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Albania's population remained very small through the time of Turkish Ottoman rule. There may have been 200,000 Albanians around 1000 A.D. The figure rose to 300,000 by 1700. The 1800 population was about 400,000. The first census taken in 1923 revealed a population of 803,900 inhabitants. The population grew very quickly in the second half of the 1900s. By 1983 it reached 2,870,000. By the latest estimate of 1997 there are 3,500,000 persons in the country. Ninety-five percent of the population is ethnically Albanian. Greeks constitute 3% of the population and are the largest minority group. Other minorities include Vlachs (akin to Romanians), Gypsies, Bulgars, and Serbs.

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