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Malta Country Information

 
Malta
Flag of Malta
Map of Malta
Introduction Malta
Background:
Great Britain formally acquired possession of Malta in 1814. The island staunchly supported the UK through both World Wars and remained in the Commonwealth when it became independent in 1964. A decade later Malta became a republic. Since about the mid-1980s, the island has transformed itself into a freight transshipment point, a financial center, and a tourist destination. Malta became an EU member in May 2004 and began to use the euro as currency in 2008.
Geography Malta
Location:
Southern Europe, islands in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily (Italy)
Geographic coordinates:
35 50 N, 14 35 E
Map references:
Europe
Area:
total: 316 sq km
land: 316 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly less than twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
196.8 km (does not include 56.01 km for the island of Gozo)
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive fishing zone: 25 nm
Climate:
Mediterranean; mild, rainy winters; hot, dry summers
Terrain:
mostly low, rocky, flat to dissected plains; many coastal cliffs
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Ta'Dmejrek 253 m (near Dingli)
Natural resources:
limestone, salt, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 31.25%
permanent crops: 3.13%
other: 65.62% (2005)
Irrigated land:
20 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
0.07 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.02 cu km/yr (74%/1%/25%)
per capita: 50 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
NA
Environment - current issues:
limited natural fresh water resources; increasing reliance on desalination
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
the country comprises an archipelago, with only the three largest islands (Malta, Ghawdex or Gozo, and Kemmuna or Comino) being inhabited; numerous bays provide good harbors; Malta and Tunisia are discussing the commercial exploitation of the continental shelf between their countries, particularly for oil exploration
People Malta
Population:
403,532 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 16.4% (male 33,954/female 32,158)
15-64 years: 69.7% (male 142,338/female 138,792)
65 years and over: 13.9% (male 24,240/female 32,050) (2008 est.)
Median age:
total: 39.2 years
male: 37.9 years
female: 40.6 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.407% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
10.33 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
8.29 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
2.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 3.79 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.25 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 79.3 years
male: 77.08 years
female: 81.64 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.51 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
fewer than 500 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 100 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
noun: Maltese (singular and plural)
adjective: Maltese
Ethnic groups:
Maltese (descendants of ancient Carthaginians and Phoenicians with strong elements of Italian and other Mediterranean stock)
Religions:
Roman Catholic 98%
Languages:
Maltese (official) 90.2%, English (official) 6%, multilingual 3%, other 0.8% (2005 census)
Literacy:
definition: age 10 and over can read and write
total population: 92.8%
male: 92%
female: 93.6% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 15 years
male: 15 years
female: 15 years (2005)
Education expenditures:
5.1% of GDP (2004)
Government Malta
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Malta
conventional short form: Malta
local long form: Repubblika ta' Malta
local short form: Malta
Government type:
republic
Capital:
name: Valletta
geographic coordinates: 35 53 N, 14 30 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
none (administered directly from Valletta); note - local councils carry out administrative orders
Independence:
21 September 1964 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 21 September (1964)
Constitution:
1964 constitution; amended many times
Legal system:
based on English common law and Roman civil law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Edward FENECH ADAMI (since 4 April 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Lawrence GONZI (since 23 March 2004)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
elections: president elected by the House of Representatives for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 29 March 2004 (next to be held by April 2009); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the president for a five-year term; the deputy prime minister is appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
election results: Eddie FENECH ADAMI elected president; House of Representatives vote - 33 out of 65 votes
Legislative branch:
unicameral House of Representatives (usually 65 seats; members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve five-year terms; note - additional seats are given to the party with the largest popular vote to ensure a legislative majority)
elections: last held on 8 March 2008 (next to be held by March 2013)
election results: percent of vote by party - PN 49.3%, MLP 48.8%, other 1.9%; seats by party - PN 35, MLP 34
Judicial branch:
Constitutional Court; Court of Appeal; judges for both courts are appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
Political parties and leaders:
Alternativa Demokratika/Alliance for Social Justice or AD [Harry VASSALLO]; Malta Labor Party or MLP [acting leader Charles MANGION]; Nationalist Party or PN [Lawrence GONZI]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Alleanza Liberal-Demokratika Maltra ro ALDM (against illegal immigration); Alleanza Nazzionali Repubblikana or ANR (encourages tourism); Alternattiva Demokratika (campaign to reform rent law, and other campaigns); Azzjoni Nazzjonali or AN (freedom to participate in democratic government); Ghazdatal-Konsumaturi (consumer rights); Nazi Watch Malta (exposing Nazis)
other: environmentalists
International organization participation:
Australia Group, C, CE, EBRD, EIB, EMU, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NSG, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Mark MICELI-FARRUGIA
chancery: 2017 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 462-3611, 3612
FAX: [1] (202) 387-5470
consulate(s): New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Molly BORDONARO
embassy: 3rd Floor, Development House, Saint Anne Street, Floriana, VLT 01
mailing address: P. O. Box 535, Valletta, CMR01
telephone: [356] 2561 4000
FAX: [356] 21 243229
Flag description:
two equal vertical bands of white (hoist side) and red; in the upper hoist-side corner is a representation of the George Cross, edged in red
Economy Malta
Economy - overview:
Major resources are limestone, a favorable geographic location, and a productive labor force. Malta produces only about 20% of its food needs, has limited fresh water supplies, and has few domestic energy sources. The economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing (especially electronics and pharmaceuticals), and tourism. Economic recovery of the European economy has lifted exports, tourism, and overall growth. Malta adopted the euro on 1 January 2008.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$9.4 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$7.419 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
3.8% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$23,400 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2.7%
industry: 22.3%
services: 74.9% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
166,000 (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 22%
services: 75% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate:
6.4% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line:
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
28 (2005)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.3% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
18.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $3.485 billion
expenditures: $3.554 billion (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products:
potatoes, cauliflower, grapes, wheat, barley, tomatoes, citrus, cut flowers, green peppers; pork, milk, poultry, eggs
Industries:
tourism, electronics, ship building and repair, construction, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, footwear, clothing, tobacco
Industrial production growth rate:
NA%
Electricity - production:
2.106 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
1.959 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
18,600 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
18,210 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
-$424.5 million (2007 est.)
Exports:
$3.238 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, manufactures
Exports - partners:
Singapore 14.4%, Germany 13.7%, France 12.6%, US 11.3%, UK 10%, Hong Kong 6.1%, Japan 4.9%, Italy 4% (2007)
Imports:
$4.541 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured and semi-manufactured goods; food, drink, tobacco
Imports - partners:
Italy 26%, UK 15%, France 9.5%, Germany 8.8%, Singapore 5.2% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient:
$6.19 million (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$3.798 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external:
$188.8 million (2005)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$NA
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$4.097 billion (2005)
Currency (code):
euro (EUR) as of 1 January 2008; Maltese lira (MTL) before then
Currency code:
MTL
Exchange rates:
euros per US dollar - 0.6795 (January 2008), Maltese liri per US dollar - 0.3106 (2007), 0.37 (2006), 0.34578 (2005), 0.34466 (2004), 0.37723 (2003)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Malta
Telephones - main lines in use:
198,100 (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
371,500 (2007)
Telephone system:
general assessment: automatic system satisfies normal requirements; fixed-line teledensity 50 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity about 90 per 100 persons
domestic: submarine cable and microwave radio relay between islands
international: country code - 356; submarine cable connects to Italy; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 18, shortwave 6 (1999)
Radios:
255,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
5 (2006)
Televisions:
280,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
.mt
Internet hosts:
21,386 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
6 (2002)
Internet users:
158,000 (2007)
Transportation Malta
Airports:
1 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2007)
Roadways:
total: 2,227 km
paved: 2,014 km
unpaved: 213 km (2004)
Merchant marine:
total: 1,412 ships (1000 GRT or over) 30,348,639 GRT/49,077,348 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 464, cargo 415, carrier 1, chemical tanker 153, container 75, liquefied gas 24, passenger 27, passenger/cargo 13, petroleum tanker 150, refrigerated cargo 38, roll on/roll off 34, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 17
foreign-owned: 1,320 (Austria 1, Azerbaijan 3, Bangladesh 2, Belgium 12, Bulgaria 12, Canada 2, China 13, Croatia 11, Cyprus 23, Denmark 26, Egypt 1, Estonia 9, France 5, Germany 78, Greece 451, Hong Kong 3, Iceland 7, India 3, Iran 69, Israel 19, Italy 48, Japan 4, Latvia 24, Lebanon 12, Libya 3, Lithuania 1, Monaco 1, Netherlands 3, Norway 98, Pakistan 2, Poland 25, Portugal 3, Romania 8, Russia 53, Singapore 2, Slovenia 3, South Korea 6, Spain 2, Sweden 2, Switzerland 25, Syria 5, Taiwan 1, Turkey 169, UAE 7, UK 19, Ukraine 30, US 14)
registered in other countries: 4 (Panama 3, St Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Marsaxlokk (Malta Freeport), Valletta
Military Malta
Military branches:
Armed Forces of Malta (AFM; includes air and maritime elements) (2007)
Military service age and obligation:
17 years 6 months of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2008)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 96,309
females age 16-49: 92,242 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 80,227
females age 16-49: 76,623 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 2,815
female: 2,657 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
0.7% of GDP (2006 est.)
Transnational Issues Malta
Disputes - international:
none
Illicit drugs:
minor transshipment point for hashish from North Africa to Western Europe

This page was last updated on 2 October, 2008


 

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