Europe :: Malta
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Malta
Location of Malta
 
Map of Malta
Introduction ::Malta
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.
Geography ::Malta
Southern Europe, islands in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily (Italy)
35 50 N, 14 35 E
total: 316 sq km
country comparison to the world: 207
land: 316 sq km
water: 0 sq km
slightly less than twice the size of Washington, DC
0 km
196.8 km (excludes 56.01 km for the island of Gozo)
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive fishing zone: 25 nm
Mediterranean; mild, rainy winters; hot, dry summers
mostly low, rocky, flat to dissected plains; many coastal cliffs
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Ta'Dmejrek 253 m (near Dingli)
limestone, salt, arable land
arable land: 31.25%
permanent crops: 3.13%
other: 65.62% (2005)
20 sq km (2003)
0.07 cu km (2005)
total: 0.02 cu km/yr (74%/1%/25%)
per capita: 50 cu m/yr (2000)
NA
limited natural fresh water resources; increasing reliance on desalination
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
the country comprises an archipelago, with only the three largest islands (Malta, Ghawdex or Gozo, and Kemmuna or Comino) being inhabited; numerous bays provide good harbors; Malta and Tunisia are discussing the commercial exploitation of the continental shelf between their countries, particularly for oil exploration
People ::Malta
405,165 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
0-14 years: 16.1% (male 33,526/female 31,780)
15-64 years: 69.4% (male 142,491/female 138,769)
65 years and over: 14.5% (male 25,406/female 33,193) (2009 est.)
total: 39.5 years
male: 38.1 years
female: 40.9 years (2009 est.)
0.4% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163
10.36 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189
8.38 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
2.02 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44
urban population: 94% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 0.6% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
total: 3.75 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 213
male: 4.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 79.44 years
country comparison to the world: 29
male: 77.21 years
female: 81.8 years (2009 est.)
1.51 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186
0.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
fewer than 500 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150
fewer than 100 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
noun: Maltese (singular and plural)
adjective: Maltese
Maltese (descendants of ancient Carthaginians and Phoenicians with strong elements of Italian and other Mediterranean stock)
Roman Catholic 98%
Maltese (official) 90.2%, English (official) 6%, multilingual 3%, other 0.8% (2005 census)
definition: age 10 and over can read and write
total population: 92.8%
male: 92%
female: 93.6% (2003 est.)
total: 15 years
male: 15 years
female: 15 years (2005)
5.1% of GDP (2004)
country comparison to the world: 65
Government ::Malta
conventional long form: Republic of Malta
conventional short form: Malta
local long form: Repubblika ta' Malta
local short form: Malta
republic
name: Valletta
geographic coordinates: 35 53 N, 14 30 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
none (administered directly from Valletta); note - local councils carry out administrative orders
21 September 1964 (from the UK)
Independence Day, 21 September (1964)
1964; amended many times
based on English common law and Roman civil law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
18 years of age; universal
chief of state: President George ABELA (since 4 April 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Lawrence GONZI (since 23 March 2004)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
elections: president elected by the House of Representatives for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 12 January 2009 (next to be held by April 2014); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the president for a five-year term; the deputy prime minister is appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
election results: George ABELA elected president by the House of Representatives
unicameral House of Representatives (normally 65 seats; members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve five-year terms; note - the current Parliament is composed of 69 seats; when the political party winning the plurality of votes does not win a majority of seats, the constitution provides that a sufficient number of seats will be added to Parliament to ensure that the party that won the elections has a majority in Parliament)
elections: last held on 8 March 2008 (next to be held by March 2013)
election results: percent of vote by party - PN 49.3%, MLP 48.9%, other 1.8%; seats by party - PN 35, MLP 34
Constitutional Court; Court of Appeal; judges for both courts are appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
Alternativa Demokratika/Alliance for Social Justice or AD [Arnold CASSOLA]; Azzjoni Nazzjonaili or AN [Josi MUSCAT]; Malta Labor Party or MLP [Joseph MUSCAT]; Nationalist Party or PN [Lawrence GONZI]
Alleanza Liberal-Demokratika Maltra or ALDM (for divorce, abortion, gay marriage, the rights existent in other EU member states); Alleanza Nazzionali Repubblikana or ANR (for traditional values, anti-immigration); Alternattiva Demokratika (pro-environment); Azzjoni Nazzjonali or AN (freedom to participate in democratic government); Flimkien Ghal-Ambjent Ahjar (pro-environment); Ghazdatal-Konsumaturi (consumer rights)
other: environmentalists
Australia Group, C, CE, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NSG, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
chief of mission: Ambassador Mark MICELI-FARRUGIA
chancery: 2017 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 462-3611 through 3612
FAX: [1] (202) 387-5470
consulate(s): New York
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Jason DAVIS
embassy: 3rd Floor, Development House, Saint Anne Street, Floriana, VLT 01
mailing address: P. O. Box 535, Valletta, CMR01
telephone: [356] 2561 4000
FAX: [356] 21 243229
two equal vertical bands of white (hoist side) and red; in the upper hoist-side corner is a representation of the George Cross, edged in red
Economy ::Malta
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 EU and Africa makes it a recipient of illegal immigration, which has strained Malta's political and economic resources. The financial services industry has grown in recent years, but is not fully modernized. Malta's economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing - especially electronics and pharmaceuticals - and tourism all of which have been negatively affected by the global economic downturn. Malta adopted the euro on 1 January 2008. The Maltese government in 2009 will be challenged to contain the budget deficit, which ballooned in 2008 to about 4.1% of GDP, placing it above the euro zone's 3% maximum.
$9.962 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
$9.705 billion (2007 est.)
$9.337 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
$8.338 billion (2008 est.)
2.7% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
3.9% (2007 est.)
3.3% (2006 est.)
$24,700 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
$24,100 (2007 est.)
$23,300 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 18%
services: 80.6% (2007 est.)
173,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 170
agriculture: 2.3%
industry: 29.6%
services: 68% (2005 est.)
5.9% (2007)
country comparison to the world: 72
NA%
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
26 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 127
16.2% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
revenues: $3.378 billion
expenditures: $3.77 billion (2008 est.)
4.3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
1.3% (2007 est.)
NA%
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 130
6.24% (31 December 2007)
$4.639 billion (31 January 2008)
country comparison to the world: 69
$4.603 billion (31 December 2007)
note: this figure represents the US dollar value of Maltese liri in circulation prior to Malta joining the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 16 members of the EMU; individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money and quasi money circulating within their own borders
$8.771 billion (31 January 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
$7.645 billion (31 December 2007)
$10 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
$10.99 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 84
$5.633 billion (31 December 2007)
$4.504 billion (31 December 2006)
potatoes, cauliflower, grapes, wheat, barley, tomatoes, citrus, cut flowers, green peppers; pork, milk, poultry, eggs
tourism, electronics, ship building and repair, construction, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, footwear, clothing, tobacco
NA%
2.146 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133
1.832 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
19,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181
17,910 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 148
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
$-504 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104
$-468 million (2007 est.)
$3.06 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
$3.305 billion (2007 est.)
machinery and transport equipment, manufactures
Germany 13.5%, Singapore 13%, France 12.2%, US 9.6%, UK 8.2%, Hong Kong 6.7%, Japan 6.4%, Italy 4.7% (2008)
$4.832 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
$4.655 billion (2007 est.)
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured and semi-manufactured goods; food, drink, tobacco
Italy 28.1%, UK 13.5%, France 8.2%, Germany 7.4%, Singapore 6.4% (2008)
$373.4 million (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
$3.798 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
$188.8 million (2005)
country comparison to the world: 181
$NA
$NA
euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.6827 (2008 est.), Maltese liri per US dollar - 0.3106 (2007), 0.37 (2006), 0.34578 (2005), 0.34466 (2004), 0.37723 (2003)
Communications ::Malta
241,100 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 120
385,600 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 161
general assessment: automatic system is adequate; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular subscribership exceeds 150 per 100 persons
domestic: submarine cable and microwave radio relay between islands
international: country code - 356; submarine cable connects to Italy; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2008)
AM 1, FM 18, shortwave 6 (1999)
5 (2006)
.mt
25,139 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 94
198,800 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 137
Transportation ::Malta
1 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 219
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2009)
total: 2,227 km
country comparison to the world: 171
paved: 2,014 km
unpaved: 213 km (2005)
total: 1,438
country comparison to the world: 4
by type: bulk carrier 459, cargo 411, carrier 2, chemical tanker 171, container 80, liquefied gas 25, passenger 29, passenger/cargo 15, petroleum tanker 159, refrigerated cargo 32, roll on/roll off 37, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 17
foreign-owned: 1,343 (Austria 1, Azerbaijan 2, Bangladesh 2, Belgium 15, Bulgaria 5, Canada 1, China 12, Croatia 9, Cyprus 31, Denmark 30, Egypt 1, Estonia 11, France 5, Germany 91, Greece 452, Hong Kong 1, Iceland 5, India 2, Iran 79, Israel 18, Italy 50, Japan 8, South Korea 2, Latvia 19, Lebanon 11, Libya 3, Lithuania 1, Norway 93, Pakistan 2, Poland 24, Portugal 3, Romania 8, Russia 58, Slovenia 4, Spain 3, Sweden 2, Switzerland 20, Syria 6, Turkey 176, Ukraine 30, UAE 5, UK 19, US 23)
registered in other countries: 3 (Panama 3) (2008)
Marsaxlokk (Malta Freeport), Valletta
Military ::Malta
Armed Forces of Malta (AFM; includes air and maritime elements) (2007)
17 years 6 months of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2008)
males age 16-49: 96,309
females age 16-49: 92,242 (2008 est.)
males age 16-49: 80,186
females age 16-49: 76,426 (2009 est.)
male: 2,695
female: 2,533 (2009 est.)
0.7% of GDP (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
Transnational Issues ::Malta
none
minor transshipment point for hashish from North Africa to Western Europe