The Albanian diaspora also exists in a number of other countries. It was formed during the Ottoman era through economic migration and early years of the Turkish republic through migration due to sociopolitical discrimination and violence experienced by Albanians in Balkan countries.During the 17th and 18th century Albanians in large numbers converted to Islam, often to escape higher taxes levied on Christian subjects.Albania gained its independence in 1912 and between 1945-1992, Albanians lived under a repressive communist regime.Albanians are not recognized as a minority in Turkey.However approximately 500,000 people are reported to profess an Albanian identity.Albanians within Yugoslavia underwent periods of discrimination and eventual self-determination that concluded with the breakup of that state in the early 1990s culminating with Albanians living in new countries and Kosovo.Outside the southwestern Balkans of where Albanians have traditionally been located, Albanian populations through the course of history have formed new communities contributing to the cultural, economic, social and political life of their host populations and countries while also at times assimilating too.
Between the 11th and 18th centuries, sizable numbers of Albanians migrated from the area of contemporary Albania to escape either various socio-political difficulties and/or the Ottoman conquest.
One population which became the Arvanites settled down in southern Greece who starting from the 16th century though mainly during the 19th century onwards assimilated and today self identify as Greeks.
and form the oldest continuous Albanian diaspora producing influential and many prominent figures.
Smaller populations dating to migrations during the 18th century are located on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast and scattered communities across southern Ukraine.
With those that have only partial Albanian ancestry and the Turkified ones the number is about 1,300,000-5,000,000 most of whom do not speak Albanian.
A large Albanian population lives in the Republic of Macedonia, with smaller Albanian populations located in Serbia and Montenegro.