Marsa loses half of its population in 20 years

Statistics issued by Local Councils Department confirm decline of inner harbour area and rise of St Paul’s Bay as Malta’s second largest town

james
James Debono
4 August 2015, 8:10am
In the past twenty years, Marsaskala has seen its population increase by 400% while Marsa has lost nearly half of its population.
In the past twenty years, Marsaskala has seen its population increase by 400% while Marsa has lost nearly half of its population.
In the past twenty years, Marsaskala has seen its population increase by 400% while Marsa has lost nearly half of its population.

This data emerges from statistics issued by the Department of Local Councils, which show changes in population between 1993 and 2014.

The statistics confirm that St Paul’s Bay has overtaken Mosta as Malta’s second most populous locality. St Paul’s Bay has just 1,201 fewer residents than Birkirkara and has 805 more residents than Mosta. In 2010, Mosta still had 593 more residents than St Paul’s Bay. The statistics show that St Paul’s Bay overtook Mosta as Malta’s second largest town in 2011.

While three new seaside localities in both the north (St Paul’s Bay and Pembroke) and south of Malta (Marsaskala) have seen an increase in population of more than 300%, all the towns in the inner harbour area have seen a sharp decline in their population, losing between a third and nearly a half of their populations since 1993.

The sharpest decline was registered by the heavily polluted town of Marsa, which has seen its population decrease by 45% between 1993 and 2014.

Marsa’s population has declined from 8,036 in 1993 to 5,731 in 2000. Marsa’s population rose again to 6,018 in 2010 but dropped again to 4,401 in 2014.

Bormla and Isla lost a third of their population in the same period while Birgu lost a quarter.

Marsaskala has seen its population increase dramatically, by 400%, between 1993 and 2014 in a period when the Maltese population increased by 75%. The population rose from 2,430 in 1993 to 7,404 by 2000, to 11,443 in 2010 and to 12,134 in 2014.

Pembroke, a smaller locality, has also seen a remarkable increase in its population from just 795 in 1993 to 2,850 now. But unlike Marsaskala, the increase in population was not continuous. A sharp 1,110 increase was registered between 1993 and 1994.

Sliema, whose population remained stagnant in the 1990s and early noughties, oscillating between 13,000 and 15,000, saw a sharp increase after 2004, reaching the 19,224 mark in 2012, thus edging closer to St Paul’s Bay and Mosta.  This coincided with a development spree in the locality in the mid-noughties.   Surprisingly, the population declined again to 16,584 by 2014.

The capital city Valletta has lost 2,709 of its inhabitants in a consistent decline over the past 20 years.

Interestingly, while Lija and Attard have grown by 70%, Balzan, which has an older population, has lost a fifth of its population.

james
James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...