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Census of Population and Housing 2021: Final Report: Health, education, employment and other characteristics (Volume 3)

Date Published: 19th January 2024

The Census of Population and Housing is a detailed statistical exercise featuring Malta and its people by their demographic and social characteristics. It provides a portrait at a point in time, and for the 18th Census, this was 21 November 2021. The Census’s legal basis is the national Census Act 1948 and the supranational EU Regulation No 763/2008.

This is the third in the series of volumes detailing the statistical information collected during the Census of Population and Housing. The Census takes place every ten years. It gives a picture of the people, households and dwellings in Malta at a point in time, called Census Day in the terminology of the census. In the 18th Census held in 2021, Census Day was 21 November. Follow-ups of data collection, compilation, validation and analysis were carried out throughout 2022.

Salient Points of Publication:
  • The majority of households (76.1 per cent) had no dependent children, marking an increase from 65 per cent in 2011.  The most prevalent household type was the single-person household, characterised by individuals aged 30-64 years, with 18.1 per cent.
  • A total of 6,378 households were comprised of single parents with one or more dependent children, an increase of 922 households compared to ten years before.
  • 11,073 individuals or 2.5 per cent of individuals aged 16 and over identified themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or having a different sexual orientation. This rate was over three times higher among non-Maltese nationals (5.5 per cent) compared to the Maltese (1.6 per cent).
  • Over half of the female population aged 16 and over, were either married or in a civil union (50.4 per cent). A greater proportion of single males emerged, constituting 42.8 per cent compared to 34.5 per cent for females.
  • The count of mothers totalled 139,223, constituting 64.2 per cent of the female population aged 15 and over. Among them, 14,491 were single.
  • The mean age at which mothers experienced their first live birth was 25.9 years, reflecting a one-year rise from the 2011 figure of 24.9 years. This was found to be highly correlated to the age and level of education of the mothers.
  • A total of 129,132 individuals (26 per cent of persons aged 5 or more) suffered from a long-term illness, disease, and/or chronic condition – a 6-percentage-point rise compared to the preceding Census held in 2011.
  • While Maltese remained the predominant language across all age groups of Maltese nationals, nearly a quarter of those under 10 years and 14.7 per cent of those aged 10 to 19 years considered English their primary language from early childhood.
  • The highest rates of Maltese nationals aged 5 years or more speaking English from early childhood were found in Is-Swieqi (37.7 per cent), Tas-Sliema and San Giljan (just over a quarter) and L-Imdina (24.1 per cent).
  • In 2021, the literacy rate reached 95.7 per cent, resulting in 20,453 individuals classified as illiterate. Ħal Luqa (89.4 per cent), Bormla (89.8 per cent) and Il-Marsa (89.9 per cent) had the lowest rates, whereas Is-Swieqi (98.8 per cent), Ħal Balzan (98.1 per cent) and Ħ’Attard (98 per cent) recorded the highest ones.
  • The shift towards higher education continued to materialise with all categories from the attainment of an upper secondary level being higher compared to 2011. Almost a quarter of the persons aged 15 or more were in possession of a tertiary level compared to 14.1 per cent in 2011.
  • Over the past decade, there has been a noteworthy rise in the number of employed persons, which includes individuals aged 15 years or older, increasing from 171,855 to 273,955.
  • The count of persons taking care of the house and/or family decreased from 80,493 (constituting 22.6 per cent of those aged 15 and above) in 2011 to 60,242, comprising 13.3 per cent of the same demographic in 2021.
  • Regarding the nature of occupations, gender disparities persisted. Males predominantly held positions as professionals (16.4 per cent), technicians and associate professionals (14.9 per cent), and craft and related trade workers (13.7 per cent). Females were primarily employed as service and sales workers (25.7 per cent), professionals (24 per cent), and clerical support positions (14.2 per cent).


Final Report: Volume 3 Tables

Chapter 1: Household, family and other characteristics

Chapter 2: Health

Chapter 3: Main language spoken

Chapter 4: Education

Chapter 5: Employment

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