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Volume 1 Chapter 5

The Demographic Characteristics Of The Population

 5.1 Population Size

Since the 1842 Census, the population of the Maltese islands has grown 3.30 times by 263,633 persons to 378,132 in 1995. Moreover, while between the first census and the turn of the present century the population increased by over 60 per cent, since the turn of the century the population of these islands more than doubled. However, over the period of more than 150 years, since the taking of the 1842 Census, our population growth rate varied.

The following table and charts 1 and 2 below, provide an absolute and graphical representation of the population counts and intercensal rates of population change between 1842 and 1995.

Table 1: Population Growth, 1842-1995

Up to the second Census, taken in 1851, the annual growth rate of the population averaged 0.84 per cent annually. In the first forty years, there was an average increase of 8,821 persons per decennium between 1842 and 1881 including a higher than average increase of 10,559 persons in the period 1851 - 1861. In the periods 1861 - 1871 and 1871 - 1881, the average rates of population growth stood at 0.56 and 0.55 per cent annually.

The following years were then marked by an accelerating rate of population growth. The Censuses taken in 1891, 1901 and 1911 revealed growth rates of 0.97 per cent, 1.13 per cent and 1.35 per cent respectively. The population increased by 15,255 persons in the ten year period between 1881 and 1891, by 19,705 persons between 1891 and 1901 and by 26,822 persons in the decennium between 1901 and 1911.

Chart 1: Population Censuses in Maltese Islands

The period between 1911 and 1921 was marked by low population growth rates that averaged 0.03 per cent annually. This translated itself into an absolute increase of just 694 persons during the ten year period under review. This period, which saw the first world war, was followed by a decennium with a substantially higher average growth rate of 1.29 per cent. Indeed, between 1921 and 1931, the population increased by 29,363 persons.

A period of almost 17 years had to elapse before the next Census was held in 1948. The 1941 Census was postponed because of the second world war. During this 17-year period, the population went up by 64,370 persons from 241,621 in 1931 to 305,991 in 1948. This represented an average annual growth rate of 1.38 per cent.

In the next nineteen years, between 1948 and 1967, the growth rate of the population of these islands first slowed down and then became negative between 1957 and 1967. During this period the population increased by 13,629 between 1948 and 1957 and decreased by 5,404 in the decennium between 1957 and 1967. The decline in the latter period which was equivalent to 0.17 per cent per annum was mainly attributable to the net loss in population caused by emigration. During this decennium, migration exceeded the natural increase in population.

During the 1967 - 1985 period, the population grew at an annual average rate of 0.53 per cent. As a result, the population increased by 31,202 persons, from 314,216 in 1967 to 345,418 in 1985. During this 17-year period, population growth was also influenced by opposing migratory flows. For a number of years, the population continued to be affected by long-term migration to other countries. Then emigration slowed down and the phenomenon of returned migration appeared. This latter development continued throughout the eighties and nineties and is still contributing towards population growth in these islands.

Chart 2: Annual Rate of Population Change

In the ten year period between 1985 and 1995, the average annual rate of population growth stood at 0.90 per cent. During this period, the total population increased by 32,714 or 9.5 per cent to 378,132 from 345,418 in 1985. This net increase in the total population was made up of 17,004 males and 15,710 females. In 1995, the male component of the total population of these islands stood at 186,836; an increase of 10.0 per cent over the 1985 figure of 169,832. The number of females went up by 8.9 per cent to 191,296 from 175,586 in 1985.

As on the 26th November 1995, the total population of Malta stood at 349,106; an increase of 29,370 or 9.2 per cent over 1985. The male segment of the population on the main island went up by 15,137 or 9.6 per cent to 172,668 from 157,531 in 1985. The female component increased by 14,233 or 8.8 per cent to 176,438 from 162,205.

The total population of Gozo stood at 29,026; an increase of 3,344 or 13 per cent over 1985. This increase was made up of 1,867 males and 1,477 females.

The Maltese element in the total population dropped by 0.5 per cent between 1985 and 1995 to 98.1 per cent from 98.6 per cent in 1985. In absolute terms, the Maltese element of the total population stood at 370,919 in 1995; an increase of 30,299 over 1985. This increase in the Maltese population was made up by 16,008 males and 14,291 females. Both the Maltese male and the Maltese female's relative share of the total population declined between 1985 and 1995. However, while the male share went down by 0.5 per cent to 98.3 per cent from 98.8 per cent in 1985 the female share dropped by 0.7 per cent to 97.8 per cent from 98.5 per cent in 1985.

The non-Maltese element in the total population went up to 1.9 per cent from 1.4 per cent in 1985. In 1995 there were 7,213 non-Maltese living in these islands as against 4,798 in 1985. Therefore, in the intercensal period, the foreign element in the total population increased by more than 50 per cent. Return migration, mixed marriages and an increased number of settlers on these islands accounted for this increase in the foreign element in the total population. At 1.7 per cent of the total male population, the male segment of the non-Maltese population went up to 3,101 from 2,105 in 1985. During the same period, the female component of the foreign element in the total female population increased to 4,112 from 2,693 in 1985. In 1995, the foreign female element accounted for 2.2 per cent of the total population.

The enumerated population is exclusive of tourists, visitors and temporary residents but includes persons of any nationality resident in Malta for periods of 1 year or more. Included also are Maltese diplomatic personnel and their families abroad, and other Maltese who are temporarily abroad for studies, medical treatment and for other reasons. Excluded are foreign diplomatic personnel and their families in Malta.

5.2 Spatial Distribution of the Population

As already indicated earlier on, the localities for Census purposes coincided with the boundaries of the Local Councils. Hence, some of the differences in locality population and in land area between this Census and the one taken in 1985 are entirely due to this factor. The Census under review features four new localities namely, Pembroke, Swieqi, Xghajra and Iklin. These localities formed part of other localities during the 1985 Census. Moreover, since then, other localities have seen parts of their land area and population being shifted from one locality to another. Therefore, the ensuing discussion has to be placed into this context.

Classified by region, the largest concentration of population was in the Outer Harbour Region. This region has seen the largest population growth; from 98,610 in 1985 to 112,882 in 1995, an increase of 14,272 or 14.5 per cent. As a result this region's relative share of the total population went up to 29.9 per cent from 28.5 per cent in 1985. The second largest increase was recorded in the Northern Region, whose population went up by 12,744 or 39.7 per cent to 44,852 from 32,108 in 1985. Thereby, this region's share of the total population increased by 2.6 per cent to 11.9 per cent from 9.3 per cent in the previous Census.

The South Eastern Region saw its population going up from 42,475 to 50,650; an increase of 8,175 or 19.2 per cent over 1985. In 1995, this region's relative share of the total population stood at 13.4 per cent. The population in the Western Region went up by 7,381 or 16.6 per cent; from 44,580 in 1985 to 51,961 in 1995. A substantial increase in population was also recorded in Gozo and Comino. There the population increased by 3,344 or 13.0 per cent to 29,026 from 25,682 in 1985. At 7.7 per cent, this region's share of the total population was marginally higher than that recorded in 1985.

The localities in the Inner Harbour Region registered a substantial decrease in their population levels. This region lost 13,202 inhabitants during the intercensal period. Therefore the population in this region went down by 13,202 or 12.9 per cent to 88,761 from 101,963 in 1985. As a result this region's relative share of the total population dropped substantially to 23.5 per cent from 29.5 per cent in 1985.

The above-mentioned shifts in regional population and changes in regional shares of the total population are graphically represented in charts 3 and 4.

Chart 3: Regional Distribution of Population, 1985-1995

Chart 4: Regional Shares of Total Population, 1985-1995

The reasons for the recorded shifts in regional population may be various. Internal migratory flows, a net inflow of migrants, the emergence of new residential areas, the conversion of residential units into business premises and the further degradation of substandard residential units may all be cited as causes for the recorded changes in the regional concentration of population during the intercensal period. This apart from several changes in locality boundaries which may also have affected the regional boundaries as well.

To a larger or lesser extent, most localities in Malta and Gozo have seen their newly built-up areas expand substantially during the ten-year period under review. The localities within the Outer Harbour and the Northern regions were especially affected by this phenomenon. Indeed these localities saw their total population grow mostly due to internal migratory flows. These regions also saw the emergence of new residential localities like Pembroke.

Localities like Floriana, Hamrun, Valletta and Sliema were substantially affected by the taking over of residential units for business purposes. Other localities within this region, and especially the three cities, suffered due to a relatively high number of sub-standard residential units within their confines.

During the intercensal period, a relatively high net inflow of migrants, influenced the population growth of regions such as Gozo and Comino.

5.3 Intercensal Population Growth

During the 1985-1995 intercensal period, the population of the Maltese Islands, recorded an annual growth rate of 0.90 per cent. In the same period, the population of Malta alone was growing at an annual rate of 0.88 per cent. A slightly higher annual increase of population, an average of 1.22 per cent, was registered in respect of Gozo and Comino.

The recorded difference in the annual population growth rates of the two islands, might be explained by the impact of international migration. The number of migrants from these islands is declining steadily while a significant number of returned emigrants and their foreign-born children and spouses are coming back with the intention of living permanently here.

A closer look at the regional population changes reveals that the population of the Inner Harbour Region was decreasing by 1.4 per cent annually. This is the only region with a negative annual rate of population change during the intercensal period. Out of the 15 localities within this region, 12 experienced a negative rate of population growth. On the other hand, the highest average rate of population increase, 3.3 per cent, was registered in the Northern Region. This was followed by the South Eastern Region with an annual rate of population growth of 1.8 per cent, the Western Region with an annual rate of growth of 1.5 per cent, and the Outer Harbour Region which recorded an annual 1.3 per cent increase in population.

The following table provides annual population growth rates on a national, regional and locality basis:

Table 2: Average Annual Rate of Change of Population 1985-1995

 
The annual rates of population change were computed for 63 of the 67 localities because four new localities were formed between 1985 and 1995. Moreover, the changes in locality administrative boundaries can be the cause of changes in the population size and growth rates for several particular localities.

In this context, it is possible to explain the fact that the highest annual rate of decline in population size, 3.96 per cent, that was recorded in Marsa was partially due to boundary changes in the intercensal period. Other localities with high rates of decline were, amongst others, Valletta (- 2.50 per cent), Bormla (- 2.38 per cent), Floriana (-2.08 per cent), San Giljan (- 3.28 per cent), Santa Venera (- 2.35 per cent and Lija (-2.08 per cent).

At 8.45 per cent, Marsaskala registered the highest rate of population growth in Malta. Other fast growing localities in Malta were, amongst other, St Paul's Bay (4.94 per cent), Attard (4.74 per cent), Naxxar (4.13 per cent) and Mosta (3.19 per cent).

With a population growth rate of 4.24 per cent, Munxar was the fastest growing locality in Gozo during the intercensal period. This was followed by Sannat which recorded a growth rate of 2.03 per cent. During the same period, Zebbug registered a growth rate of 2.01 per cent. Other relatively fast growing localities included, amongst others, Ghajnsielem (1.84 per cent), Xaghra (1.36 per cent) and Xewkija which recorded a growth rate of 1.21 per cent.

5.4 Population Density

It is very difficult to distinguish between urban and rural areas in the Maltese Islands. The two types of settlements usually have their own specific characteristics and dissimilar population densities. Although locality characteristics and population densities vary from each other, the differences are not such that would facilitate the drawing of distinctions between urban and rural areas. Therefore, given the relative homogeneity in Maltese locality characteristics and population densitie, these islands may be described as being predominantly urban.

The total land area of the Maltese Islands is of 315.12 square kilometres . As on Census day the population density of the Maltese Islands was of 1,200 persons to the square kilometre. In the intercensal period, this increased by 106 from 1,094 in 1985. With such a high density rate, the Maltese Islands rank among the world's most densely populated countries in the world.

The larger island, Malta, had a population density of 1,417 persons to the square kilometre; an increase of 116 over the density rate of 1,301 recorded in 1985. The density rate of the sister island of Gozo went up by 54 to 422 persons from the 368 persons to the square kilometre recorded in the last Census. The following table and chart provides a comparative analysis of the national and regional densities in 1985 and 1995:

Table 3: National and Regional Population Densities, 1985-1995

Chart 5: Regional Population Densities, 1985-1995

In the case of Malta, regional densities varied from the highest, the Inner Harbour Region with an average of population density of 5,258 persons to the square kilometre, to the lowest, the Northern Region with population density of 609 persons to the square kilometre.

As a result of the recorded drops in population within the Inner Harbour Region, its density rate fell by 1,119 from 6,377 in 1985. The population density of the Outer Harbour Region increased by 358 to 3,389 from 3,031 persons to the kilometre recorded in the 1985 Census. The density rate in the South Eastern Region went up by 195 to 1,019 from 824 persons per kilometre in 1985. In the intercensal period, the density rate of the Western Region increased by 70 to 713 while that of the Northern Region went up by 189 to 609 from 420 in 1985.

Gozo and Comino have the lowest regional population density within the Maltese Islands. Hence, it is this region which might still be characterised by the presence of typical rural settlements, especially in so far as population size and density are concerned. The economic structures and the supporting economic activities of the resident population as well as the urban structure and its characteristics are not only defining criteria that distinguish the urban from the rural localities but are also distinct characteristics that indicate that the traditional rural settlement has practically disappeared from Malta.

A number of localities have an extremely high population density. For example Senglea (Isla) has 22,744 persons to the square kilometre, Hamrun has 10,484 persons per square kilometre and Sliema has 9,959 persons to the square kilometre. From an urban planning perspective these figures are a cause for concern and should help to focus attention on, amongst others, the adequacy or otherwise of urban services and amenities like green/open areas, the concentration of residential areas and the urban sprawl, traffic flows and regulation and on environment-related matters.

With a population density of 78 persons to the square kilometre, Ghasri has the lowest population density in Gozo.

5.5 The Age and Gender Structures of the Population

The age and gender structures of the population are the most important demographic characteristics that are captured by a Census of population. Being the only national full-scale field exercise of its nature, the objective of the Census is to record the changes in the age and gender structures of the enumerated population. The age and gender structures are also major attributes that can be used in combination with other population characteristics emerging from the Census.

5.5.1 The Age Structure of the Population: a National Overview

According to the 1995 Census, the mean age of the enumerated population was 35.73 years. The mean age obtained from the 1985 Census was of 33.79 years. This clearly indicates the ageing process of the population. During the last intercensal period, the young segment of the population, the 0-14 years age group, recorded an annual decline of 0.0024 per cent. The other two major age groups, namely those within the "working age" bracket (15-64) and the "old age" group (65+), recorded annual growth rates of 0.99 per cent and 2.3 per cent respectively.

These figures indicate that the old population is growing at a faster rate than any other major age groups within the population. This ageing process leaves various socio-economic effects on the present and the future population of Malta.

Fertility rates have been declining for quite some time. At the same time, a heightened nutrition awareness together with advances in health and medical care and other services, resulted in an extension of the life expectancy for both genders. As a result, the number of persons in the older age groups as a proportion of the total population went up. This ageing process was already evident during the 1967-1985 intercensal period.

Apart from the recorded changes in vital events, the number of returned migrants and immigrants who settled in Malta also influenced the population structure. Their age structure differs from that of the resident population. During the intercensal period, most returned migrants were either of working age or else elderly persons. This factor served to increase the population within these age groups. At the same time, the number of emigrants was very low during the last decade. Hence, during this period, emigration flows from Malta had a smaller influence on the population structure of these islands.

The change in the age structure during the intercensal period was characterised by a drop in relative size of the "young" population. This went down from 24 per cent in 1985 to 21.90 per cent in 1995. However, the absolute number of "young" persons in the total population almost remained at the 1985 level.

The size of working age population increased by 23,782 or 10.4 per cent to 252,079 from 228,297 in between the two censuses. In the local context, this group should be redefined as being that within the 16-60 age bracket. However, in view of the need for international comparisons and in order to maintain a comparison with previous censuses, the working age population is being defined as those persons within the 15-64 age bracket. In relative terms, this major age group represents 66.7 per cent of the total population; an increase of 0.6 per cent from the 1985 Census.

Chart 6: Major Age Groups, 1985-1995


The elderly segment in the total population increased to 11.4 per cent from 9.9 per cent in 1985. According to the 1995 Census there were 60,212 persons who were aged 60 years and over; an increase of 10,410 or 20.9 per cent over the previous census.

The elderly population represents a group that is characterised by a high degree of heterogeneity in terms of its dependency on and respective needs for various services. Therefore, it is important to analyse the 'young-old' population apart from the 'old-old' population. It is the former group, which is usually defined as those in the 60-74 age-bracket, that is expected to be still in full possession of their mental and physical capacities and to be in a position to participate actively in social life. The "young-old" population represents 73.0 per cent of the total old population in Malta. The rest (27.0 per cent) are 'old-old' persons. The highest percentage of dependants in terms of need for care is expected to be in the 'old-old' age group because this is the most frail and the neediest age group within the population. In the future, the rate of growth of the old population would present an important variable in determining the allocation of financial resources for pensions and social services in order to secure a decent and healthy living for this segment of the population.

The ageing index is a useful indicator of the growth in size of the old population relative to the young population. The ageing index went up from 0.41 in 1985 to 0.52 in 1995. This practically means that there is one old person to every two young persons in Malta. The index is still significantly lower than its equivalents in the majority of Western European countries except in Ireland. This is mainly due to the fact that the Maltese population went through the demographic transition later than the industrialised countries of the West. Since locally, the demographic transition was completed in a relatively short period of time, the ageing process of the Maltese population is an inevitable factor that will bring consequences similar to those in other European countries.

Disparities exist in the ageing process within different localities. The ageing process has been well under way in Sliema, where the ageing index reached a high of 1.72. This is followed by Floriana with an ageing index of 1.70. In practice this means that on average for every 100 young persons there are 170 old persons. According to this index, the 'youngest' localities are Pembroke, with an ageing index of 0.04 (only 4 old persons for every 100 young ones) and, Iklin with an ageing index of 0.09.

The population of the Maltese Islands with an overall ageing index of 0.52 is moving towards a stage where it can be described as an old population. This ageing process may be described by using some dependency indicators that emerged from the Census. The proportion of the young population to the working age population went down from 0.36 in 1985 to 0.33 in 1995. This was mainly due to a decrease in the relative proportion of young persons in the total population which, in turn, resulted from a drop in the absolute number of young persons and an increase in the absolute size of the working age population.

Another indicator is the relative proportion of old dependants to the 'working age' population. As opposed to the above-mentioned dependency ratio and notwithstanding the absolute and relative increase of both age groups, the relative proportion of the elderly population has gone up from 0.15 to 0.17 during the 1985-1995 ten-year period. This indicates a faster growth rate in respect of the old population when compared to the 'working age' population.

From a planning point of view, these developments point towards a need for the shifting of resources away from the services required by the young dependants towards meeting the needs of the old dependants within the population.

The dependency ratio for the total population, defined as the percentage of the young and old population to the working age population, has gone down marginally from 0.51 in 1985 to 0.50 in 1995. This can be explained by a drop of 0.03 in the young population dependency ratio that is larger than the observed increase in the old population dependency ratio of 0.02.

On a locality basis, the highest dependency ratio of 0.70 was recorded in Luqa due to the presence of a large old peoples' home within this locality. The lowest dependency levels were recorded in Santa Lucia, with a dependency ratio of 0.38 and, Ta' Xbiex and San Gwann with a dependency ratio of 0.42 each.

5.5.2 The Age Structure of the Population: a Regional Analysis

The analysis here is based on a comparative analysis of the age structure of the population on a regional basis as resulting from both the 1985 and the 1995 Censuses.

An examination of the 1995 Census findings and a comparative analysis of these results with those emerging from the 1985 Census clearly shows the shift towards the older age groups on both a locality and regional basis. The following table presents a comparative distribution of six major age groups on a regional basis:

Table 4: Regional Percentage Distribution of Population by Selected Age Groups 1985-1995  

The Inner Harbour Region had the lowest proportion of persons in the 0-14 age group. Moreover, this share went down by 5.8 per cent during the intercensal interval to 17.4 per cent from 23.2 per cent in 1985. During the same period, the number of persons in the 15-54 age group declined by 2 per cent to 54.2 per cent in 1995. However, the relative share of this region's total population in the 55+ age group went up by a substantial 7.8 per cent to 28.5 per cent from 20.7 per cent in the last Census.

The proportion of persons in the 0-14 years age group declined to 22.7 per cent from 26.8 per cent in the Outer Harbour Region even though this region includes such relatively new localities as Fgura and Pembroke. At the same time, during the ten year period in between Censuses, the number of persons in the 15-54 age group increased marginally to 59.3 per cent. An increase of 3.6 per cent was also recorded in the proportion of persons over 55 years of age.

In the intercensal period, the proportion of 0-14 year olds in the South Eastern Region went down to 23.7 per cent from the 26 per cent recorded in the 1985 Census. Within the same region, the number of persons in the 15-54 age group was very similar to that registered ten years earlier. However, the number of persons in the 55+ age group went up by over 2 per cent to 17.7 per cent in 1995.

The age distribution of the population within the Western Region was very similar to that observed in the 1985 Census. At 23.3 per cent, the proportion of persons in the 0-14 years age group was only marginally less than that recorded in 1985. The 15-54 age group increased marginally to 57.9 per cent from 57.2 per cent in the previous census, while the number of persons who were in the 55+ age group practically retained their 1985 relative share of this region's total population.

The Northern Region's age distribution was very similar to that observed in 1985. At 24.6 per cent, the proportion of persons in the 0-14 age group was identical to that observed in the previous Census. However, the proportion of persons in the 15-54 age group increased by a marginal 0.7 per cent to 58.7 per cent in 1995. At the same time the 55+ age group declined, in relative terms, to 16.7 per cent.

Due to various factors, not least of all diminished migratory outflows and increased migratory inflows, the proportion of persons in the 0-14 years age group in Gozo and Comino, increased over 1985 to 22.3 per cent from 20.8 per cent ten years earlier. The 15-54 age group retained its ground with a 53.5 per cent representation. This was almost identical to that recorded ten years earlier. At the same time, the proportion of persons in the 55+ age group declined by 1.6 per cent to 24.2 per cent from 25.8 per cent in 1985.

5.5.3 The Gender Structure of the Population

Census data show that there were 186,836 males and 191,296 females in the total enumerated population. Expressed in percentage terms, this means a proportion of 49.4 per cent and 50.6 per cent for males and females respectively. The masculinity ratio for the enumerated population was 977 which means a slight improvement towards a more balanced gender structure from the 967 recorded in 1985. The masculinity ratio drifted from 930 in 1842 to a low of 938 in 1921 up to 970 in 1957 and to 977 in the last Census. Chart 7 gives a graphical representation of the movements in the masculinity ratio between 1842 and 1995.

Chart 7: Masculinity Ratio (Number of males per 1000 females), 1842-1995

Historically, emigration was the main cause of the unbalanced gender structure. Young male single working-age adults tended to leave the country for re-settlement elsewhere, in much larger numbers than females. This resulted in a "marriage squeeze" because, in terms of age, these emigrants were mostly within the marriageable cohorts. Since emigration practically died out within the intercensal period, the gender structure did not suffer negatively from its impact. However, the process of returned migration, which accelerated during the intercensal period, contributed towards a greater gender equilibrium in Malta.

Among the returned migrants there was a majority of men. This factor contributed to an increase in the masculinity ratio. Notwithstanding, the "marriage squeeze" phenomenon can be still observed in some localities. The lowest masculinity ratio, 778, was observed in Mdina. The highest level of male dominance was recorded in Santa Lucia with 1,049 enumerated males for every 1,000 females.

The age-gender distribution of Malta's population and the intercensal changes to these structures can be analysed through the following age-gender pyramids:

Chart 8: Census 1995 Age - Gender Population Pyramid

Chart 9: Census 1985 Age - Gender Population Pyramid

A comparative analysis of these charts reveals that the base of the pyramid emerging from the 1995 Census is getting narrower. The relative decline of the youngest age groups, that is the 0-4 and the 5-9 age groups, as a proportion of the total population are represented by their reduced width in the 1995 pyramid. At the same time, the top two five-year age groups and the open-ended age interval are widening due to the ageing process of the population. The 'baby boom' generation which had the modal frequencies in 1985 also kept the same pattern in 1995 but with a 10 year age time lag.

5.6 Citizenship

As on the 26th November 1995, the Maltese population amounted to 370,919 and accounted for 98.1 per cent of the enumerated population. The gender structure of the Maltese population was well balanced with 183,735 males and 187,184 females.

The vast majority of the Maltese population, 362,652 or 97.8 per cent obtained their citizenship by birth. Another 1.2 per cent acquired Maltese citizenship by registration. Some 0.6 per cent of all Maltese nationals acquired their citizenship by naturalisation. There were 505 persons who acquired Maltese citizenship by marriage. The majority of these, 61 per cent, were women.

The second largest segment of the enumerated population was made up of British nationals who numbered 3,555 and accounted for 49.3 per cent of the non-Maltese element in the population. The non-Maltese element in the total population stood at 7,213. As on Census day, there were, amongst others, 556 Australians, 410 Italians, 297 Americans, 285 Libyans and 259 Canadians living in Malta. Another 128 persons were stateless.

The composition of the non-Maltese element in the enumerated population does not only reflect Malta's historical and geo-political relationships with the countries of origin of the foreign nationals in Malta but the phenomenon of returned migration as well. Many of the foreign nationals in Malta are either the spouses of Maltese nationals or else the children of returned migrants. Moreover, an analysis of the foreign element in the enumerated population reveals that many Malta-born migrants obtained the citizenship of their country of adoption while away from Malta and retained same after their return to Malta. Furthermore, it was also observed that this was especially so in the case of couples of Maltese origin. In a large number of cases, either one of the spouses obtained a foreign citizenship and retained same after their return to Malta.

Malta was the country of birth of 360,392 enumerated persons. As in the case of citizenship 6,223 persons, the second largest number, were born in the United Kingdom. The third largest group of 4,008, were born in Australia.

During the ten-year period between 1985 and 1995, immigration flows were also recorded from several countries that were afflicted by war and/or economic crises.

Volume 1 Chapter 1:  Census of Population and Housing 1995
Volume 1 Chapter 2:  The Legal Background to the Census
Volume 1 Chapter 3:  Definition of Census Terms
Volume 1 Chapter 4:  Household and Family Characteristics of Persons

 

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