Malta has 924 women for every 1,000 men, 2021 census shows

Balzan, Mtarfa, Kercem and Santa Lucija are the only localities where females surpass 50% 

The influx of foreigners in the past decade has tipped the balance, resulting in Malta having more women than men for the first time ever since the first census in 1842.

On Monday, the preliminary report on the 2021 population and housing census carried out last year was published.

Till the 2011 census, females have outnumbered males, but the predominance of males was most pronounced in 1957 during the peak of Maltese emigration to Australia and North America, when females accounted for 52% of the population.

This statistical trend corresponded with the greater likelihood of males emigrating from Malta to seek new work opportunities abroad, in comparison to women who were either more likely to stay in Malta or to follow their spouses abroad only after they had found a job and settled.

But in a reversal of past trends as Malta is importing rather than exporting migrants, males have now overtaken women. This is because males account for 58% of all foreigners living in Malta, whose numbers increased dramatically in the last decade.

The gap between males and females has been narrowing down since 1967, which reflects the decrease in emigration from Malta in the 1970s as living standards started improving.

But in the past ten years thanks to the influx of migrants, the male population grew at a faster pace when compared to the female population. While males increased by 62,000 (or by 30% over the last census), the number of females grew by 40,000 (or by 18.9% over the last census).

Malta now has a sex ratio of 924 females for every 1000 males.

The largest percentage of males is found in Marsa and B’ Bugia, two localities which also host open and closed centres for asylum seekers who are also predominantly male. Males also surpass the 54% mark in other localities with a high influx of foreign workers including Msida, Gzira and St Paul’s Bay.

In contrast females surpass males in only four localities namely Mtarfa, Balzan, Kecem and Santa Lucija. Lija, Mosta and Naxxar have an equal number of men and women.