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Malta country facts

Republic of Malta Europe Valletta 412,655 inhabitants 316 sq km 1,305.87 inhabitants/sq km euros (EUR) population evolution



Great Britain formally acquired possession of Malta in 1814. The island staunchly supported the UK through both world wars and remained in the Commonwealth when it became independent in 1964; a decade later it declared itself a republic. Since about the mid-1980s, the island has transformed itself into a freight transshipment point, a financial center, and a tourist destination. Malta became an EU member in May 2004 and began using the euro as currency in 2008.



Southern Europe, islands in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily (Italy)

Geographic coordinates

35 50 N, 14 35 E

Area (sq km)

total: 316 sq km
land: 316 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative (sq km)

slightly less than twice the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries (km)

0 km

Coastline (km)

196.8 km (excludes 56 km for the island of Gozo)

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive fishing zone: 25 nm


Mediterranean; mild, rainy winters; hot, dry summers


mostly low, rocky, flat to dissected plains; many coastal cliffs

Elevation extremes (m)

lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Ta'Dmejrek 253 m (near Dingli)

Natural resources

limestone, salt, arable land

Land use (%)

arable land: 28.12%
permanent crops: 4.06%
other: 67.81% (2011)

Irrigated land (sq km)

32 sq km (2007)

Total renewable water resources (cu km)

0.05 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) ()

total: 0.05 cu km/yr (64%/1%/35%)
per capita: 134.1 cu m/yr (2009)

Natural hazards


Environment - current issues

limited natural freshwater resources; increasing reliance on desalination

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

the country comprises an archipelago, with only the three largest islands (Malta, Ghawdex or Gozo, and Kemmuna or Comino) being inhabited; numerous bays provide good harbors; Malta and Tunisia are discussing the commercial exploitation of the continental shelf between their countries, particularly for oil exploration

People and Society


noun: Maltese (singular and plural)
adjective: Maltese

Ethnic groups (%)

Maltese (descendants of ancient Carthaginians and Phoenicians with strong elements of Italian and other Mediterranean stock)

Languages (%)

Maltese (official) 90.1%, English (official) 6%, multilingual 3%, other 0.9% (2005 est.)

Religions (%)

Roman Catholic (official) more than 90% (2011 est.)


412,655 (July 2014 est.)   evolution and prospects (1950-2100)

Age structure (%)

0-14 years: 15.1% (male 32,021/female 30,432)
15-24 years: 12.6% (male 26,680/female 25,201)
25-54 years: 40.4% (male 85,109/female 81,577)
55-64 years: 14% (male 28,751/female 29,113)
65 years and over: 17.2% (male 32,903/female 40,868) (2014 est.)

Age structure in Malta

Median age (years)

total: 40.9 years
male: 39.7 years
female: 42.1 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate (%)

0.33% (2014 est.)

Birth rate (births/1,000 population)

10.24 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)

8.96 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Net migration rate (migrant(s)/1,000 population)

1.99 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Urbanization (%)

urban population: 94.8% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 0.47% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

VALLETTA (capital) 198,000 (2011)

Sex ratio (male(s)/female)

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Maternal mortality rate (deaths/100,000 live births)

8 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate (deaths/1,000 live births)

total: 3.59 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.16 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth (years)

total population: 80.11 years
male: 77.8 years
female: 82.56 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate (children born/woman)

1.54 children born/woman (2014 est.)

Health expenditures (% of GDP)

8.5% of GDP (2010)

Physicians density (physicians/1,000 population)

3.23 physicians/1,000 population (2011)

Hospital bed density (beds/1,000 population)

4.4 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source (% of population)

improved: urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2012 est.)

Sanitation facility access (% of population)

improved: urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)

0.1% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

fewer than 500 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

fewer than 100 (2009 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate (%)

28.8% (2008)

Education expenditures (% of GDP)

6.9% of GDP (2010)

Literacy (%)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.4%
male: 91.2%
female: 93.5% (2005 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) (years)

total: 15 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2011)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 (%)

total: 14.2%
male: 14%
female: 14.5% (2012)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Malta
conventional short form: Malta
local long form: Repubblika ta' Malta
local short form: Malta

Government type



name: Valletta
geographic coordinates: 35 53 N, 14 30 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions

68 localities (Il-lokalita); Attard, Balzan, Birgu, Birkirkara, Birzebbuga, Bormla, Dingli, Fgura, Floriana, Fontana, Ghajnsielem, Gharb, Gharghur, Ghasri Ghaxaq, Gudja, Gzira, Hamrun, Iklin, Imdina, Imgarr, Imqabba, Imsida, Imtarfa, Isla, Kalkara, Kercem, Kirkop, Lija, Luqa, Marsa, Marsaskala, Marsaxlokk, Mellieha, Mosta, Munxar, Nadur, Naxxar, Paola, Pembroke, Pieta, Qala, Qormi, Qrendi, Rabat, Rabat (Ghawdex), Safi, San Giljan/Saint Julian, San Gwann/Saint John, San Lawrenz/Saint Lawrence, Sannat, San Pawl il-Bahar/Saint Paul's Bay, Santa Lucija/Saint Lucia, Santa Venera/Saint Venera, Siggiewi, Sliema, Swieqi, Tarxien, Ta' Xbiex, Valletta, Xaghra, Xewkija, Xghajra, Zabbar, Zebbug, Zebbug (Ghawdex), Zejtun, Zurrieq


21 September 1964 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 21 September (1964); Republic Day, 13 December (1974)


many previous; latest adopted 21 September 1964; amended many times, last in 2011 (2011)

Legal system

mixed legal system of English common law and civil law (based on the Roman and Napoleonic civil codes)

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Marie-Louise Coleiro PRECA (since 4 April 2014)
head of government: Prime Minister Joseph MUSCAT (since 11 March 2013)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
elections: president appointed by a resolution of the House of Representatives for a five-year term; appointment last held on 4 April 2014 (next to be held by April 2019); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the president for a five-year term; the deputy prime minister appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
election results: Marie-Louise Coleiro PRECA appointed president; Joseph MUSCAT elected prime minister

Legislative branch

unicameral House of Representatives (normally 65 seats; members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation by the Single Transferrable Vote (STV) to serve five-year terms; note - the parliament elected in 2013 is composed of 69 seats; when the political party winning an absolute majority of first-count votes (or a plurality of first-count votes in an election where only two parties are represented in parliament) does not win an absolute majority of seats, the constitution provides for the winning party to be awarded additional number of seats in parliament to guarantee it an absolute majority; in the event that more than two parties are represented in parliament, with none acquiring the absolute majority of votes, the party winning the majority of seats prevails
elections: last held on 9 March 2013 (next to be held by March 2018)
election results: percent of vote by party - PL 54.8%, PN 43.3%, other 1.9%; seats by party - PL 39, PN 30
note: in 2009, provisions in the law were made for communities with elected representatives to be established within localities and for an elected chairperson to sit in on council meetings

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of either 1 or 3 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 3 judges); Court of Criminal Appeal (consists of either 1 or 3 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court judges appointed by the president, usually upon the advice of the prime minister; judges of both courts serve until age 65
subordinate courts: Civil Court (divided into the General Jurisdiction Section, Family Section, and Voluntary Section); Criminal Court; Court of Magistrates; Gozo Courts (for the islands of Gozo and Comino}

Political parties and leaders

Alternativa Demokratika/Alliance for Social Justice or AD (Green Party) [Arnold CASSOLA]
Labor Party or PL [Joseph MUSCAT]
Nationalist Party or PN [Simon BUSUTTIL]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Alliance of Liberal Democrats Malta (Alleanza Liberali-Demokratika Malta) of ALDM (for divorce, abortion, gay marriage, women's rights)
Together for a Better Environment (Flimkien Ghal-Ambjent Ahjar) or FAA (pro-environment)
other: environmentalists

International organization participation

Australia Group, C, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina (observer), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Marisa Maria Louise MICALLEF (since 22 August 2013)
chancery: 2017 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 462-3611 through 3612
FAX: [1] (202) 387-5470
consulate(s): New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Gina ABERCROMBIE-WINSTANLEY (since 18 April 2012)
embassy: Ta' Qali National Park, Attard, ATD 4000
mailing address: 5800 Valetta Place, Dulles, VA 20189
telephone: [356] 2561 4000
FAX: [356] 2124 3229

Flag description

two equal vertical bands of white (hoist side) and red; in the upper hoist-side corner is a representation of the George Cross, edged in red; according to legend, the colors are taken from the red and white checkered banner of Count Roger of Sicily who removed a bi-colored corner and granted it to Malta in 1091; an uncontested explanation is that the colors are those of the Knights of Saint John who ruled Malta from 1530 to 1798; in 1942, King George VI of the United Kingdom awarded the George Cross to the islanders for their exceptional bravery and gallantry in World War II; since independence in 1964, the George Cross bordered in red has appeared directly on the white field

National symbol(s)

Maltese cross

National anthem

name: "L-Innu Malti" (The Maltese Anthem)
lyrics/music: Dun Karm PSAILA/Robert SAMMUT
note: adopted 1945; the anthem is written in the form of a prayer


Economy - overview

Malta - the smallest economy in the euro zone - produces only about 20% of its food needs, has limited fresh water supplies, and has few domestic energy sources. Malta's geographic position between Europe and North Africa makes it a target for irregular migration, which has strained Malta's political and economic resources. Malta's fertility rate is below the EU average, and population growth in recent years has largely been from immigration, putting increasing pressure on the pension system. Malta adopted the euro on 1 January 2008. Malta's economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing, and tourism, and was hurt by the global economic downturn, but fared better than most other EU member states. Malta has low unemployment relative to other European countries, and growth has recovered since the 2009 recession. Malta's financial services industry has grown in recent years and it has avoided contagion from the European financial crisis, largely because its debt is mostly held domestically and its banks have low exposure to the sovereign debt of peripheral European countries. The EU reopened an excessive deficit procedure against Malta in June 2013, having found that its forecasted deficit for the year was likely to exceed 3% of GDP.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$11.22 billion (2013 est.)
$10.96 billion (2012 est.)
$10.89 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$9.541 billion (2013 est.)

GDP - real growth rate (%)

2.4% (2013 est.)
0.6% (2012 est.)
1.6% (2011 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$29,200 (2012 est.)
$28,800 (2011 est.)
$28,300 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP - composition, by sector of origin (%)

agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 25.3%
services: 73.3% (2013 est.)

Labor force

190,400 (2013 est.)

Labor force - by occupation (%)

agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 22.2%
services: 76.4% (2013)

Unemployment rate (%)

6.4% (2013 est.)
6.5% (2012 est.)

Population below poverty line (%)

15.1% (2012)

Household income or consumption by percentage share (%)

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Distribution of family income - Gini index

27.1 (2012)
26 (2007)


revenues: $4.843 billion
expenditures: $4.322 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues (% of GDP)

50.8% of GDP (2013 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) (% of GDP)

5.5% of GDP (2013 est.)

Public debt (% of GDP)

75.3% of GDP (2013 est.)
70.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
note: Malta reports public debt at nominal value outstanding at the end of the year, according to guidelines set out in the Maastricht Treaty for general government gross debt; the data include the following categories of government liabilities (as defined in ESA95): currency and deposits (AF.2), securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives (AF.3, excluding AF.34), and loans (AF.4); general government comprises the central government, state government, local government and social security funds

Inflation rate (consumer prices) (%)

1% (2013 est.)
3.2% (2012 est.)

Central bank discount rate (%)

0.75% (31 December 2013)
1.5% (31 December 2010)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area

Commercial bank prime lending rate (%)

0.25% (31 December 2013 est.)
0.75% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$8.932 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$7.892 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 17 members of the EMU; individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders

Stock of broad money

$15.44 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$13.88 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$19.16 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$20.72 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$3.631 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$3.424 billion (31 December 2011)
$2.399 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Agriculture - products

potatoes, cauliflower, grapes, wheat, barley, tomatoes, citrus, cut flowers, green peppers; pork, milk, poultry, eggs


tourism, electronics, ship building and repair, construction, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, footwear, clothing, tobacco, aviation services, financial services, information technology services

Industrial production growth rate (%)

-6.9% (2013)

Current account balance

$133.1 million (2013 est.)
$181.5 million (2012 est.)


$5.105 billion (2013 est.)
$5.893 billion (2012 est.)

Exports - commodities (%)

machinery and mechanical appliances; mineral fuels, oils and products; pharmaceutical products; printed books and newspapers; aircraft/spacecraft and parts; toys, games, and sports equipment

Exports - partners (%)

Germany 8.9%, Singapore 7.1%, Libya 6.2%, France 6.2%, United States 4.4% (2013 est.)


$7.436 billion (2013 est.)
$8.209 billion (2012 est.)

Imports - commodities (%)

mineral fuels, oils and products; electrical machinery; aircraft/spacecraft and parts thereof; machinery and mechanical appliances; plastic and other semi-manufactured goods; vehicles and parts thereof

Imports - partners (%)

Italy 24.6%, Germany 5.6%, United Kingdom 5.4%, Russia 5.1%, France 5% (2013 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$377 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$481.5 million (31 December 2012 est.)

External debt ($)

$51.08 billion (30 September 2013 est.)
$46.72 billion (31 December 2012)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$15.17 billion (31 June 2013)
$16.4 billion (31 December 2012)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$1.442 billion (31 June 2013 est.)
$1.471 billion (31 December 2012)

Exchange rates

Currency converter
euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.7752 (2012 est.)
0.755 (2010 est.)
0.7198 (2009 est.)
0.6827 (2008 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year


Electricity - production (kWh)

2.221 billion kWh (2013)

Electricity - consumption (kWh)

2.211 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - exports (kWh)

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports (kWh)

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity (kW)

530,000 kW (2013 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels (% of total installed capacity)

97.5% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources (% of total installed capacity)

2.5% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Crude oil - production (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - exports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves (bbl)

0 bbl

Refined petroleum products - production (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption (bbl/day)

19,520 bbl/day (2011 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports (bbl/day)

14,410 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports (bbl/day)

36,480 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production (cu m)

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption (cu m)

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports (cu m)

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports (cu m)

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves (cu m)

0 cu m (July 5, 1905 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy (Mt)

2.682 million Mt (2011 est.)


Telephones - main lines in use

229,700 (2012)

Telephones - mobile cellular

539,500 (2012)

Telephone system

general assessment: automatic system featuring submarine cable and microwave radio relay between islands
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular subscribership exceeds 180 per 100 persons
international: country code - 356; submarine cable connects to Italy; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media

2 publicly owned TV stations, Television Malta (TVM) broadcasting nationally plus an educational channel; several privately owned national television stations, two of which are owned by political parties; Italian and British broadcast programs are available; multi-channel cable and satellite TV services are available; publicly owned radio broadcaster operates 1 station; roughly 20 commercial radio stations (2011)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

14,754 (2012)

Internet users

240,600 (2009)



1 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)


2 (2013)

Roadways (km)

total: 3,096 km
paved: 2,704 km
unpaved: 392 km (2008)

Merchant marine

total: 1,650
by type: bulk carrier 544, cargo 351, carrier 1, chemical tanker 324, container 117, liquefied gas 36, passenger 50, passenger/cargo 18, petroleum tanker 160, refrigerated cargo 7, roll on/roll off 22, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 18
foreign-owned: 1,437 (Angola 7, Azerbaijan 1, Belgium 7, Bermuda 15, Bulgaria 8, Canada 5, China 6, Croatia 6, Cyprus 32, Denmark 34, Egypt 1, Estonia 16, Finland 3, France 8, Germany 135, Greece 469, Hong Kong 4, India 3, Iran 48, Ireland 4, Israel 3, Italy 45, Japan 5, Kuwait 3, Latvia 8, Lebanon 6, Libya 5, Luxembourg 3, Malaysia 1, Monaco 3, Netherlands 3, Norway 96, Oman 5, Poland 21, Portugal 3, Romania 7, Russia 45, Saudi Arabia 2, Singapore 4, Slovenia 4, South Korea 2, Spain 8, Sweden 1, Switzerland 20, Syria 4, Turkey 233, UAE 1, UK 21, Ukraine 29, US 34)
registered in other countries: 2 (Panama 2) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Marsaxlokk (Malta Freeport), Valletta
container port(s) (TEUs): Marsaxlokk (2,360,000)


Military branches

Armed Forces of Malta (AFM; includes land, maritime, and air elements) (2013)

Military service age and obligation (years of age)

17 years 6 months of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2013)

Manpower available for military service

males age 16-49: 95,499
females age 16-49: 90,919 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 16-49: 79,645
females age 16-49: 75,684 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually

male: 2,554
female: 2,385 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures (% of GDP)

0.61% of GDP (2012)
0.61% of GDP (2011)
0.61% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international


Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 5,543 (Somalia) (2013)

Illicit drugs

minor transshipment point for hashish from North Africa to Western Europe

Largest cities of Malta

These are the 50 largest cities of Malta ordered based on their number of inhabitants.

# City Population
1 Birkirkara 21,676
2 Qormi 18,230
3 Mosta 17,789
4 Zabbar 15,030
5 Rabat 12,914
6 San Gwann 12,346
7 Fgura 11,819
8 Zejtun 11,549
9 Sliema 11,318
10 Zebbug 11,063
11 Hamrun 10,680
12 Naxxar 10,378
13 Attard 9,510
14 Paola 9,257
15 Zurrieq 9,149
16 Tarxien 7,761
17 Siggiewi 7,676
18 Gzira 7,513
19 San Pawl il-Bahar 7,396
20 Msida 6,920
21 San Giljan 6,799
22 Valletta 6,794
23 Santa Venera 6,264
24 Bormla 6,096
25 Mellieha 5,976
26 Marsa 5,116
27 Luqa 5,053