Where do The Maltese live? 

  • At the end of 2013 (Demographic Review 2013), the majority of Maltese residents (29.1%) lived in the Northern Harbour region of the Island of Malta, comprising the settlements of Birkirkara, Gzira, Hamrun, Pembroke, Pieta, Qormi, San Gwann, Santa Venera, Sliema, St Julians, Swieqi, and Ta’ Xbiex.
  • Birkirkara, had the largest Maltese population compared with any other settlement (21,889 persons – 5.1%), followed by the settlements of Mosta (19,795 persons – 4.7%), St Paul’s Bay (17,443 persons – 4.1%), and Qormi (16,433 persons – 3.7%), all in the Northern region of the Island.
  • There were 5,700 Maltese persons residing in Valletta at the end of 2013 (Demographic Review 2013), equating to only 1.3% of the total Maltese population. 
  • On Gozo, the largest number of Maltese residents was in the capital of the Island, Victoria (Rabat), (6,229 persons – 19.8%), followed by the village of Xaghra (3,968 persons – 12.6%), and the village of Nadur (3,959 persons – 12.5%).

Population Distribution 2013 (%)

Malta - Northern Harbour Region


Malta - Southern Harbour Region


Malta - South Eastern Region


Malta - Northern Region


Malta - Western Region


Gozo and Comino


Demographic Review 2013


Demographic Review 2013 – Valletta: National Statistics Office, 2015


Where do foreign residents live in Malta?

  • It is mainly the coastal resorts which have traditionally been popular areas for foreign residents.  On the Island of Malta, the areas of Sliema, St Julian’s, overlooking Valletta from the north, and St Paul’s Bay, Bugibba and Qawra, further north have always attracted foreign residents.  Birzebugia and Marsascala have been popular destinations in the south of the Island.  On Gozo, the spread of foreign residents has traditionally been more evenly spread across the Island’s settlements.


  • In 2011 (Census 2011), the majority of non-Maltese residents (37.6%) lived in the Northern Harbour region of the Island of Malta, comprising the settlements of Birkirkara, Gzira, Hamrun, Pembroke, Pieta, Qormi, San Gwann, Santa Venera, Sliema, St Julians, Swieqi, and Ta’ Xbiex.  However, the settlement of St Paul’s Bay (including Qawra and Bugibba) in the Northern region had the largest number of foreign residents compared with any other settlement (3,023 persons – 14.9%), followed by Sliema (2,095 persons – 10.3%), Birzebugia (1,986 persons – 9.8%), and St Julians (1,172 persons – 5.8%).


  • There were 178 foreign persons residing in Valletta in 2011 (Census 2011), equating to only 0.88% of the total non-Maltese population across the Maltese Islands and 0.94% of those living on the Island of Malta.  The capital city has since become a much more attractive location for foreign residents.


  • On Gozo in 2011 (Census 2011), the largest population of foreign residents was in the village of Xaghra (212 persons – 15.6%), followed by Victoria (Rabat), the capital of the Island (163 persons – 12.0%). 

Census 2011 – Valletta: National Statistics Office, 2014


How high are rents in Malta?


  • Renting property in Malta is popular with foreigners, and there is a wide range of properties available for rent, including apartments, terraced houses, maisonettes, converted farmhouses, villas, and houses of character (heritage properties). There is a diversity of rental prices depending on the area, and properties with sea views, pools and gardens come at premium rents.


  •  The coastal locations of Sliema and St Julians are generally the most expensive places to rent in Malta, and these locations are popular with both foreign residents and the Maltese.  The areas offer a range of older town houses and houses of character and more modern apartments.  Converted heritage properties (houses and apartments) in Valletta and the three cities (Senglea – Isla and Vittoriosa – Birgu, in particular) are becoming popular with foreigners especially and rentals are rising as a result.


  • Rents are also high for the more modern houses and apartments at St Paul’s Bay (including Qawra and Bugibba), and the villas and apartments at Mellieha, all in the north of the Island of Malta.


  • Most properties in Malta are listed as fully furnished, but unfurnished properties are available. Rates for water, electricity, internet and TV are not normally included in the rental rate if it is a long-term (normally defined as four months and over). These expenses are borne by the lessee on a consumption basis.


Monthly Rentals (June 2016)

Valletta / Three Cities

3-bedroomed apartment

€750 - €3,500

3-bedroomed house of character

€2,500 - €3,500

Sliema / St Julians

3-bedroomed apartment

€900 - €5,500

3-bedroomed house of character

€800 - €3,000

St Paul’s Bay

3-bedroomed apartment

€450 - €1,200

3-bedroomed townhouse

€450 - €1,200




3-bedroomed apartment

€650 - €900

3-bedroomed townhouse

€800 - €3,000


3-bedroomed apartment

€350 - €950

3-bedroomed townhouse

€600 - €900


Villa (detached)

€1,000 - €6,000

Mgarr / Rabat

Converted farmhouse

€1,000 - €5,000

Frank Salt Real Estate (2016)


Malta InsideOut. Retrieved June 7, 2016, from

Frank Salt Real Estate.  Retrieved June 7, 2016, from



Can Foreigners buy property in Malta?


  • Most non-residents arriving and deciding to purchase property in Malta require an Acquisition of Immovable Property (AIP) Permit, although there are some exemptions in respect of citizens of European Union (EU) Member States, and in relation to the type of property, the location of the property, and the length of time spent in Malta before purchasing. 
  • An AIP Permit is not required by EU citizens wishing to purchase a property in Malta as their primary residence.  Property, including for the purpose of a secondary residence, can also be freely purchased (without AIP Permit) by EU citizens who have been living in Malta continuously for a minimum period of five years at any time prior to the date of purchase of the property.
  • EU citizens who have not been residing continuously in Malta for a minimum of five years before purchasing the property require an AIP Permit in order to buy a property as a secondary residence. 
  • Foreign residents who are not EU citizens require an AIP Permit in all cases.
  • There are a number of Special Designated Areas across Malta and Gozo where there are no restrictions on the purchase of property.

Special Designated Areas – Malta (2016)

Portomaso Development, St. Julians


Cottonera Development, Cottonera

Fort Cambridge Zone, Tignè, Sliema

Tigne Point, Tigne, Sliema

Ta’ Monita Residence, Marsascala

Tas-Sellum Residence, Mellieha

Pender Place, St. Julians

Madliena Village Complex, Swieqi

Metropolis Plaza, Gzira

Source: Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates 2016

Special Designated Areas – Gozo (2016)

Fort Chambray, Ghajnsielem

Kempinski Residences, San Lawrenz

Source: Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates 2016


Inland Revenue Malta. Retrieved June 7, 2016, from

Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates. Retrieved June 7, 2016, from

Is it possible for non-Maltese residents to get a loan for a property in Malta?

  • It is possible for non-residents to obtain a loan from Maltese Banks to purchase property in Malta; however, and depending upon the bank, the conditions and procedure can differ for European Union (EU) citizens and non-EU citizens. 
  • By way of example, HSBC Malta (HSBC Malta 2016) will normally lend up to 70% of the value of the property, but offers flexibility on the maximum loan amount depending on individual circumstances and the type of property.  HSBC loans are normally to be repaid over a maximum term of 30 years, subject to loan being repaid by the age of 65, and repayments should not exceed 30% of gross income, although, again, there is flexibility depending on individual circumstances.


HSBC Malta


Are property prices in Malta sustainable?


  • Overall property prices increased in Malta by 83.4% over the period 2000 to the last quarter 2014 (Central Bank of Malta). There was a fall in prices over the period 2008 and 2009, as a result of the financial crises, dropping to 2.7% and 5.1%, respectively, from the 2007 peak of +78.9%.  Since 2009 however, property prices have been consistently increasing and surpassing the 2007 peak in 2014.
  • Since 2014, overall property prices have continued to increase by approximately 2% per year. 
  • According to Portman International (2016), “it is clear that the impact of international crises on property prices in Malta is retrained and contained. This makes property in Malta a safe medium-to-long-term investment that is not subject to risks present in other markets such as the volatility present in equity markets or the yield squeeze of bond markets”.
  • Envisaged large scale developments will result in a considerable increase in supply, which, coupled with the large number of vacant properties in Malta, may cause temporary downward pressures in price. -


Global Property Guide. Retrieved June 7, 2016, from

Portman International. Retrieved June 7, 2016, from


Are there any international schools in Malta?


  • There are four international schools in Malta.  All four schools are located on the Island of Malta.
  • Verdala International School (VIS) was established in Malta in 1976 and is located in Pembroke, in the North Harbour region.  The school accepts students from ages 3 to 18 years and the curriculum offers the Cambridge International General Certificate of Education (IGCSE), the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, and the VIS High School Diploma.  All teaching is in English.  The student to teacher ratio at VIS is 8:1.  The school currently has 40 nationalities, including British, Russian, Swedish, German, American, and Maltese.
  • Quality Schools International (QSI) is one of 39 QSI schools world-wide.  QSI Malta was established in 2007 and is located in Mosta, in the centre of Malta.  The school accepts students from ages 3 to 18 years and the curriculum offers the Advanced Placement International Diploma and the IGCSE.  All teaching is in English.   The student to teacher ratio at QSI is 8:1 and the current enrolment (2015 / 2016) is 124 pupils.  Current nationalities include: British, Italian, Armenian, South African, American, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch, Austrian, Palestinian, South Korean, German, Greek, Turkish, Russian, Portuguese, Argentinean, Libyan, North Korean, and Maltese.
  • The Russian Boarding School in Malta (RBSM) was established in 1997 and is located in St Paul’s Bay, in the Northern region of Malta.  The school accepts students from ages 3 to 18 years and offers the Russian curriculum (in Russian) and the Maltese Matriculation and Secondary Education Certificate (MATSEC (A-level) program and IB Diploma (both in English).  
  • St Edwards College Malta is an all boys college based on the British Public School system.  The school was established in 1929 and is located in Vittoriosa (Birgu), south of the Grand Harbour.  The main school accepts pupils from ages 5 to 16; there is a co-ed kindergarten and a co-ed sixth form which offers the IB Diploma.


Verdala International School. Retrieved June 7, 2016, from

Quality Schools International, Retrieved June 7, 2016, from

Russian Boarding School Malta. Retrieved June 7, 2016, from  

St Edwards College Malta, Retrieved June 7, 2016, from

Expat Quotes. Retrieved June 7, 2016, from


What are educational fees like for foreigners?


  • All State Schools in Malta are fully funded by the State and education is free for all.  Transport to and from school is also free, as are books and other school materials.  Parents buy their children’s school uniform however.


  • The cost of private schools varies significantly depending on whether the school is run by the Church (Church School) is or is an Independent School. 


  • Church Schools are subsidised by the State and by the Church.  Church Schools do not charge any fees, but parents are asked to make an annual donation, which varies but can be substantial.  Transport, school supplies and uniforms are all paid for by parents.


  • Private Independent Schools are generally more expensive.  In 2014 (, annual fees at private Independent Schools generally ranged from €2,000 to €6000.


  • Tuition fees at international schools tend to be more expensive.


International Schools Tuition Fees (2015 / 2016)

St Edwards College Malta

€410 – 1,797 per term

Verdala International School

€3,230 – 7,686 per year


  • Tertiary level education is publicly funded and is free to Maltese nationals; Maltese students receive a stipend as well as an allowance for academic-related expenditure.  Foreign (visiting) students are required to pay an annual fee.  The fees vary depending on the nationality of the student, the course to be followed, and the number of European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits.


Annual Undergraduate Tuition Fees – EU / EEA Students - 2016 / 2017 (€)


Arts-based/Business Related*

Science excl. BSc ICT*














Source: University of Malta (2016)

Annual Undergraduate Tuition Fees – non-EU / EEA Students - 2016 / 2017 (€)


Arts-based/Business Related











Source: University of Malta (2016)


Sources: Retrieved June 7, 2016, from Retrieved June 7, 2016, from

Verdala International School. Retrieved June 7, 2016, from

St Edwards College Malta, Retrieved June 7, 2016, from

Government of Malta. Retrieved June 7, 2016, from


Does the University of Malta accept foreign students?


  • There are currently around 1,250 international students at the University of Malta, from 92 different countries.  These non-Maltese students make up approximately 10.8% of the student body.  Around 800 of international students are registered full-time at the University; 450 are visiting students.  The University regularly hosts a large number of ERASMUS and other exchange students and is ever-increasing links between the University and overseas institutions. 
  • The primary language of instruction at the University of Malta is English.
  • The University operates from its main campus in Msida, on the island of Malta, and from two smaller campuses in Valletta and on the island of Gozo.  Accommodation is available for international students, at the University Residence in Lija, just over 3km from campus, and at the Hotel Kappara in San Gwann, just under 1km from the campus.  There is a free bus link to / from the University Residence.


University of Malta. Retrieved June 21, 2016, from


HOW DOES the Maltese Education System work?


  • The Maltese educational system is structured in four stages: pre-primary (ages 3 to 5), primary (ages 5 to 11), secondary (ages 11 to 18), and tertiary. 
  •  In Malta, school attendance is compulsory up to the age of 16.  In 2015 (Eurostat, 2016), Malta registered the second highest proportion of early school leavers (19.8%) in the European Union (EU – 28).  The highest proportion was observed in Spain (20.0%); the lowest proportion of early school leavers were observed in Croatia (2.8%) and Slovenia (5.0%). 
  • State primary and secondary schools are open to all students and are located in all the main towns and across Malta and Gozo.  The main language of instruction is in state schools is Maltese, although, with Malta being bilingual, both English and Maltese are spoken at school.
  •  Approximately 30% of Maltese children are in non-state schools.  These take the form of Church schools (generally Catholic schools) and independent schools, both of which are regulated by the Ministry for Education, and therefore the curriculum is similar to that of the state schools.  In private schools, the main language of instruction is English.
  • Maltese schools primarily follow the British school curriculum and students study a wide range of subjects and have mid-year and final exams.  A number of international schools cater to a variety of other curricula.
  • The Maltese scholastic year is from September to June, with a three-month summer break.  There are generally two weeks school holidays over Christmas and at Easter, as well as mid-term holidays which are generally around two days long.


Government of Malta. Retrieved June 21, 2016, from

Eurostat. Retrieved June 21, 2016, from