News Releases

Structure of General Government Debt: 2022
Release Date: 1 June 2023
At the end of 2022, General Government debt amounted to €9,003.4 million, or 53.4 per cent of GDP, an increase of €739.5 million over 2021.


In 2022, the Financial Corporations sector held the biggest share of Government’s debt with 60.4 per cent, followed by the Rest of World with 22.0 per cent. The share of Households and Non-Profit Institutions Serving Households (NPISH) was 15.7 per cent, a decrease of 7.6 percentage points over the debt held in 2019. The Non-Financial Corporations sector held 1.9 per cent of the debt. Between 2019 and 2022 the Rest of the World sector experienced the highest growth in the holding of Government’s debt, an increase of 6.9 percentage points (Table 1).

Chart 1. General Government Debt

Debt securities, which include Malta Government Stocks and Treasury Bills, are the preferred debt instrument for General Government, with €7,663.0 million, or 85.1 per cent, of the total debt in 2022. Other debt instruments are Loans and Currency, with 9.6 per cent and 5.3 per cent, respectively. The largest increase was recorded under Debt Securities (€820.9 million), and it mainly relates to the government’s financing of the budget expenditures, including the financing of the energy support measures and the COVID-19 pandemic’s diminishing effect (Table 2).

Chart 2. Debt holders by institutional sector (%)

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Chart 3. Debt by financial instrument (%)

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Chart 4. Nominal debt compared to market debt

€ millions

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Almost all the debt owed by the General Government Sector is in national currency (Table 3).

The apparent cost of debt, which is the interest rate applicable to the whole nominal debt, was 1.9 per cent in 2022, compared to 3.3 per cent in 2019. This measure of debt cost reflects the interest rates in effect at the time of issuance, and because debt is predominantly long-term, the indicator is not particularly sensitive to the current prevailing interest rate scenario (Table 4).

For 2022, the market value of the total General Government debt is estimated at €8,421.1 million, compared to the nominal value of €9,003.4 million. While nominal debt increased by €739.5 million, market debt decreased by €734.2 million as a result of high inflation and subsequent interest rate increases (Table 5).

For the year under review, the time structure of the debt by initial maturity shows that €2,828.8 million, or 31.4 per cent, was issued with a maturity of 15 to 30 years. This was followed by debt issued for 1 to 5 years (16.2 per cent), 5 to 7 years (13.9 per cent), 7 to 10 years (13.6 per cent), 10 to 15 years (10.3 per cent), less than 1 year (10.3 per cent) and more than 30 years (4.3 per cent) (Table 6).

The average remaining maturity of total debt for 2022 was 8 years 4 months, 7 months shorter than in 2021 and 2 months shorter than in 2019. In 2022, the biggest share of debt by remaining maturity was in the 1 to 5-year category with €2,271.0 million, followed by the 7 to 10-year (€1,848.5 million) and the less than 1-year (€1,348.9 million) categories (Table 7).

Chart 5. Debt by initial and remaining maturity

€ millions

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Government guarantees on borrowing amounted to €1,160.1 million in 2022, or 6.9 per cent of GDP, a decrease of €50.1 million over 2021. The majority of Government guarantees are issued towards the Non-Financial Corporations sector, which accounts for 61.8 per cent of the total guarantees. The Financial Corporations, Rest of the World and NPISH sectors benefitted from 34.4, 3.0 and 0.7 per cent of Government guarantees, respectively. The Government guarantees are contingent liabilities, contingent on the actual call of the guarantee, and therefore these do not form part of General Government debt (Table 8).

The General Government debt data reported in this release are consistent with the April 2023 EDP notification as published in news release 067/2023 dated April 21.

Chart 6. Government Guarantees beneficiaries by Institutional Sector

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Methodological Notes

1. This release presents Government debt in line with the methodology defined in the Maastricht Treaty (Article 104). The basic conceptual reference framework for this exercise is the ESA 2010 Manual on Government Deficit and Debt (2019 edition) which is in turn based on the European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA 2010). This compliance with the reference framework allows for the international comparability of the data.

2. General Government Sector (S.13 sector according to the ESA 2010 definitions) is made up of the Central Government Sector (S.1311) and the Local Government Sector (S.1313). The Central Government Sector includes the Budgetary Central Government, made up of Government Ministries and Departments and the Extra Budgetary Units (EBUs).

3. Figures in the tables presented may not add up due to rounding.

4. Data may be subject to revision.

5. More information relating to this news release may be accessed at:

Statistical Concepts 


Statistical Database

Eurostat Statistical Database

6. Any quotations from this news release are to be cited and/or referenced.

7. A detailed news release calendar is available online.

Structure of General Government Debt: 2022
Release Date: 1 June 2023
  • The General Government debt for 2022 amounted to €9,003.4 million or 53.4 per cent of GDP.
  • The biggest share of debt is held by the Financial Corporations (60.4 per cent), followed by the Rest of World (22.0 per cent) and Households and Non-Profit Institutions Serving Households (15.7 per cent).
  • The preferred debt instrument is ‘debt securities’ with 85.1 per cent.
  • The market value of the General Government debt is estimated at €8,421.1 million.
  • In 2022 the apparent cost of debt was a rate of 1.9 per cent.
  • The average remaining maturity of the debt was 8 years 4 months.
Str_Gen_Gov_Debt 2022
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