Outside the southwestern Balkans 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.The majority of Albanians live in Albania and Kosovo, with significant communities in Turkey, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia, followed by smaller ones in Australia, Argentina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Germany, Egypt, Romania, Switzerland and the United States.The majority of Albanians in Italy arrived in 1991 and have since surpassed the older populations of Arbëreshë.
During the Kosovo war in 1999, many Kosovo Albanians sought asylum in the Federal Republic of Germany.
This was because Italy had been a symbol of the West for many Albanians during the communist period, because of its geographic proximity.
There are small Albanian populations dating to migrations from the 18th century.
By the end of 1999, the number of Kosovo Albanians in Germany was about 480,000, about 100,000 had returned voluntarily after the war in their homeland or been forcibly removed.
The cities with the largest population of Germans of Albanian descent are the metropolitan regions of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart.
The Arbëreshë speak Arbërisht, an old variant of Albanian spoken in southern Albania, known as Tosk Albanian.