Malta facts and figures

Malta

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. It is an official candidate for EU membership.

Location:

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

Area:

total: 316 sq km

water: 0 sq km

land: 316 sq km

Land boundaries:

0 km

Climate:

Mediterranean with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers

Terrain:

mostly low, rocky, flat to dissected plains; many coastal cliffs

Land use:

arable land: 31.25%

permanent crops: 3.13%

other: 65.62% (1998 est.)

Population:

400,420 (July 2003 est.)

Nationality:

noun: Maltese (singular and plural)

adjective: Maltese

Languages:

Maltese (official), English (official)