The Arbëreshë are scattered throughout southern Italy and Sicily, and in small numbers also in other parts of Italy.They are in great numbers in North and Latin America, especially in the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Canada.Albanians produced many prominent figures such as Skanderbeg, leader of the medieval Albanian resistance to the Ottoman conquest, and others during the Albanian National Awakening seeking self-determination.During the 17th and 18th century, Albanians in large numbers converted to Islam, often to escape higher taxes levied on Christian subjects as well as a plethora of other reasons including ecclesiastical decay, and from 1945 to 1992 Albanians lived under a communist government.Approximately 1 million are dispersed throughout the rest of Europe.These are mainly refugees from Kosovo that migrated during the Kosovo war.He referred to them as "Albanoi" having taken part in a revolt against the Byzantine Empire in 1043 and to the "Arbanitai" as subjects of the Duke of Dyrrachium (modern Durrës).While the exonym Albania for the general region inhabited by the Albanians does have connotations to Classical Antiquity, the Albanian language employs a different ethnonym, with modern Albanians referring to themselves as Shqip(ë)tarë and to their country as Shqipëria.
The majority of Albanians in Italy arrived in 1991 and have since surpassed the older populations of Arbëreshë.
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 (the Arbanasi community) and scattered communities across southern Ukraine.) have been identified by many ethnonyms.
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 Albanian diaspora was formed during the Middle Ages due to economic factors, sociopolitical circumstances of discrimination and violence against the Albanians in the Balkans.