Malta Population and Language

Malta is one of the world’s most densely populated countries and population growth is high by European standards. The country is ethnically, linguistically and religiously homogeneous, with the exception of a small British minority and African and Arab refugees.

Malta Population Forecast

About nine out of ten residents live on the main island of Malta, while less than a tenth live on the island of Gozo. The small island of Comino is inhabited only by a few peasants.

  • COUNTRYAAH.COM: Key populations estimated size and data of Malta, including population density of how many people per square mile. Also included are facts for population and language.

The Maltese population is a mixture of the many peoples who at various times controlled the islands, including Arabs, Italians, French, Spaniards and British. European heritage is clear, as is the Arab heritage. A few percent of the residents are foreigners, half of them are British. The others are Somalis, Italians, Bulgarians and Germans and others.

In the first decades of the 2000s Malta received several thousands of people fleeing Africa and the Middle East, who came by boat to Malta. A peak was reached in 2014 when more than 2000 people arrived. During the next two years, only a small number of refugees arrived, but towards the end of the 2010s, however, a turnaround occurred and refugee traffic to the country increased again.

Malta Population and Language

Initially, the refugees were interned in camps where living conditions were often difficult. Following criticism from the outside world, the authorities began to relocate the refugees to open facilities. Nowadays, internment is an exception.

Only about a third of those who have arrived have stayed in the country. Most have traveled to other EU countries or the United States.


Both Maltese and English are official languages. English is used mainly in the education system and the business world. Most people in Malta speak both languages. In addition to Maltese and English, many residents also speak Italian, which was the official language until 1934.

At its core, Maltese is a Semitic language, akin to Arabic but written in Latin letters. During the time of the Catholic Johannite Order (1530-1798), Italian was made the official language, which colored itself in Maltese. Nowadays, Maltese can be described as a mixture of North African Arabic, Sicilian Italian and English.



Maltese in large majority 1

Number of residents

465 292 (2017)

Number of residents per square kilometer

1 454 (2017)

Percentage of residents in the cities

94.5 percent (2017)

Nativity / birth

10.2 per 1000 residents (2016)

Mortality / mortality

7.6 per 1000 residents (2016)


2.2 percent (2017)

fertility rate

1.5 number of births per woman (2016)

Percentage of women

49.8 percent (2017)

Life expectancy

82 years (2016)

Life expectancy for women

84 years (2016)

Life expectancy for men

80 years (2016)


Maltese and English are official languages 2

  1. small groups of, among others, British
    2. many Maltese also speak Italiansources



Majority concerned about the economy

In an EU survey, 61 percent of Maltese say they have difficulty coping with the cost of life’s emergency, not least the increased water and electricity fees. The Labor Party accuses the government of creating poverty with its policies.


Pope visiting

Pope Benedict is visiting Malta to note that it is said to be 1,950 years since the apostle Paul was involved in a shipwreck and came to the island. Celebrations are overshadowed by revelations of sexual abuse on children that Catholic priests are accused of worldwide. The Pope meets some of the victims in Malta.