Albanians in Montenegro

Albanians of Montenegro
Total population

30,439 Albanians
4.91% of Montenegro population (2011)[1]

32,671 Native Albanian speakers
5.27% of Montenegro population (2011)
Regions with significant populations
Ulcinj Municipality 14,076
Podgorica Municipality 9,538
Bar Municipality 2,515
Gusinje Municipality 1,642
Rožaje Municipality 1,158
Plav Municipality 833
Other municipalities 677
Albanian, Montenegrin
Sunni Islam, Roman Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
Albanians, Arbëreshë, Arbanasi, Arvanites, Souliotes

Albanians in Montenegro (Albanian: Shqiptarët e Malit të Zi; Serbo-Croatian: Albanci u Crnoj Gori) are an ethnic group in Montenegro of Albanian descent, which constitute 4.91% of Montenegro's total population.[2] They are the largest non-Slavic ethnic group in Montenegro.

Albanians are particularly concentrated in southeastern and eastern Montenegro alongside the border with Albania in the following municipalities including Ulcinj (71% of total population), Plav (19%), Bar (6%), Podgorica (5%) and Rožaje (5%).[3][4]

The largest city of Albanians in Montenegro is Ulcinj, where the headquarters of the Albanian National Council are located.


After the territorial expansion of Montenegro towards the Ottoman territories in 1878, Albanians for the first time became citizens of that country. Albanians that obtained Montenegrin citizenship were Muslims and Catholics, and lived in the cities of Bar and Ulcinj, including their surroundings, in the bank of river Bojana and shore of Lake Skadar, as well as in Zatrijebač.[5]

After the Balkan wars, new territories inhabited by Albanians became part of Montenegro. Montenegro then gained a part of Malesija, respectively Hoti and Gruda, with Tuzi as center, Plav, Gusinje, Rugovo, Peć and Gjakova.[5]

With the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes after World War I, Albanians in Montenegro became discriminated. The position would improve somewhat in Tito's Yugoslavia. In the mid-twentieth century, 20,000 Albanians lived in Montenegro and their number would grow by the end of the century. By the end of the 20th century the number of Albanians began to fall as a result of immigration.[5]


Albanians in Montenegro are widespread in southeast and eastern parts of the country. Ulcinj Municipality, consisting Ulcinj (Albanian: Ulqin) with the surroundings and Ana e Malit region, is the only municipality where Albanians are majority (71% of the population). Albanians are also majority in Malesija (Malësia) region, consisting of Kuči, Hoti, Gruda and Zatrijebač (Kojë, Hot, Grudë and Triesh in Albanian), that is part of Urban Municipality of Tuzi, a territorial unit of the Podgorica Municipality, which continuously seeks to acquire the status of a municipality, but without success.[6] Also a large number of Albanians lives in the following regions: Bar (Tivar) and Skadarska Krajina (Krajë) in Bar Municipality (2,515 Albanians or 6% of the population), Plav (Plavë) and Gusinje (Guci) in Plav Municipality (2,475 or 19%) and Rožaje (Rozhajë) in Rožaje Municipality (1,158 or 5%).[4]

The largest Albanian settlement is Ulcinj, followed by Tuzi.


The Albanians in Montenegro are Ghegs.


There are four Malësor Albanian tribes in Montenegro: Hoti, Gruda, Triepshi and Koja.[7]


Montenegrin Albanian culture in this region is closely related to the culture of Albanians in Albania, and the city of Shkodër in particular. Their Albanian language dialect is Gheg as of Albanians in Northern Albania.


According to the 2003 census, 73.37% of Albanians living in Montenegro were Muslim and 26.08% were Roman Catholic.[8] The religious life of Muslim Albanians is organized by the Islamic Community of Montenegro, comprising not only Albanians, but also other Muslim minorities in Montenegro.[9] Catholic Albanians, generally living in Malesija, Šestani and some in the Bar and Ulcinj municipalities, are members of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bar, whose members are mainly Albanians, but which also includes a small number of Slavs. The current Archbishop, Zef Gashi, is an ethnic Albanian.[9]


Albanians in Montenegro speak the Gheg Albanian dialect, namely the northwestern variant, while according to the 2011 Census, there are 32,671 native speakers of the Albanian language (or 5.27% of the population).[4]

According to Article 13 of the Constitution of Montenegro, Albanian language (alongside Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian) is a language in official use, officially recognized as minority language.[10]


The government of Montenegro provides Albanian-language education in the local primary and secondary schools. There is one department in the University of Montenegro, located in Podgorica, offered in Albanian, namely teacher education[5]


The first political party created by Albanians in this country is the Democratic League in Montenegro, founded by Mehmet Bardhi in 1990. Most Albanians support the country's integration into the EU: during the 2006 Montenegrin independence referendum, in Ulcinj Municipality, where Albanians at that time accounted over 72% of the population, 88.50% of voters voted for an independent Montenegro. Overall, the vote of the Albanian minority secured the country's secession from Serbia and Montenegro.[11]

In 2008, the Albanian National Council (Albanian: Këshilli Kombëtar i Shqiptarëve, abb. KKSH) was established to represent the political interests of the Albanian community. The current chairman of the KKSH is Genci Nimanbegu.

Prominent Individuals

History and Politics

Science and Academia

Music and Entertainment

Television and Cinema


See also

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  1. "Popis stanovništva, domaćinstava i stanova u Crnoj Gori 2011. godine" [Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in Montenegro 2011] (PDF) (Press release) (in Serbo-Croatian). Statistical office, Montenegro. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
  2. "Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in Montenegro 2011" (PDF). July 12, 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  3. Simon Broughton; Mark Ellingham; Richard Trillo (1999). World music: the rough guide. Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Rough Guides. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-85828-635-8. Retrieved 13 July 2013. Most of the ethnic Albanians that live outside the country are Ghegs, although there is a small Tosk population clustered around the shores of lakes Presp and Ohrid in the south of Macedonia.
  4. 1 2 3 Stanovništvo Crne Gore prema polu, tipu naselja, nacionalnoj, odnosno etničkoj pripadnosti, vjeroispovijesti i maternjem jeziku po opštinama u Crnoj
  5. 1 2 3 4 Istorijski Leksikon Crne Gore, Grup of authors, Daily press: Podgorica, 2006 ISBN 86-7706-169-X
  6. Partitë Shqiptare Kërkojnë Referendum për Komunën e
  7. Recherches albanologiques: Folklore et ethnologie (in French). Pristina: Instituti Albanologijik i Prishtinës. 1982.
  8. "Montenegrin Census' from 1909 to 2003 - Aleksandar Rakovic".
  9. 1 2 Bieber, Florian (2003). Montenegro in Transition – Problems of Identity and Statehood. Baden-Baden, Germany: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft. ISBN 978-3-8329-0072-4.
  11. "The Minority Report: Jobless Ethnic Albanians "Let Down by the State"".
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