Census of Population and Housing 2021: Preliminary Report

Date Published: 1st August 2022

This preliminary report presents the first results of the Census held during October and November last year. It is the 18th in a series of population censuses dating back to 1842. Nationally, its legal basis is the Census Act of 1948. At the EU legislative level, Census 2021 is the second census to be carried out according to the provisions of European Regulation (EC) No 763/2008 on population and housing censuses. From different angles, Census 2021 had many innovations.

First, the modes of data collection were diversified to accommodate modern needs. Therefore, in addition to the traditional paper questionnaire, there were alternatives such as personal interviews with data capture on tablets, telephone interviews and web completion through an online form. Second, the questionnaire was updated following a full consultation process locally and also took account of international needs. Third, at the results stage, in addition to the usual detailed census information, Census 2021 will present added value to the evolving world of spatial analysis in the shape of 1 square kilometre grid datasets. As the analysis proceeds, all this and more will be published in a series of Census publications, of which the preliminary report is the first.

Salient Points of Publication:
  • The preliminary population headcount stands at 519,562 – an increase of 25% since 2011 or an average of 10 thousand persons per year – the highest intercensal change ever recorded to date.
  • Increases in the population count since 2011 were recorded in every district, the most being in the Northern District (47 per cent or 30 thousand persons) and the least in the Southern Harbour District (8.3 per cent).
  • The largest three localities are San Pawl il-Baħar, Birkirkara and Il-Mosta – accounting for 15.7 per cent of the total population.  The population in San Pawl il-Baħar almost doubled, exceeding 32 thousand inhabitants.
  • Malta is by far the most densely populated country in the EU with 1,649 persons per square kilometre compared to almost 100 persons per square kilometre for the EU.  
  • Tas-Sliema is the most densely populated locality with 15,167 persons per square kilometre while L-Għasri is the least with 104 persons per square kilometre – the latter being the only locality which is comparable to the EU average. 
  • More males than females were recorded for the first time in a Census, standing at 52%.  
  • More than one in five persons is a foreigner. Foreigners are predominantly males and younger in age compared to their Maltese counterparts. Almost a third of all foreigners reside in San Pawl il-Baħar, Tas-Sliema or Msida. 
  • The average age of the population was 41.7 years, with Gozitan residents being slightly older than the Maltese.  The Maltese population is still relatively young compared to the EU.
  • L-Imdina had the oldest residents with an average age of 53.8 years, while Ix-Xgħajra had the youngest residing population (37 years). 
  • A total of 9,545 persons resided in institutions, with more than half (57.2 per cent) residing in homes for the elderly.
You may download the Preliminary Report Tables from here: Preliminary Report Tables 
Kalkulatur tal-Inflazzjoni Kalendarju tal-Istqarrijiet tal-Aħbarijiet Talbiet għat-Tagħrif Mistoqsijiet dwar il-Kodiċi tan-NACE
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