Demographics of Malta

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This article is about the demographic features of the population of Malta, including population density, ethnicity, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Census population and average annual growth rate
Year Pop.   ±%  
1842 114,499 —    
1851 123,496 +7.9%
1861 134,055 +8.6%
1871 141,775 +5.8%
1881 149,782 +5.6%
1891 165,037 +10.2%
1901 184,742 +11.9%
1911 211,564 +14.5%
1921 212,258 +0.3%
1931 241,621 +13.8%
1948 305,991 +26.6%
1957 319,620 +4.5%
1967 314,216 −1.7%
1985 345,418 +9.9%
1995 378,132 +9.5%
2005 404,962 +7.1%
2010 417,432 +3.1%
Source:[1]

Characteristics[edit]

Demographics of Malta, Data of FAO, year 2005; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

Malta is the most densely populated country in the EU and one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with about 1,265 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,000 per square mile). This compares with about 32 per square kilometre (85 per square mile) for the United States. A census (held every 10 years) was held in November 2005.

Inhabited since prehistoric times, Malta was first colonized by Sicilians. Subsequently, Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs in 870 CE[2] who may have completely depopulated the islands[3] but in 1224 were themselves expelled from Malta,[4] Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, French and the British have influenced Maltese life and culture to varying degrees.

Roman Catholicism is established by law as the religion of Malta with 98%; however, full liberty of conscience and freedom of worship is guaranteed, and a number of faiths have places of worship on the island (rather small groups, a combined total of 2% of the people are Protestants, Eastern Orthodox, Muslims and Jews).

Malta has two official languages--Maltese (a Semitic language derived from Siculo-Arabic and heavily influenced by Sicilian and Italian), and English. Both languages are compulsory subjects in Maltese primary and secondary schools. A large portion of the population is also fluent in Italian, which was, until 1936, the national language of Malta. The literacy rate has reached 93%, compared to 63% in 1946. Schooling is compulsory until age 16.

Age distribution[edit]

Since 200, the shift in the age composition towards an older population continued to materialise. In fact, the average age of the Maltese population increased from 38.5 in 2005 to 40.5 in 2011. This resulted from the increase in the number of persons aged 55 and over, together with a decrease in the number of persons under 25 years of age. The average in Gozo and Comino (41.6 years) was higher than that observed for Malta. Persons aged 65 and over more represent 16.3% of the total population in 2011, compared to 13.7% in 2005. In contrast, persons aged 14 and under make up 14.8% of the population in 2011, compared to 17.2% in 2005.[5]

Emigration[edit]

Malta has long been a country of emigration, with big Maltese communities in English-speaking countries abroad.

Mass emigration picked up in the 19th century, reaching its peak in the decades after World War II. Migration was initially to north African countries (particularly Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt); later Maltese migrants headed towards the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia. There is little trace left of the Maltese communities in north Africa, most of them having been displaced, after the rise of independence movements, to places like Marseille, the United Kingdom or Australia. Although migration has ceased to be a social phenomenon of significance there are still important Maltese communities in Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Since Malta joined the EU in 2004 expatriate communities emerged in a number of European countries particularly in Belgium and Luxembourg.

Immigration[edit]

African immigrants at the Ħal Far refugee camp.

At the 2005 Census the non-Maltese population numbered 12,112 (3.0% of the total population). Of these, people with British (4,713), Italian (585), German (518) and Libyan (493) citizenship were most common.[6] Of the total population of 416,055 persons in 2011, 20,086, or 4.8%, are non-Maltese nationals, an increase of 65.8% over 2005.[7]

Most of the foreign community in Malta, predominantly active or retired British nationals and their dependents, is centred on Sliema and surrounding modern suburbs. Other smaller foreign groups include Italians, French, and Lebanese, many of whom have assimilated into the Maltese nation over the decades.[8]

Since the late 20th century, Malta has become a transit country for migration routes from Africa towards Europe.[9]

In 1990–1991, Malta hosted a number of Iraqi asylum-seekers, that were later resettled elsewhere, especially in North America.[10] As from 2001, Malta has received a high number of landings of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, many of which were entitled to international protection. 2006 and 2007 saw about 1800 arriving each year.[11] Landings included 1173 people in 2009, 28 in 2010, 1577 in 2011, 2023 in 2012, and 741 up to mid July 2013.[12] Most of such persons were the resettled elsewhere in Europe and North America.

Between 2008 and 2012 Malta received, on average, the highest number of asylum seekers compared to its national population: 21.7 applicants per 1,000 inhabitants.[13] In 2011, most of these asylum applications were submitted by nationals of Somalia, Nigeria, Eritrea and Syria.[14] In 2012, more than half of the requests were by Somalian nationals alone.[15]

As a member of the European Union and of the Schengen agreement, Malta is bound by the Dublin Regulation to process all claims for asylum by those asylum seekers that enter EU territory for the first time in Malta.[16]

Malta has in the past considered adopting a push-back policy towards approaching migrants, pushing their boats back to Libya.[17] Such a policy, contrary to international law and the principle of non-refoulement, has been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights in a case against Italy, as it does not allow prospective asylum seekers to file their claims for international protection.[18]

Irregular migrants (formal Maltese: immigranti irregolari. Informal: klandestini) who land in Malta are subject to a compulsory detention policy, being held in several camps organised by the Armed Forces of Malta, including those near Ħal Far and Ħal Safi. The compulsory detention policy has been denounced by several NGOs, and in July 2010, the European Court of Human Rights found that Malta's detention of migrants was arbitrary, lacking in adequate procedures to challenge detention, and in breach of its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.[19][20]

Vital statistics[21][22][edit]

Average population (x 1000) Live births Deaths Natural change Crude birth rate (per 1000) Crude death rate (per 1000) Natural change (per 1000) Infant mortality rate
1932 246 8 000 5 150 2 850 32.5 20.9 11.6
1933 250 8 300 5 100 3 200 33.2 20.4 12.8
1934 254 8 544 5 702 2 842 33.6 22.4 11.2
1935 256 8 701 6 018 2 683 34.0 23.5 10.5
1936 259 8 875 4 617 4 258 34.3 17.8 16.4
1937 263 8 879 5 304 3 575 33.8 20.2 13.6
1938 267 8 704 5 399 3 305 32.6 20.2 12.4
1939 269 8 930 5 385 3 545 33.2 20.0 13.2
1940 270 8 808 6 144 2 664 32.6 22.8 9.9
1941 271 7 352 6 444 908 27.1 23.8 3.4
1942 270 6 768 8 603 -1 835 25.1 31.9 -6.8
1943 271 8 452 5 578 2 874 31.2 20.6 10.6
1944 276 10 963 3 700 7 263 39.7 13.4 26.3
1945 283 10 998 4 016 6 982 38.9 14.2 24.7
1946 291 11 304 4 050 7 254 38.8 13.9 24.9
1947 300 11 612 3 838 7 774 38.7 12.8 25.9
1948 306 11 029 3 737 7 292 36.0 12.2 23.8
1949 311 10 590 3 326 7 264 34.1 10.7 23.4
1950 312 10 281 3 224 7 057 33.0 10.3 22.6
1951 313 9 511 3 476 6 035 30.4 11.1 19.3
1952 317 9 226 3 365 5 861 29.1 10.6 18.5
1953 317 8 977 2 848 6 129 28.3 9.0 19.3
1954 320 8 991 3 071 5 920 28.1 9.6 18.5
1955 314 8 560 2 683 5 877 27.3 8.5 18.7
1956 314 8 418 2 918 5 500 26.8 9.3 17.5
1957 319 8 794 2 955 5 839 27.6 9.3 18.3
1958 322 8 528 2 657 5 871 26.5 8.3 18.2
1959 325 8 499 2 836 5 663 26.2 8.7 17.4
1960 329 8 565 2 819 5 746 26.0 8.6 17.5
1961 329 7 674 2 937 4 737 23.3 8.9 14.4
1962 329 7 513 2 840 4 673 22.8 8.6 14.2
1963 328 6 672 2 981 3 691 20.3 9.1 11.3
1964 324 6 394 2 756 3 638 19.7 8.5 11.2
1965 319 5 628 3 001 2 627 17.6 9.4 8.2
1966 317 5 340 2 865 2 475 16.8 9.0 7.8
1967 319 5 309 2 985 2 324 16.6 9.4 7.3
1968 319 5 145 2 883 2 262 16.1 9.0 7.1
1969 323 5 096 3 024 2 072 15.8 9.4 6.4
1970 303 5 314 3 070 2 244 17.5 10.1 7.4
1971 303 5 562 3 090 2 472 18.4 10.2 8.2
1972 303 5 385 2 891 2 494 17.8 9.5 8.2
1973 303 5 631 2 935 2 696 18.6 9.7 8.9
1974 303 5 691 2 747 2 944 18.8 9.1 9.7
1975 304 6 007 2 900 3 107 19.8 9.5 10.2
1976 307 5 927 2 967 2 960 19.3 9.7 9.6
1977 310 5 937 2 872 3 065 19.2 9.3 9.9
1978 319 5 641 3 263 2 378 17.7 10.2 7.5
1979 320 5 823 2 968 2 855 18.2 9.3 8.9
1980 324 5 602 3 215 2 387 17.3 9.9 7.4
1981 327 5 592 3 062 2 530 17.1 9.4 7.7
1982 330 5 912 3 050 2 862 17.9 9.2 8.7
1983 334 5 651 3 137 2 514 16.9 9.4 7.5
1984 337 5 571 2 903 2 668 16.5 8.6 7.9
1985 340 5 430 2 837 2 593 16.0 8.4 7.6
1986 347 5 245 2 824 2 421 15.1 8.1 7.0
1987 350 5 314 2 908 2 406 15.2 8.3 6.9
1988 353 5 533 2 708 2 825 15.7 7.7 8.0
1989 356 5 584 2 610 2 974 15.7 7.3 8.3
1990 360 5 368 2 745 2 623 14.9 7.6 7.3
1991 364 5 302 2 875 2 427 14.6 7.9 6.7
1992 368 5 474 2 900 2 574 14.9 7.9 7.0
1993 371 5 147 2 692 2 455 13.9 7.2 6.6
1994 375 4 826 2 698 2 128 12.9 7.2 5.7
1995 377 4 613 2 708 1 905 12.2 7.2 5.0
1996 380 5 038 2 765 2 273 13.3 7.3 6.0
1997 383 4 848 2 888 1 960 12.7 7.5 5.1
1998 385 4 670 3 044 1 626 12.1 7.9 4.2
1999 388 4 403 3 097 1 306 11.4 8.0 3.4
2000 390 4 392 2 957 1 435 11.3 7.6 3.7 6.1
2001 393 3 957 2 935 1 022 10.1 7.5 2.6 4.4
2002 396 3 918 3 031 887 9.9 7.7 2.2 6.0
2003 399 4 050 3 164 886 10.2 7.9 2.2 5.9
2004 401 3 887 2 999 888 9.7 7.5 2.2 5.9
2005 404 3 858 3 130 728 9.6 7.8 1.8 6.0
2006 406 3 885 3 216 669 9.6 7.9 1.6 3.6
2007 409 3 871 3 111 760 9.5 7.6 1.9 6.5
2008 410 4 126 3 243 883 10.1 7.9 2.2 8.2
2009 413 4 143 3 221 922 10.0 7.8 2.2 5.3
2010 415 4 008 3 010 998 9.7 7.3 2.4 5.5
2011 416 4 283 3 266 1 017 10.3 7.9 2.4
2012 419 4 231 3 418 813 10.1 8.2 1.9

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics[edit]

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.

Largest Cities:

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 79.01 years
male: 76.83 years
female: 81.31 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.5 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Religions: Roman Catholic Church in Malta 98%

Languages: Maltese (official), English (official), Italian language (widely understood)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Census in Malta
  2. ^ The Arabs in Malta / G. Wettinger. In: Malta: Studies of its Heritage and History / ed. Mid-Med Bank (Malta, 1986), pp. 87-104. [1]
  3. ^ Ibn Hauqal and Tenth-century Malta / A. Luttrell. In: Hyphen: A Journal of Melitensia and the Humanities. / (Malta 1987), pp 157–160 [2]
  4. ^ http://www.aboutmalta.com/history/time-Line.htm
  5. ^ Census 2011 Preliminary Report
  6. ^ Census 2005
  7. ^ [3]
  8. ^ Genetic origin of Maltese people originated from southern Italians
  9. ^ "Malta guards Europe's gates against African immigrants". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  10. ^ The New Federalist
  11. ^ [4] TPPI Report, p.1
  12. ^ Frontex watch
  13. ^ UNHCR, p. 13
  14. ^ [Ibidem, p. 26]
  15. ^ [Ibidem, p. 45]
  16. ^ "Maltese Anger Mounts Over Rising Illegal Immigration". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  17. ^ http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/en/newsdetails/news/national/Joseph-Muscat-rattles-EU-cage-on-pushbacks-20130706
  18. ^ Times of Malta
  19. ^ Human Rights Watch
  20. ^ "Malta faces problems with children of illegal immigrants". Times of Malta. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  21. ^ http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/dyb/dybsets/1948%20DYB.pdf United nations. Demographic Yearbook 1948
  22. ^ National Statistics Office Malta