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Map of Malta
 

 
Geography

Location: Southern Europe, islands in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily (Italy)

Geographic coordinates: 35 50 N, 14 35 E

Map references: Europe

Area:
total: 320 sq km
land: 320 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 140 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive fishing zone: 25 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

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: Dingli Cliffs 245 m

Natural resources: limestone, salt

Land use:
arable land: 38%
permanent crops: 3%
permanent pastures: NA%
forests and woodland: NA%
other: 59% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 10 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

Environment—current issues: very limited natural fresh water resources; increasing reliance on desalination

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography—note: the country comprises an archipelago, with only the three largest islands (Malta, Gozo, and Comino) being inhabited; numerous bays provide good harbors

 
People

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Population: 379,563 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 21% (male 40,655; female 38,425)
15-64 years: 68% (male 128,958; female 127,391)
65 years and over: 11% (male 18,629; female 25,505) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.58% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 11.73 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 7.35 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.45 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 7.57 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.6 years
male: 75.3 years
female: 80.05 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.73 children born/woman (1998 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%

Languages: Maltese (official), English (official)

Literacy:
definition: age 10 and over can read and write
total population: 88%
male: 88%
female: 88% (1985)

 
Government

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Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Malta
conventional short form: Malta

Data code: MT

Government type: parliamentary democracy

National capital: Valletta

Administrative divisions: none (administered directly from Valletta)

Independence: 21 September 1964 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 21 September (1964)

Constitution: 1964 constitution substantially amended on 13 December 1974

Legal system: based on English common law and Roman civil law; has accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Ugo MIFSUD BONNICI (since 4 April 1994)
head of government: Prime Minister Dr. Alfred SANT (since 28 October 1996); Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign and Environment Minister Dr. George VELLA (since 29 October 1996)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
elections: president elected by the House of Representatives for a five-year term; election last held NA April 1994 (next to be held by NA April 1999); following House of Representatives elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the president for a five-year term
election results: Ugo MIFSUD BONNICI elected president; percent of House of Representatives vote—NA

Legislative branch: unicameral House of Representatives (usually 65 seats; note—additional seats are given to the party with the largest popular vote to ensure a legislative majority; current total: 69 seats; members are elected by proportional representation to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 26 October 1996 (next to be held by October 2001)
election results: percent of vote by party—MLP 50.7%, NP 46.5%; seats by party—NP 34, MLP 31 (MLP 35, NP 34 after adjustment)

Judicial branch: Constitutional Court, judges are appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister; Court of Appeal, judges are appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister

Political parties and leaders: Nationalist Party or NP [Edward FENECH ADAMI]; Malta Labor Party or MLP [Alfred SANT]

International organization participation: C, CCC, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Mark Anthony MICALLEF
chancery: 2017 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 462-3611, 3612
FAX: [1] (202) 387-5470
consulate(s): New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Kathryn Haycock PROFFITT
embassy: 2nd Floor, Development House, Saint Anne Street, Floriana, Malta
mailing address: P. O. Box 535, Valletta
telephone: [356] 235960
FAX: [356] 223322

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

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Economy—overview: Significant resources are limestone, a favorable geographic location, and a productive labor force. Malta produces only about 20% of its food needs, has limited freshwater supplies, and has no domestic energy sources. The economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing (especially electronics and textiles), and tourism; the state-owned Malta drydocks employs about 3,800 people. In 1996, approximately 1 million tourists visited the island. Per capita GDP of $12,900 places Malta in the range of the less affluent EU countries. The island is divided politically over the question of joining the EU.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$4.9 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 2.8% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$12,900 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 5%
industry: 34%
services: 61% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 2.3% (1996)

Labor force:
total: 148,085 (September 1996)
by occupation: public services 34%, other services 32%, manufacturing and construction 22%, agriculture 2% (1996)

Unemployment rate: 3.7% (September 1996)

Budget:
revenues: $1.3 billion
expenditures: $1.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $219 million (1997 est.)

Industries: tourism; electronics, ship building and repair, construction; food and beverages, textiles, footwear, clothing, tobacco

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 250,000 kW (1994)

Electricity—production: 1.45 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 3,923 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: potatoes, cauliflower, grapes, wheat, barley, tomatoes, citrus, cut flowers, green peppers; pork, milk, poultry, eggs

Exports:
total value: $1.7 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: machinery and transport equipment, clothing and footware, printed matter
partners: Italy 32%, Germany 16%, UK 8%

Imports:
total value: $2.8 billion (c.i.f., 1996)
commodities: food, petroleum, machinery and semimanufactured goods
partners: Italy 27%, Germany 14%, UK 13%, US 9%

Debt—external: $134 million (1996)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 Maltese lira (LM) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Maltese liri (LM) per US$1—0.3960 (January 1998), 0.3857 (1997), 0.3604 (1996), 0.3529 (1995), 0.3776 (1994), 0.3821 (1993)

Fiscal year: 1 April—31 March

 
Communications

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Telephones: 191,876 (1992 est.)

Telephone system: automatic system satisfies normal requirements
domestic: submarine cable and microwave radio relay between islands
international: 2 submarine cables; satellite earth station—1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 8, FM 4, shortwave 0

Radios: 189,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 4 (1996 est.)

Televisions: 300,000 (1996 est.)

 
Transportation

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Railways: 0 km

Highways:
total: 1,582 km
paved: 1,471 km
unpaved: 111 km (1993 est.)

Ports and harbors: Marsaxlokk, Valletta

Merchant marine:
total: 1,287 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 22,396,164 GRT/37,390,720 DWT
ships by type: bulk 350, cargo 404, chemical tanker 38, combination bulk 20, combination ore/oil 15, container 55, liquefied gas tanker 1, livestock carrier 2, multifunction large-load carrier 3, oil tanker 269, passenger 7, passenger-cargo 1, railcar carrier 1, refrigerated cargo 43, roll-on/roll-off cargo 42, short-sea passenger 17, specialized tanker 3, vehicle carrier 16
note: a flag of convenience registry; includes ships from 51 countries among which includes Greece 477, Russia 61, Switzerland 51, Italy 50, Norway 49, Croatia 39, Turkey 38, Germany 30, Georgia 23, and Monaco 23 (1997 est.)

Airports: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (1997 est.)

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