A changing Malta: More crowded, more foreigners, more men

Malta’s population is fast approaching the half-a-million mark with new figures showing an average increase of 10,000 every year since 2013

Malta’s population is fast approaching the half-a-million mark with new figures showing an average increase of 10,000 every year since 2013.

Released by the National Statistics Office, the population estimates show there were 460,297 people living on the islands by the end of 2016.

Growth was three times the increase registered in 2009 when Malta’s population was recorded at 414,027.

The population increase between 2013 and 2016 mirrors the country’s extraordinary economic growth, which has necessitated the importation of foreign labour.

The NSO figures show that the vast majority of the population increase was a result of foreigners coming to live and work in Malta.

In 2016 alone, foreign nationals relocating to Malta accounted for 84% of the 9,882 increase in population.

Immigration from other EU countries accounted for the largest group of foreigners making Malta their home in 2016 with 8,968 relocating to the islands. However, these were partly offset by the departure of 3,226 EU nationals.

People who came to Malta from countries outside the EU, numbered 6,687 in 2016 but these were partly offset by the departure of 4,119.

An increased foreign labour force has also contributed to a shift in balance between men and women. Whereas until 2013, Malta’s population was made up of more females than males – explained by the higher life expectancy of women – this was reversed between 2014 and 2016.

In 2016, there were 231,663 men living in Malta as opposed to 228,634 women. This was a result of the higher number of foreign men who relocated to Malta for work purposes.

From the almost 9,000 EU nationals who moved to Malta in 2016 and the almost 7,000 non-EU nationals, 57% and 56% respectively were men.

The estimates also show that there were 88,458 people aged between 0 and 19. Those aged between 20 and 39 numbered 137,863, while those between 40 and 59 numbered 117,967.

There were 96,990 aged between 60 and 79, while the 80+ cohort was made up of 19,019.

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