Monday, February 09, 2009

Albanian Demographics

There was a very good article by Jonathan Shugarts in Sunday's Republican American, but there was one little detail in the article that raised a red flag in the back of my mind. Fourteen hours later, that little red flag moved to the front of my mind.

In his article ("Search for killer extends to Albania"), he writes that "Waterbury has about 14,000 Albanians." I know there are a lot of Albanians in Waterbury, but 14,000 seems a little too many. This is the sort of arithmetic problem that I don't normally pay close attention to, but I know that number just can't be right. Just after midnight, it suddenly started bothering me.

Waterbury's total population is supposed to be around 107,000. If there are 14,000 Albanians, they represent 13% of the population. For comparison, the US Census estimates that in 2000 there were 19,400 African-Americans, 23,354 Hispanics, 24,476 Italians, and 12,514 Irish in Waterbury.

Being the research geek that I am, I naturally did some research on the topic. According to the census, there were 2,174 Albanians living in Waterbury nine years ago. That's just slightly more than two percent of the population. I can't believe that there's been an influx of 12,000 Albanians in the past nine years--that's a huge number of people.

So how many Albanians are there now in Waterbury, and where did Shugarts get his data? The way the article is written, it seems like the number is coming from Police Chief O'Leary as justification for spending $5,000 to send some of our police officers to Albania.


Struga Girl said...

A 11/22/2008 Republican-American article said: "The exact number of Albanians living in Waterbury is unknown, but Jarjura puts the total somewhere around 15,000." [P.Overton]

Being Albanian, and having lived in Waterbury at one point for over 11 years, I know there are more Albanian residents than the census data states. Based on my own independent research which I started 5 months ago, there are over 2,000 families in Waterbury- and that is HOUSEHOLDS alone. I have yet to complete this research. My assumption is that this number will increase, and it might be in the 10's of thousands.

If you ask anyone that has traveled overseas to that region, or the Balkans in general (Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro), $5000 for 4 people is a bargain. The great Chief O'Leary is doing everything he can to find the "person of interest" that quite possibly committed a brutal murder in our city. Most homocides in Waterbury are isolated cases. You don't always hear of a 21 year old [allegedly] killing an 85 year old woman. The Waterbury PD is taking the case personally and seriously, as it should.

Waterbury Girl said...

I absolutely agree that this was money well-spent. It's very frightening to think that this young man has allegedly committed so many brutal crimes and is roaming the world freely.

I've been looking forward to the next census for several years. The anecdotal information suggests that Waterbury's demographics have changed dramatically in the past decade and it would be great to have some solid data to substantiate it, and to know what the current population number really is.

For so many decades, many people have thought of Waterbury as being predominately Italian; before that it was predominately Irish. For most of the 20th century, the city's mayors were always either Irish or Italian. That cycle changed with the election of Mayor Jarjura, who is Lebanese.

One of the things I love most about Waterbury is the incredible cultural diversity. It used to be that the factories brought in new groups, but we are still an immigrant city, with an even greater cultural diversity than in the past.

I think it would be great if we could put together an annual festival celebrating all the different cultures here in Waterbury--food, music, dancing. There were Ethnic Music Festivals during the 1980s and '90s. I think it's time to revive them!

While I'm dreaming... the endless parade of Italian restaurants is finally being shaken up with new cuisines--Lebanese, Pakistan, Thai. I'd love to see these types of restaurants downtown. If there were half a dozen new downtown restaurants, each serving a different type of cuisine and within easy walking distance of the parking garages and the Palace Theater, it would make downtown a real destination.

Struga Girl said...

I found a few factoids on

2010 Census Timeline: Key Dates

- Fall 2008: Recruitment begins for local census jobs for early census operations.
- Spring 2009: Census employees go door-to-door to update address list nationwide.
- Fall 2009: Recruitment begins for census takers needed for peak workload in 2010.
- February – March 2010: Census questionnaires are mailed or delivered to households.
- April 1, 2010: Census Day
- April – July 2010: Census takers visit households that did not return a questionnaire by mail.
- December 2010: By law, Census Bureau delivers population counts to President for apportionment.
- March 2011: By law, Census Bureau completes delivery of redistricting data to states.

I also learned that participation in the census is required by law. Census data are used to distribute Congressional seats to states, to make decisions about what community services to provide, and to distribute $300 billion in federal funds to local, state and tribal governments each year.

Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Waterbury's Albanian population may have increased a lot in recent years, but some have been around for decades. I believe the first ones arrived after fleeing Communism in the late 1940's.

Albanians now run many of the pizza parlors in New York. Is it the same in Waterbury?


Struga Girl said...

Yes, there are many Albanians that have been here for decades. My aunt made Waterbury her home in 1968. Her son now practices law here.

Waterbury-Albanians have managed to make their culture an integral part of community life, as reflected in the number of Albanian businesses in the city. There are at least 40 businesses I could think of off the top of my head that are owned and operated by Albanians. They range from auto shops, travel agencies, mortgage & insurance offices to beauty salons, restaurants & pizzerias, etc.

Anonymous said...

I believe the number of Albanians in Waterbury to be approximately 5-6000. It's definitely more than 2% of population of Waterbury. A lot of school brochures have been published in English, Spanish and Albanian. The reasons for the brochures or other advertisement in Albanian is only to capture a portion of the population that doesn't speak English yet. There will still be more and more Albanians coming to Waterbury in the next few years.

Anonymous said...

Дамы и Господа!

Если вы интересуетесь немного политикой, то должны были заметить - эти резкие волнения в странах Африки
возникли неспроста.

Есть 2 версии этих событий - "официальная" и "неофициальная", и обе версии скорее уводят в сторону от реальных фактов.
[b]Версия 1:[/b] Каддафи - тиран и самодержец, стрелял в мирных граждан, поэтому его надо бы убрать.
[b]Версия 2:[/b] на самом деле Европе с Америкой захотелось немного Ливийской нефти, и они решили навести небольшой "дебош"

Рассмотрим версию 1.
Да, Каддафи уже тот ещё старик, ему конечно пора бы и на пенсию. Но известно ли вам, что конкретно в Ливии
народ имеет весьма высокие преференции при его правлении? Учителя получают под $3.000, выплаты безработным
порядка $1000 и так далее. Да, он стал укрощать группки взбунтовавшихся бедуинов, но кто-нибудь понимает
реальные причины этих бунтов?
Эта версия не выдерживает никакой критики.

Версия 2.
Нефть Ливии? Да, она отличается высоким качеством, Ливийская нефть очень чистая. Но её там не так много.
Да и к тому же, зачем тогда будоражить Египет и прочие африканские государства, которые весь прошлый
год вообще никого не тревожили и не волновали?! А тут вдруг - "тираны", "изверги" и т.п.

Да, эта ситуация дополнительно подогрела цены на нефть. Отдельным корпорациям это выгодно.

Но истина короче.
Каддафи не так давно начал объединять ближневосточные страны под идеей перейти на расчёт
за нефть и товары НЕ долларами, НЕ евро, а альтернативой всему этому. И Египет - одна из стран,
которая это поддержала...

Подробнее - здесь:

Однако в популярных СМИ это никогда не скажут.

P.S. У Саддама Хусейна, кстати, тоже были такие начинания. Вообще, после кризиса ооочень многие
страны стали задумываться об ИЗБАВЛЕНИИ ОТ ЗАВИСИМОСТИ ОТ ДОЛЛАРА. Рано или поздно
это произойдёт. ФРС уже некуда понижать ставки.

Распространите это где сможете. Люди должны знать правду.

Кстати, это тоже по теме: Франция перенесла вторжение в Ливию на сутки, на, Франция пообещала напасть на Ливию через несколько часов, нанесла, Франция перенесла вторжение в Ливию на сутки, по, Франция пообещала напасть на Ливию через несколько часов, против

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know of any active organizations, mosques, services, restaurants or pretty much anything traditionally Albanian that is still active near the Waterbury area or just in CT? I'm doing a college research presentation on the Albanian culture and I have found it surprisingly hard to find any Albanians to interview or any places to visit that would give me a better insight. I've always heard of there being a large Albanian population around here that's why I just don't know if I'm looking in the wrong spots? The addresses I found on google for Albanian mosques in CT all turned up to not exist when i drove to the addresses and looked for them :( If anyone has any info or input that'd be great!
Thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know of any active Albanian organizations, community centers, mosques, service, restaurants, pretty much anything that are active in the waterbury area? I'm doing a college research presentation on the culture of Albania and I'm finding it surprisingly difficult to find any places I could attend to get a better insight. I'd love to meet some people from the country and get some insight on their culture, traditions and customs. I always thought CT, especially Waterbury had a high population of Albanians so I would think I'd find more information online but the only addresses i found on google for Albanian mosques in CT turned out to not exist when i drove to them :( If anyone knows any info of any services or just cool places your input would be great!
Thank you :)

Waterbury Girl said...

The two listed below are active.

Albanian-American Muslim Center
38 Raymond St.
Waterbury, CT 06706

Albanian-American Cultural and
Islamic Center "Hasan Prishtina"
106 Columbia Blvd.
Waterbury, CT 06710