblem of Korçë County 40°40′N 20°48′E / 40.667°N 20.800°E / 40.667; 20.800 (Korçë County)
Kukës Kukës Has, Kukës, Tropojë Northern Region 2,374 km2 (917 sq mi) 75,428 Emblem of Kukës County 42°7′N 20°25′E / 42.117°N 20.417°E / 42.117; 20.417 (Kukës County)
Lezhë Lezhë Kurbin, Lezhë, Mirditë Northern Region 1,620 km2 (630 sq mi) 122,700 Emblem of Lezhë County 41°49′N 19°41′E / 41.817°N 19.683°E / 41.817; 19.683 (Lezhë County)
Shkodër Shkodër Fushë-Arrëz, Malësi e Madhe, Pukë, Shkodër, Vau i Dejës Northern Region 3,562 km2 (1,375 sq mi) 200,007 Emblem of Shkodër County 42°6′N 19°37′E / 42.100°N 19.617°E / 42.100; 19.617 (Shkodër County)
Tirana Tirana Kamëz, Kavajë, Rrogozhinë, Tirana, Vorë Central Region 1,652 km2 (638 sq mi) 906,166 Emblem of Tirana County 41°6′N 20°8′E / 41.100°N 20.133°E / 41.100; 20.133 (Tirana County)
Vlorë Vlorë Delvinë, Finiq, Himarë, Konispol, Sarandë, Selenicë, Vlorë Southern Region 2,706 km2 (1,045 sq mi) 188,922 Emblem of Vlorë County 40°30′N 19°37′E / 40.500°N 19.617°E / 40.500; 19.617 (Vlorë County)

See also


  1. ^ a b A Brief History of the Administrative-territorial Organization in Albania Archived 2017-06-09 at the Wayback Machine, Ministry of State for Local Issues
  2. ^ "Ligji për Vetëqeverisjen Vendore" (PDF). Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  3. ^ "A Brief History of the Administrative-territorial Organization in Albania". Archived from the original on 2017-06-09. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  4. ^ "Popullsia në 1 Janar sipas qarqeve dhe gjinisë 2001 - 2020" (in Albanian). Instituti i Statistikës (INSTAT). Retrieved 22 July 2020.