According to ACT-TEST-CENTERS.COM, the average density of the population of Albania (30 residents per sq km; see table below) is approximately that of the mountainous countries of the Balkan Peninsula; but, since in reality in the Albanian region areas of high lands, wide valleys and plateaus, coastal plains, etc., territories of different economic value alternate, also the density assumes very different values and sometimes very far from the average; in fact in a country like this, where industry is scarce and trade is poor, density essentially gives the measure of the agricultural use of the land. And so we find in the forefront the wide basin of Còrizza, that is the best cultivated district of Albania, where the population thickens until it almost reaches – unique example – 100 residents per sq. km. In the fertile region around Lake Skadar, and to the right of the lower Drin, the same conditions occur to a lesser extent, while a little below is the lowland area, albeit very intensely cultivated around Durazzo and further south up to Shkumbî. In all these cases – or at least in the first two – the presence of large urban centers, the largest in Albania, also affects the high density values. Then there are some internal valleys, such as the upper Devoll and the Morova, which can be considered as appendages of the Còrizza area; the basin of Gjirokastra, the region around the lake of Ochrida, etc.; further back, but still above average, are the upper Drin valley, the Tirana basin, the hilly region behind Valona. The region between the lower Shkumbî and the Voiussa is, on the other hand, below average, but this is mainly due to the depopulation of the coastal plain (Musacchia), because the hilly area is instead denser in population. The most depopulated areas are naturally those in the mountains, especially in the N., but also in the center (Tomorr) and SE., On the Greek border.
In all of northern and central Albania the dispersed dwelling prevails, but nevertheless the absolutely isolated house in the countryside is very rare; in the hilly areas of central Albania there are quite isolated farms, which consist of four or five buildings, enclosed by a single hedge and house, as we have seen, a “large family”. The Albanian village is almost always very scattered, both in the plains and in the mountains, because every house or farm has around it cultivated or tree-lined areas; in Northern Albania, Christian, the church serves as a meeting place, often placed in an eminent position, visible from afar; elsewhere the center is a large kulla or mosque.
True and proper massed villages are found here and there on the first hills overlooking the Musacchia, but above all in the southern valleys, but usually always a little higher on the slopes flanking the valley. Even some of the centers that are beginning to have a city aspect consist of dwellings or groups of dwellings, separated by areas cultivated (Croia, Lushnjë). The current capital of Albania, Tirana, in a well cultivated plain, at 120 m. in height, it counted about 12,000 residents in 1923, but for a decade it has developed rapidly with a completely modern appearance and perhaps today is approaching 20,000 residents; it owes to its central position that it was chosen as the seat of government (see tirana). Its port, which today is made more suitable for modern needs, is Durres (5000 residents), To which it is linked by a good road, and shortly by rail (see durazzo). The major center of northern Albania is Scutari (v.) On the plain to the South. of the lake, which, however, the events of the war and the rise of Tirana have greatly damaged, so that today, with about 23,000 residents, it is only a ‘ shadow of the past greatness. Its port is S. Giovanni di Medua (v.), In a bay at N. of the mouth of the Drin, but small fishing vessels can, as already mentioned, get closer to Scutari, going up the Boiana up to Oboti and sometimes up to the lake itself. Alessio (v.), 20 km. from the mouth of the Drin, it has instead lost almost all importance. Croia (v.), The city of Scanderbeg (about 4000 residents), Is in the interior, in a magnificent position on the hills (603 m high) that flank the Mati valley on the right. Oroshi (1200 residents), The capital of Mirdizia, is also in the hills (537 m.), on the left of the Fani, and even higher is Puka (860 m. above the sea) which is beginning to have some importance as a mining town. Peshkopijë, a very scattered town, is located in a high valley furrowed from above by Drin. Moreover, there are no other urban centers of any importance in internal northern Albania.
On the middle Shkumbî, which divides Albania ghega from tòsca, is Elbasan (10,500 residents: see), in the middle of a well cultivated region, a remarkable agricultural market. The sublittoral region of central Albania has some other centers, in which local traffic flows, so that they are taking on an urban physiognomy: Kavajë (5550 residents), In the well-cultivated plain (tobacco) to the SE. of Durazzo, with a popular bazaar, also notable for the pottery industry; Peqin (1700 residents) On a pass of the Shkumbî; Lushnjë (1700 residents) In the hills, the main agricultural center of the territory, rich in villages and farms, between Shkumbî and Semeni; Fieri (1500 residents), Main center and grain market of lower Musacchia. On the right of Osum, on the slopes of a limestone hill surmounted by a large citadel, is Berat (pop. 9000: v.). The most populated city in all of Albania (23,500 residents) Is currently Còrizza (alb. Korça), at 853 m. high, in the center of the most intensely cultivated and densely inhabited area of the whole country (v.corizza); it has somehow inherited the importance of Moskopole (Voskopoj) located in the mountains (1150 m.) further to the NE., formerly a metropolis of the Wallachians, which is believed to have counted 60,000 residents in the sec. XVIII, when it was the center of studies and worship, with about ten churches; it was destroyed following fires, the last of which in 1916 finished razing the surviving buildings to the ground; only the monastery of San Prodromo remained standing.
On the southern shore of Lake Ochrida, in Albanian territory, is Pogradec (2500 residents), A recent and clean town, developed at the foot of the oldest part of Gorrica, along the lake, and today linked by regular steam navigation with Ochrida. The centers of the Voiussa basin generally suffered considerably during the World War and also in previous years. Tepeleni (v.) Was, it can be said, completely destroyed, Leskovik is no more than a village of 900-1000 residents; Premeti (Prëmet; v.) Is still a town of over 3000 residents But the most fertile region is constituted, as we have already seen, by the large basin of the Dhrino, where Gjinokastrë is, in Albanian Gjinokastrë (about 9000 residents; v.); in the same basin further to the SE. is Libohov (2500 residents). The sea outlet of the Voiussa valley is Valona (about 6000 residents),valona); but as an outlet for the southern districts, and also for the area of Gjirokastra, the small port of Santi Quaranta (500 residents) competes with it from which the roadway, built by the Italians, leading to Corizza (see santi forty) starts ; behind him, in the interior, is Delvino (3800 residents).