Malta’s population grows by almost 25% in a decade, Census shows

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Over a century, the population of Malta has more than doubled (by 2.5 times), while in the past 10 years, it grew by nearly a quarter, reaching 519,562. This was the headline figure published today as the NSO has revealed the preliminary population count estimated from the latest Census.

This was a result of a consistent increase of the population by 10 thousand persons per year since 2011, the highest average intercensal growth ever recorded to date. This represents nearly a threefold increase over the largest intercensal change previously recorded between the years 1931 and 1948, which stood at 3,786. This unprecedented growth contrasts with an average annual increase of just under 1,000 persons observed during the 19th century.

Up until the last census, the Maltese population was made up of more females than males although, since 1967, the gap between
the two sexes has narrowed. Over the past 10 years, the male population grew at a faster pace when compared to the female
population, with an increase of more than 62 thousand males or 30.1 per cent over the last census compared to an increase of 18.9
per cent in females. As a result, this is the first census population with a majority (at 52 per cent) of males over females resulting
in a sex ratio (namely the number of females expressed per 1,000 males) of 924.

Comparing at a regional level, the populations of Malta and Gozo grew by a similar proportion from 2011, at 24.4 per cent and
25.2 per cent respectively. When analysing population growth at the district level, the Northern District experienced the biggest
increase since 2011 at 47.0 per cent, equivalent to almost 30 thousand persons. Conversely, the lowest increase was observed
in the Southern Harbour District, with an increase of 8.3 per cent over 2011. In fact, this area recorded the smallest change in
population count over the past century, with its population staying under 90 thousand residents, as opposed to all other districts
in Malta which nearly doubled in size except for the Northern District which increased more than sixfold – from 14,672 to 93,755
Results from the 2021 Census show that the largest concentration of the population remains in the Northern Harbour District with
157,297 residents or 30.3 per cent of the entire population residing there. This was followed by the Northern (18 per cent) and
Southern Harbour (16.6 per cent) districts.

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