Half of Msida’s population is foreign, pipping St Paul’s Bay

Commuter town that serves both Sliema and Valletta business districts sees population growth solely through foreign workers

Msida eclipsed St Paul’s Bay with the highest concentration of foreign residents, a breakdown of population figures by locality shows.

The population of Msida by the end of 2018 stood at 13,713, half of which were foreigners.

The share of foreign residents living in Msida increased from 42% in 2017 to 49% a year later, placing the locality ahead of St Paul’s Bay.

The figures were obtained from the National Statistics Office after last week’s publication of regional population, social and economic statistics.

Msida’s population grew by 1,500 in just 12 months, with the increase attributed solely to foreign residents.

St Paul’s Bay had the second highest concentration of foreigners with 48% of the locality’s population classified as non-Maltese.

The northern seaside locality was Malta’s largest town in 2018 with just over 29,000 residents, an increase of almost 3,000 on the previous year. Foreigners, again, accounted for the bulk of that increase.

Gżira came in third with its share of foreign residents hitting 45% of the population, an increase of five points over the previous year.

Gżira’s total population stood at 11,669, a growth of 885 that was completely attributed to foreigners who moved into the locality.

Birżebbuġa, which placed sixth, was the only town from the south that made it into the top 10 ranking for the highest concentration of foreign residents living within a locality.

Non-Maltese residents accounted for 35% of Birżebbuġa’s population, which would include migrants living at the Hal Far migrant open centre.

The next southern town with a high concentration of foreigners was Marsaskala that came in 11th with 22%.

On the flipside, the town with the lowest concentration of foreign residents was Mtarfa with just 1%, followed by Dingli, Mqabba, Santa Luċija and Kirkop, each at 2%.

St Paul’s Bay, Birkirkara, Sliema largest localities

St Paul’s Bay retained the top spot as the largest locality in Malta with a population of 29,097 by the end of 2018.

The locality has seen the largest increase in population over recent years, registering a whopping growth of 117% since 2005 when the town had 13,414 residents.

Birkirkara, which has the second largest population at 24,356, only registered an 11% increase between 2005 and 2018.

Sliema, which reversed the downward trend it had been experiencing for decades, is now the third largest locality with 22,591 residents. The locality saw its population increase by 71% since 2005.

Marsaskala and Swieqi, with populations of 14,592 and 14,452 respectively, are the ninth and 10th largest localities. But they have experienced significant growth since 2005 with Marsaskala’s population growing by 56% and Swieqi’s by 76%.

Largest Localities 2018

St Paul's Bay 29,097
Birkirkara 24, 356
Sliema 22, 591
Mosta 20, 988
Qormi 16,801
Zabbar 15, 431
Naxxar 14,891
San Gwann 14, 592
Marsaskala 14,592
Swieqi 14, 452

Highest concentration of foreign residents 2018 

Msida 49% (+7pts)
St Paul's bay 48% (+5)
Gzira 45% (+5)
Sliema 39% (+3)
St Julian's 38% (+4)
Birżebbuġa 35% (+2)
Swieqi 29% (+3)
Ta' Xbiex 28% (+2)
Mellieha 28% (+3)
Pieta 25% (+5)


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