macrohistory & world report

Republic of Malta

Malta located on a map of Europe and North Africa

Malta, between Tunisia and Italy

Small and simple map of the Republic of Malta

Malta (capital Valletta). Gray is urban area.

World Factbook as of November 2014: "Malta - the smallest economy in the euro zone - produces only about 20% of its food needs, has limited fresh water supplies, and has few domestic energy sources. Malta's geographic position between Europe and North Africa makes it a target for irregular migration, 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. Malta's economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing, and tourism, and was hurt by the global economic downturn, but fared better than most other EU member states. Malta has low unemployment relative to other European countries, and growth has recovered since the 2009 recession. Malta's financial services industry has grown in recent years and it has avoided contagion from the European financial crisis, largely because its debt is mostly held domestically and its banks have low exposure to the sovereign debt of peripheral European countries. The EU reopened an excessive deficit procedure against Malta in June 2013, having found that its forecasted deficit for the year was likely to exceed 3% of GDP."

Economic growth rate
2011: 2.5%
2010: 3,7%
2009: minus 3.7%

Unemployment rate
2010: 6.2%
2009: 6.8%

Labor force in agriculture
2011: 1.5%

Public debt
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).

Healthcare expenditures
2009: 16.5% of GDP

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 132 among 140 countries (lower rank number is less equal). More equal than Britain, which ranks 94th, and the US, which ranks 45th.


Living in an urban area
2010: 95%

Population density estimated for 2005: 1,261 persons per square kilometer. Persons per square kilometer of arable land: 4,483.

Migration rate
2012: More people arriving than leaving; a net gain of 2 persons per 1,000 population per year.

Religion: 98% Roman Catholic

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.


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.

Capital: Valletta

Recent History

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."

The World Factbook

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