MALTA



Edward Fenech Adami
Prime Minister

Malta

(pronounced "ED-werd FEH-nick an-DAH-mee")

"We must regain the time we lost during the last two years."

The Republic of Malta is an island nation situated in the central Mediterranean Sea between Sicily and the North African mainland. It comprises an archipelago of three main islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino. Also parts of Maltese territory are two small uninhabited islands: Cominotto and Filfla. The islands comprise a total area of 316 sq km (122 sq mi). They are a rocky formation rising from east to northeast to a height of 253 m (830 ft), with clefts that form deep harbors, bays, creeks, and rocky coves. The capital city is Valletta.

Malta's population was estimated at 395,000 in 2001. With over 1,200 residents per sq km (over 3,000 per sq mi), Malta is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. This high population density and unemployment have led to significant emigration in recent years. Most Maltese are believed to be descended from the ancient Carthaginians, but there are considerable elements of Italian and other Mediterranean stock as well. Other ethnic groups include Arabs, Sicilians, Normans, Spaniards, Italians, and English. Maltese is the national language and the language of the courts. Maltese and English are both official languages, while some Italian is spoken as well. The population is 98% Roman Catholic.

Malta has few natural resources, besides limestone. Agriculture is limited by the rocky nature of the islands, and most food must be imported. Industrial raw materials are lacking and also must be imported. Malta's economy relies on light industry, tourism, and other service industries, in addition to shipbuilding, maintenance, and repairs. Exports include clothing, semiconductors, textiles, furniture, leather, rubber, and plastic products. The Maltese lira is the official unit of currency. The per capita gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at US $14,300 in 2000.

ADDRESS

Auberge de Castille
Valletta, Malta

Read about the Culture of Malta.

Read about the Geography of Malta.

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