Maltese Americans

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Maltese Americans
Malti tal-Amerika
Malta United States
Total population
c. 0.01% of the U.S. population (2016)
Regions with significant populations
Metro Detroit, New York City, Los Angeles Metropolitan area, San Francisco, Houston, and Chicago[2]
English, Maltese
Roman Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
Maltese diaspora, Sicilian American, Corsican American, Italian American

Maltese Americans are Americans with Maltese ancestry.


The first immigrants from Malta to the United States arrived during the mid-eighteenth century to the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Many Americans assumed Malta was part of Italy. In some cases "Born Malta, Italy" was put on tombstones of Maltese because of the confusion.

At this time and in the nineteenth century the Maltese who emigrated to the United States were still scarce. In fact, in the 1860s, only between five and ten Maltese emigrated to the United States every year. The majority of them were agricultural workers, and, in the case of New Orleans, market gardeners and vegetable dealers.

20th century[edit]

After World War I, in 1919, Maltese immigration to the US increased. In the first quarter of 1920 more than 1,300 Maltese immigrated to the United States. Detroit, Michigan, with jobs in the expanding automobile industry, drew the largest share of immigrants. It is believed that in the following years, more than 15,000 Maltese people emigrated to the United States, later getting U.S. citizenship.

A significant percentage of early Maltese immigrants intended to stay only temporarily for work, but many settled in the US permanently. In addition to Detroit, other industrial cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, California, attracted Maltese immigrants.[3]

After World War II the Maltese Government committed to pay passage costs to Maltese people who wanted to emigrate and live at least two years abroad. This program led to increased emigration by the people of the island and made up approximately 8,000 Maltese who arrived to the United States between the years 1947 and 1977. Malta's government promoted Maltese emigration because Malta was overpopulated.[3]


The majority of Maltese immigrants arrived in the first half of the twentieth century, settling in cities like Detroit, New York City, San Francisco, Houston, and Chicago. The majority of Americans of Maltese descent now live in these five cities, particularly Detroit (approximately 44,000 Maltese) and New York City (more than 20,000 Maltese), in the latter them, most of the people of Maltese origin are concentrated in Astoria, Queens.[3]

A Maltese community thrives in San Pedro and Long Beach.[3] The Maltese in CA may came from Mexico, Latin America, Philippines and Asia, they are workers in the maritime and oceanic related industries.

Although an US territory, Puerto Rico has a history of Maltese immigration to the island.

Population size[edit]

The 2013 American Community Survey estimated that there were 38,177 Americans of Maltese ancestry living in the United States.[4] Of these, 24,202 have Maltese as their first or only ancestry.[5] This includes Maltese born immigrants to the United States, their American born descendants as well as numerous immigrants from other nations of Maltese origin.


As in their country of origin, Maltese Americans predominantly practice Roman Catholicism as their religion. Many are practicing Catholics, attending church every week and actively participating in their local parishes.[3]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2016 American Community Survey 1-year estimates
  2. ^ "Maltese-Americans".
  3. ^ a b c d e Every Culture Page
  4. ^ 2013 American Community Survey 1-year estimates
  5. ^ American Factfinder
  6. ^ Judy Putnam (January 12, 2018). "Ingham judge has creative life off the bench with new crime thriller". Lansing State Journal.
  7. ^ "Life amongst Minions... for Kyle Balda". The Irish Independent. June 22, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  8. ^ Grima, John (22 March 2005). "Successful Maltese migrants". The Times. Malta. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  9. ^ South Bend Tribune Obituary of Joseph Anthony Buttigieg II. South Bend, Indiana. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  10. ^ Tom McNaught; John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (May 2, 2000). "2000 Winning Essay by Peter Buttigieg".
  11. ^ "Across from Malta". The New York Times. October 21, 1934. Retrieved 2015-11-11.
  12. ^ "Orlando E Caruana". Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  13. ^ "News From Rep. Camilleri". 2016-12-16. Retrieved 2019-08-06.
  14. ^ Wootton, Dan (11 July 2017). "Naomi Campbell, 47, dating £150m Egyptian tobacco company boss 15 years her senior". The Sun. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  15. ^ Hendel, Talia. "Q&A: Aaron Falzon's Memorable Summer with Team Malta". Nu sports.
  16. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ @daniellefishel (28 November 2012). "@briannaberlen thank you! I'm 50% Maltese and 50% everything else" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  18. ^ "The Maltese in New York", Malta Migration. Retrieved on 20 July 2016.
  19. ^ Joseph Lapira - Another Player with Maltese Roots!
  20. ^ Drawn and Quarterly (2004). Joe Sacco: Biography. Retrieved April 24, 2006.
  21. ^ a b c d Spears, Lynne (September 16, 2008). "Chapter 2: Kentwood – From Malta to Louisiana". Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World (1st ed.). Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-4185-6735-4. Retrieved February 19, 2014. But on my mama's side, the family tree is a little more colorful and glamorous. Her father, my grandfather, was Anthony Portelli, who came from the island of Malta.
  22. ^ "Charlie Williams". Valletta Valletta FC. 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2018.