Over a million Albanians, or 44% of the country’s total current population, migrated to EU Member States from 2008 to 2018, making Albania the main Western Balkans country of origin for migrants to the EU.
These are the findings of a report published by the European Policy Institute of Kosovo, based on official EUROSTAT data.
1,249,706 Albanians left the country for EU Member States, within a decade (2008-2018). This number amounts to 44% of the country’s total population in 2019.
Of those, 451,015 Albanian citizens, or 16% of the total population, were found to be illegally present in the EU during this period, more than the citizens of all other Western Balkans countries combined.
Albanian citizens also led the Western Balkans region with 170,450 of them having been refused entry into the EU. This number, again, surpasses that of the region’s, combined.
Albania’s migration numbers in proportion to its population stand out in stark contrast to those of Kosovo (30%), Montenegro (6%), North Macedonia (12%), Serbia (8%), and Bosnia-Herzegovina (9%).
As the report’s conclusions are based only on the number of asylum applications, citizens found to be illegally present in the EU, and residence permits issued, the actual number of migrants may be even larger. Furthermore, these numbers do not account for Albanians who have migrated to countries outside the EU, including the US and Canada.