Previously in classical antiquity, Albania has been populated by various Illyrian, Thracian and Greek tribes, as well as several Greek colonies established in the Illyrian coast. In the third century BC, the region was annexed by the Roman Empire and became an integral part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia, Macedonia and Illyricum. The unified Principality of Arbër emerged in 1190, established by archon Progon in the Krujë, within the Byzantine Empire. In the late thirteenth century, Charles of Anjou conquered the Albanian territories from the Byzantines and established the medieval Kingdom of Albania, extending from Durrës along the coast to Butrint in the south. In the mid-fifteenth century, it was conquered by the Ottomans.
The modern nation state of Albania emerged in 1912 following the defeat of the Ottomans in the Balkan Wars. The modern Kingdom of Albania was invaded by Italy in 1939, which formed Greater Albania, before becoming a Nazi German protectorate in 1943. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, a Communist state titled the People's Socialist Republic of Albania was founded under the leadership of Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labour. The country experienced widespread social and political transformations in the communist era, as well as isolation from much of the international community. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1991, the Socialist Republic was dissolved and the fourth Republic of Albania was established.
Albania is a democratic and developing country with an upper-middle income economy. The tertiary sector dominates the country's economy followed by the secondary and primary sector. Following the end of communism in 1990, the country went through a process of transition from a centralized economy to a market-based economy. It also provides universal health care and free primary and secondary education to its citizens.
Official languages: Albania
Total area: 28,748 km2 (11,100 sq mi)
Population (January 2017 estimate): 2,876,591
Time zone: CET (UTC+1)