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Overview

Malta - Overview


Capital: Valletta

Population: 398,534 (July 2005 est.)

Languages: Maltese (official), English (official)

Religions: Roman Catholic 98%

Currency: Maltese lira (MTL)

Timezone: GMT+1

The Maltese archipelago is situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. It has three main inhabited islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. Malta has few natural resources and its economy depends heavily on tourism and light manufacturing. It enjoys a pleasant climate, which is warm all year round. Its landscape consists mainly of low hills and terraced fields.

Malta is very popular as a retirement destination especially among British nationals. Culturally, Malta has strong links with Britain as a result of the colonial association (Malta gained independence from Britain in 1964).

Valetta is the busy capital and seat of government, while other main towns include Sliema, a large modern town with many hotels, restaurants, bars and shops, and the quieter city of Mdina and its suburb Rabat. Victoria is the bustling market town capital of Gozo.

The attractions of Malta for expatriates and tourists alike include its pleasant Mediterranean climate, its beautiful indented coastline, and the excellent conditions it possesses for diving and watersports. There are also sandy beaches to be found mainly on the northern coast. Malta possesses a very rich historical and cultural heritage, while the major towns are also lively social centres, with their many bars, clubs and discos. A further attraction for prospective settlers is Malta's extremely low crime rate and peaceful lifestyle.

More than a quarter of the population of Malta are employed in tourism. There are relatively few natural resources and scarce opportunities for jobs in other sectors. Traditionally, there have been high levels of emigration from Malta, and there are now many more Maltese people living in other countries than in Malta itself.

The influence of Roman Catholicism is very strong in Malta, and visitors to churches should ensure that their shoulders and legs are covered.


Read more about this country



Expat Health Insurance Partners


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