Malta, between Tunisia and Italy
Malta (capital Valletta). Gray is urban area.
Country Comparisons: chart
World Factbook: "Malta produces only about 20% of its food needs, has limited fresh water supplies, and has few domestic energy sources. Malta's geographic position between the Europe and North Africa makes it a target for illegal immigration, 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."
Economic growth rate
2009: minus 3.7%
Labor force in agriculture
2011: 68% of GDP
2010: 69.1% of GDP
Malta has a public healthcare system and a private healthcare system. Foreign residents (mainly British retirees) are advised to take out private medical insurance. Malta has been ranked fifth by the World Health Organization (compared to 37th for the United States).
2009: 16.5% of GDP
Income Distribution – gini index
Ranks 132 among 140 countries (higher rank number is more equal, lower rank number is less equal). More equal than Britain, which ranks 94th, and the US, which ranks 45th.
Living in an urban area
2012: More people arriving than leaving; a net gain of 2 persons per 1,000 population per year.
Religion: 98% Roman Catholic
Literacy (10 and older)
2005 census: males 91.7%, females 93.9%
Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, 100 kilometers south of Sicily. The largest is about 8 by 24 kilometers (5 by 15 miles). Total area about twice the size of Washington DC.
Chief of state: George Abela (president) since 4 April 2009, Roman Catholic, Labour Party. Head of government: Lawrence Gonzi (prime minister) since 23 March 2004, Roman Catholic, Nationalist Party (conservative).
The president is elected by the legislature for a five-year term. The House of Representatives has 65 members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms.
World Factbook: "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 Malta became 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."
BBC News (2011) "Since becoming an EU member, the tiny island has reported an increasing problem with immigration from north Africa and has requested more help to deal with it. The UN refugee agency has criticised the island's policy of keeping asylum seekers in detention for 18 months."
Copyright © 2009-2011 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.