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Malta Travel Guide:

        Facts on Malta

Flag of Malta
History   Geography    People    Economy    Communications    Transportation

Map of Malta' main cities

Map of Malta and its major cities


History   Top of Page
  Malta's location between Europe and Northern Africa has made it a meeting ground for differing cultures.  Settled over 7,000 years ago, Malta has a long and complex history.  It is perhaps best known as the home of the Knights Hospitaller after they were evicted from Rhodes by the Ottoman Empire.

Great Britain formally acquired possession of Malta in 1814. The island staunchly supported the UK through both World Wars and remained in the Commonwealth when it became independent in 1964. A decade later Malta became a republic. Since about the mid-1980s, the island has become a freight transshipment point, financial center, and tourist destination. Malta became an EU member in May of 2004

Geography   Top of Page
Location Southern Europe, islands in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily (Italy)  
Geographic Coordinates 35 50 N, 14 35 E  
Area Total: 316 sq km
Water: 0 sq km
Land: 316 sq km
Area - Comparative Slightly less than twice the size of Washington, DC  
Land Boundaries 0 km  
Coastline 196.8 km (does not include 56.01 km for the island of Gozo)  
Climate Mediterranean with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers  
Terrain Mostly low, rocky, flat to dissected plains; many coastal cliffs  
Elevation Extremes Lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
Highest point: Ta'Dmejrek 253 m (near Dingli)
Natural Resources Limestone, salt, arable land  
Geography Note The country comprises an archipelago, with only the three largest islands (Malta, Ghawdex or Gozo, and Kemmuna or Comino) being inhabited; numerous bays provide good harbors; Malta and Tunisia are discussing the commercial exploitation of the continental shelf between their countries, particularly for oil exploration  
Natural hazards None  
People   Top of Page
Population 401,880 (July 2007 est.)  
Age Structure 0-14 years: 16.7% (male 34,559/female 32,707)
15-64 years: 69.5% (male 141,265/female 137,951)
65 years and over: 13.8% (male 23,802/female 31,596) (2007 est.)
Nationality Noun: Maltese (singular and plural)
Adjective: Maltese
Ethnic Groups Maltese (descendants of ancient Carthaginians and Phoenicians, with strong elements of Italian and other Mediterranean stock)  
Religions Roman Catholic 98%  
Language Maltese (official), English (official)  
Literacy Definition: age 10 and over can read and write
Total population: 92.8%
Male: 92%
Female: 93.6% (2003 est.)
Government   Top of Page
Country Name Conventional long form: Republic of Malta
Conventional short form: Malta
Local short form: Malta
Local long form: Repubblika ta' Malta
Government Type Republic  
Capital Valletta  
Administrative Divisions None (administered directly from Valletta); note - Local Councils carry out administrative orders  
Independence 21 September 1964 (from UK)  
Flag Description Two equal vertical bands of white (hoist side) and red; in the upper hoist-side corner is a representation of the George Cross, edged in red  
Economy   Top of Page
Overview Major resources are limestone, a favorable geographic location, and a productive labor force. Malta produces only about 20% of its food needs, has limited fresh water supplies, and has no domestic energy sources. The economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing (especially electronics and textiles), and tourism. Malta is privatizing state-controlled firms and liberalizing markets in order to prepare for membership in the European Union.  Continued sluggishness in the global economy is holding back exports, tourism, and overall growth.  
Currency Euro (January 1, 2008)  
Currency Code EUR  
Communications   Top of Page
Telephone System General assessment: automatic system satisfies normal requirements
Internet Country Code .mt  
Transportation   Top of Page
Railways 0 km  
Roadways total: 2,227 km
paved: 2,014 km
unpaved: 213 km (2004)
Waterways None  
Ports and Harbors Marsaxlokk, Valletta  
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