Reference > World Factbook, 2008
  The World Factbook.  2008.
Flag of Malta                                Map of 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 will begin to use the Euro as currency in 2008.
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:very 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
Population:401,880 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 16.7% (male 34,559/female 32,707)
15-64 years: 69.5% (male 141,265/female 137,951)
65 years and over: 13.8% (male 23,802/female 31,596) (2007 est.)
Median age:total: 39 years
male: 37.6 years
female: 40.4 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:0.413% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:10.28 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:8.19 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:2.04 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.057 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.024 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.753 male(s)/female
total population: 0.987 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:total: 3.82 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.29 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.32 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:total population: 79.15 years
male: 76.95 years
female: 81.47 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:1.51 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS—adult prevalence rate:0.2% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS—people living with HIV/AIDS:less than 500 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS—deaths:less 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), English (official)
Literacy:definition: age 10 and over can read and write
total population: 92.8%
male: 92%
female: 93.6% (2003 est.)
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 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 12 April 2003 (next to be held by 8 March 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - PN 51.8%, MLP 47.5%, AD 0.7%; seats by party - PN 34, MLP 31
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 [Alfred SANT]; Nationalist Party or PN [Lawrence GONZI]
Political pressure groups and leaders:NA
International organization participation:Australia Group, C, CE, CPLP (associate), 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, Union Latina (observer), 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—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):$9.342 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):$6.45 billion (2007 est.)
GDP—real growth rate:3.4% (2007 est.)
GDP—per capita (PPP):$23,200 (2007 est.)
GDP—composition by sector:agriculture: 2.7%
industry: 22.3%
services: 74.9% (2003 est.)
Labor force:164,000 (2006 est.)
Labor force—by occupation:agriculture: 3%
industry: 22%
services: 75% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate:6.8% (2005 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):0.9% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):10.7% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:revenues: $3.316 billion
expenditures: $3.368 billion (2007 est.)
Agriculture—products:potatoes, cauliflower, grapes, wheat, barley, tomatoes, citrus, cut flowers, green peppers; pork, milk, poultry, eggs
Industries:tourism, electronics, ship building and repair, construction, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, footwear, clothing, tobacco
Industrial production growth rate:NA%
Electricity—production:2.106 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity—consumption:1.959 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity—exports:0 kWh (2005)
Electricity—imports:0 kWh (2005)
Oil—production:0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil—consumption:18,600 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil—exports:0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—imports:18,210 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—proved reserves:0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas—production:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—consumption:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—exports:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—imports:0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas—proved reserves:0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:$-411 million (2007 est.)
Exports:$3.403 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports—commodities:machinery and transport equipment, manufactures
Exports—partners:France 15.3%, Singapore 13.2%, US 13%, Germany 12.5%, UK 9.5%, Japan 4.9%, Hong Kong 4.2% (2006)
Imports:$4.212 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports—commodities:machinery and transport equipment, manufactured and semi-manufactured goods; food, drink, tobacco
Imports—partners:Italy 28%, UK 10.5%, France 8.7%, Germany 7.6%, Singapore 6.8%, US 5.6% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$3.522 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)
Economic aid—recipient:$6.19 million (2004)
Currency (code):Maltese lira (MTL); euro (EUR) after 1 January 2008
Exchange rates:Maltese liri per US dollar - 0.3106 (2007), 0.37 (2006), 0.34578 (2005), 0.34466 (2004), 0.37723 (2003)
Fiscal year:calendar year
Telephones—main lines in use:202,300 (2006)
Telephones—mobile cellular:346,800 (2006)
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)
Television broadcast stations:5 (2006)
Internet country
Internet hosts:21,386 (2007)
Internet users:127,200 (2005)
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: 1,281 ships (1000 GRT or over) 25,213,650 GRT/41,033,203 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 439, cargo 382, chemical tanker 125, combination ore/oil 2, container 65, liquefied gas 15, livestock carrier 1, passenger 15, passenger/cargo 14, petroleum tanker 132, refrigerated cargo 41, roll on/roll off 31, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 17
foreign-owned: 1,197 (Austria 1, Azerbaijan 3, Bangladesh 3, Belgium 10, Bulgaria 15, Canada 15, China 13, Croatia 12, Cyprus 15, Denmark 10, Estonia 7, France 4, Germany 67, Greece 448, Hong Kong 1, Iceland 7, India 3, Iran 24, Israel 21, Italy 45, Japan 3, South Korea 3, Latvia 36, Lebanon 12, Libya 3, Monaco 1, Netherlands 3, Norway 71, Pakistan 2, Poland 25, Portugal 3, Romania 10, Russia 66, Slovenia 3, Spain 1, Sweden 1, Switzerland 22, Syria 4, Turkey 143, Ukraine 28, UAE 10, UK 12, US 11)
registered in other countries: 4 (Panama 2, Portugal 1, St Vincent and The Grenadines 1) (2007)
Ports and terminals:Marsaxlokk (Malta Freeport), Valletta
Military branches:Armed Forces of Malta (AFM; includes air and maritime elements) (2005)
Military service age and obligation:18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2001)
Manpower available for military service:males age 18-49: 90,651
females age 18-49: 87,047 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:males age 18-49: 74,525
females age 18-49: 71,333 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures—percent of GDP:0.7% (2006 est.)
Transnational Issues
Illicit drugs:minor transshipment point for hashish from North Africa to Western Europe


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