Where is Malta?

  • The Malta is an archipelago located in southern Europe, in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea (35° 53′ 0″ N, 14° 30′ 0″ E)
  • The nearest country is Italy, specifically the island of Sicily, located approximately 80 km to the north of the Maltese island of Gozo. The African continent lies to the south and west of Malta (Tunisia is located approximately 490 km to the west and Libya is located approximately 545 km to the south).
  • Malta stands on the Malta-Ragusa Rise, a submarine shallow elevation which extends from the Ragusa peninsula in Sicily to the coasts of Tunisia and Libya.  This was the land bridge that existed between Europe (Sicily) and North Africa before the last Ice Age. 
  • The name ‘Malta’ is thought to derive from the ancient Greek work for ‘honey sweet’, due to the existence of an endemic species of bees on the island.

Shadow Services, Geography at

Maps of the World, Facts on Malta, at

Europa, Living in the EU, 05/04/2016, at -


How large is Malta?


  • Malta has a total land area of 315.6km2.  The Maltese Islands comprise Malta (the largest island), which has a total land area of 245.7km2, Gozo (68.7m2), and Comino (3.5km2), as well as a number of unihabited islets.
  • The longest distance on the island of Malta (southeast to northwest) is 27.3km, and the widest distance (east-westerly) is 14.5km.
  • The Maltese Islands have a cumulative shoreline of 136.8 km.
  • The resident population of the Maltese Islands (2013) is 456,830.
  • The European Union has a land territory of approximately 4.4 million km² and has approximatelty 508 million inhabitants — the world’s third largest population after China and the Indian sub-continent.  In terms of surface area, France is the largest  EU country, and Malta the smallest
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Malta in Figures 2015 – Valletta: National Statistics Office, 2015

Gozo in Figures 2015 – Valletta: National Statistics Office, 2015

Shadow Services, Geography at

Maps of the World, Facts on Malta, at

Europa, Living in the EU, 05/04/2016, at -


What does Malta look like?


  • Despite their size, the Maltese Islands have a considerable diversity of landscapes and ecosystems which are representative of the range and variety of those of the Mediterranean region.


  • The Islands are composed primarily of limestones.  The landscape comprises karstic limestone plateaux, hillsides covered with clay taluses, gently rolling and terraced limestone plains, and valleys which drain run-off during the wet season.  The western coasts of Malta and Gozo exhibit steep sea-cliffs; the eastern shores of both islands are gently sloping.  There are no mountains, lakes, rivers or streams on Malta, although there are some minor springs. 


  • Malta is one of the most densely populated counties in the world, and in 2007, the United Nations determined approximately 95% of the area of Malta to constitute ‘urban area’ (World Urbanisation Prospects).  On the Island of Malta, the towns and villages are concentrated on the east coast, in what has become a large urban conurbation centred on the Grand Harbour and the North Harbours area (on either side of Valletta).  On Gozo, the settlements are more dispersed and distinct. 


  • The traditional Maltese townscape is very distinctive, and is still very much in evidence across the Islands.  Constructed in the Islands’ soft globigerina limestone, the vernacular farmhouses and townhouses with their colourfully-painted wooden balconies (‘gallerija’) are interspersed with ornate, Baroque-style Churches.  Recognising Malta’s historically vulnerable position in the Mediterranean, there are many impressive fortification structures in Malta, also of limestone. Contemporary architecture is introducing new influences, styles and materials, including a move towards higher buildings.


Superintendence of Cultural Heritage Malta. Government of Malta.  Retrieved June 5, 2016, from

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. World Urbanization Prospects: The 2007 Revision. Retrieved June 5, 2016, from


What is the Maltese Climate like?


  • The Maltese climate resembles that of the more the semi-arid conditions of the Eastern Mediterranean.  Average temperatures in Malta do not fluctuate significantly. 
  • The average temperature for the hottest months of July, August and September range from a minimum of 21.2 degrees centigrade (oC) to a maximum of 30.7oC.  The average temperatures for the coldest months (January and February) range from a minimum of 9.2oC to a maximum of 15.2oC. Sea temperatures follow similar trends.
  • Winter is practically the only rainy season in Malta, and very dry years may be interspersed with sudden flooding and prolonged heavy rain.  The winter of 2015 / 2016 has proven to be a particularly dry period, with relatively very little rainfall and some record high temperatures recorded.

Mean Temperature (oC) in the Hottest and Coldest Months
















Sources :

Cutajar D, Buhagiar A, Schembri PJ, Ventura F: The Climate of the Maltese Islands. A review. University of Malta, 1992, at

Malta in Figures 2014 – Valletta: National Statistics Office, 2015


How many people live in Malta?


  • The population of Malta in 2013 was 425,384 (NSO Population Statistics).  The Eurostat estimate for population of the Maltese Islands in 2015 was 429,344.  The population of Malta equates to approximately 0.1% of the total population of the European Union (EUROPA 2014).  Malta has the smallest population in the EU-28, however, its population density is the highest in the EU-28 (1,306 capita per km2 in 2015). 
  • In 2013 (NSO Population Statistics), the male population of Malta was 212,424 and the female population was 212,960. 
  • The Eurostat estimate for the proportion of the Maltese population aged 19 years and under in 2015 was 20.0%.  This age group has been decreasing over the last decade (24.2% in 2006.  The figure for the EU-28 as a whole was 20.9%.  Ireland had the highest proportion of those aged 19 and under (28.2%); Germany and Bulgaria had the lowest proportion (both 14.2%). 
  • The Eurostat estimate for the proportion of the Maltese population aged 60 years and over in 2015 was 25.2%.  As in all other EU-28 States, this age group has been increasing over the last decade (19.2% in 2006).  The figure for the EU-28 as a whole was 25.0%.  Germany had the highest proportion of those aged 60 and over (27.7%); France (17.9%) and Ireland (19.3%) had the lowest proportion of persons aged 60 years and over.  .


Malta in Figures 2014 – Valletta: National Statistics Office, 2015

Gozo in Figures 2015 – Valletta: National Statistics Office, 2015 and


How many people visit Malta?


  • The number of international tourists visiting Malta is increasing annually.  The ‘tourist season’, traditionally over the summer months (June to September) has been expanding, and there is also a wider range of nationalities visiting the Maltese Islands.
  • There were 1,807,269 in-bound visitors to the Maltese Islands in 2015.  This was an increase of 5.4% in the number of visitors in 2014.  In-bound visitors in January to April 2016 amounted to 446,226, an increase of 11.1% over the same period in 2015.  Tourist arrivals in April 2016 alone (166,252) represented an increase of 8.1% compared to April 2015. 
  • European tourists still make up the biggest market share (51.4% in 2015), and the largest proportion of in-bound tourists in 2015 was aged between 25 to 44 years (34%), followed by those aged 45 to 64 years (33%). 
  • The top source markets for business travellers to Malta in 2015 were Italy (24.5%) and the United Kingdom (15.5%).

Market Share of International Tourists 2015 (%)



Asia and the Pacific






Middle East


Source: Malta Tourism Authority (2016)

Top 5 Source Markets of Business Travel, 2015 (%)











Source: Malta Tourism Authority (2016)

Malta Tourism Authority. Tourism in Malta 2015 (Edition 2016). Retrieved June 5, 2016, from

Malta in Figures 2014 – Valletta: National Statistics Office, 2015


What are Maltese families like?


  • The traditional family is still very much evident in Malta, and the extended, mutli-generational family group continues to be a strong social focus.


  • Average household size in Malta in 2014 was one of the highest in the European Union (EU-28), at 2.6 (Eurostat 2016).  This was above the EU-28 average of 2.4, and exceeded only by Romania (2.9), Slovakia (2.8), Croatia and Poland (2.8), and Ireland and Cyprus (2.7).


  • In 2011 (2011 Census), 56.2% of the Maltese aged 16 and over were married. In 2013 (NSO Demographic Review), the majority of all marriages in that year (89.1% per cent) involved persons who were single before marriage.


  • In 2013, 33.9% of men married in Malta were aged between 25 and 29 years, and 28.2% were aged between 30 - 34 years.  39.1% of women married in 2013 were aged between 25 and 29 years, and 23.2% were aged between 30 and 34 years.


  • There were 666 separations registered in Malta during 2013; there were 90 annulments granted in 2013 (56.7% were civil annulments and 43.3% were religious annulments); 399 divorces were registered in 2013, the majority granted by the responsible Maltese authority (84.7%).  Of all the divorces granted in 2013, 82.7% involved marriages that had lasted for at least ten years.


  • In 2011 (2011 Census, there were 10, 631 lone parents in Malta (9% of all households with 2 or more persons).

EUROPA 2016.

and file:///C:/Users/joannalapuyade/Downloads/ilc_lvph01.pdf

NSO 2014. and


Are there many non-Maltese residents in Malta?


  • In 2011 (NSO Census 2011), 4.8% of the population of Malta was non-Maltese (20,086 persons).  This represented a significant increase of 65.8% since 2005, where the number of non-Maltese nationals was 3%.  This increase recognised Malta’s accession to the European Union in 2004 and the freedom of movement entitlements to EU citizens that resulted.

Non-Maltese Population 2011



















Other EU Member States


Other European Countries


Other Citizenship


Source: NSO Census 2011

Malta Census 2011 – Valletta: National Statistics Office, 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2016, from


Does Malta attract many immigrants?


  • Between 2008 and 2012, Malta received, on average globally, the highest number of asylum-seekers compared to its national population (21.7 applicants per 1,000 inhabitants).  This compares with Greece (5.7 applicants per 1,000 inhabitants).
  • There were 9,060 asylum applications submitted in Malta over the period 2008 - 2012. In the global share, Malta ranked 24th; Greece ranked 11th and Italy ranked 7th
  • In 2011, the majority of asylum applications submitted in Malta were from Somalian, Nigerian, Eritrean, and Syrian nationals.


The United Nations Refugee Agency. Asylum Trends 2012.  Retrieved June 5, 2016, from

Malta Retrieved June 5, 2016, from