Definition of Youth

An international youth policy review (2010) by the Council of Europe says young people are defined as aged 15 – 29 years of age. Young people make up 70% of the population, making it the 2nd youngest in Europe (after Kosovo).


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • --
  • 18
  • --
  • Female
  • --
  • 18
  • --

  • No data for marriageable age without parental consent. No specific legislation for same-sex marriage. Homosexual acts legal. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  Criminal Code of Albania

Majority Age


Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 98.98% Male (15-24) %
  • 99.08% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 66.37%Male %
  • 63.85% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 17.60% Male (13-15) %
  • 6.70% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Albania has a national youth stra­tegy. An international youth policy review was published in 2010.

The national youth strategy (2007) outlines a vision for young empowerment that “is resonant with the principles of sustainable development”, European integration and, “the construction of an open democratic society.” The youth strategy focuses on youth participation, representation, the economy, health, social protection, leisure, free time and European citizenship. The development of the youth strategy, “reflects a keen interest in designing inter-sectorial policies that take a long-term view on the issue of youth development” and seeks “coordination among governmental agencies on the national and local levels, civil society organizations, international institutions and the business community.” The youth strategy expired at the end of 2013, with no information available about its successor.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Ministry of Youth and Social Welfare has responsibility for youth affairs and focuses on the protection of constitutional rights, access to education, vocational training, safe employment, inclusion, participation, interfaith understanding and tolerance. According to the Youth Section of the Ministry website, activities focus on employment, entrepreneurship and youth centres. The national youth strategy (2007) was authored by the Ministry for Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports, which formerly had responsibility for youth.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The Albanian Youth Council (AYC) was established in 1994 to serve as a nation-wide platform representing the interests of national youth organisations towards the state. Its mission is to support youth policy development as a means of improving democratic participation, empowerment and competence development of young people and of youth organisations. The AYC has 38 member organisations, and 2 organisations have observer status. While the AYC is not a member of the European Youth Forum, according to a newsletter on 10 May 2011, the Forum has supported its development.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
ALL 3.0 million
USD 29,341
According to the 2013 Monitoring Report for the Ministry for Youth and Social Welfare, the ‘Programme for Youth’ had a budget of ALL 3.0 million (USD 29,341). According to the World Bank, Albania spent 11.16% of its government expenditure and 3.27% of its GDP on education provision in 2007.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed May 2014).

Additional Background

The international youth policy review conducted by the Council of Europe and published in 2010 concludes that,
Albania’s aspirations for its young people, articulated in the National Youth Strategy, cannot be faulted; its capacity to deliver across this spectrum of themes, and throughout the country, is quite another matter. The policies proposed make absolute sense in relation to the preceding analysis and vision, but “what to do” is one thing, “how to do it” is quite another. Recurrently, the international review team was told that there were laws that were not implemented or that nobody observed. This gap between the theory of policy and the practice of policy is typical for these kinds of abstract blueprint approaches. Policies are not achieved through the writing of a document! There can, of course, be “natural” resistance to centralised attempts to find and impose solutions to social questions, particularly in countries with certain histories, like Albania. People are inclined not to “fit in” with new prescriptions. The National Youth Strategy itself concedes that “initiatives to transform the youth sector and youth reality tend to stay on a theoretical level”. […]
The rather abstract nature of the National Youth Strategy is reinforced by a striking absence of data, facts and figures. This is, of course, very problematic if there is a desire to build an evidence-based youth policy framework. […]
During both discussions and within the material scrutinised by the international review team, there was scarcely a mention of “youth work” or “non-formal education”. About the closest the National Youth Strategy comes to this is in its analysis of the weaknesses around civic education and democratic citizenship during the transition period arising from “the low level of co-operation among policy makers, teachers, parents, the community and civil society groups” (Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports 2006, p. 43). There is also hardly an infrastructure within which to locate such practice, even if the personnel were prepared, because of the decimation of public recreational spaces, open space, or places where young people might gather – spontaneously and informally - for “association”. We saw some, and heard about many more projects, but were not aware of structures that might have enabled such potential “youth work” practice. […]