A Parliamentary Question last week revealed that there are currently more than 23,000 foreign nationals living in Malta, to be precise 23,643. This roughly amounts to the entire population of Gozo, but the detailed reply shows that a good number of foreigners come from much more exotic islands.
Furthermore they come from 151 different countries, more than three thirds of the 193 countries recognized by the United Nations.
The answers were given by Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia in reply to a PQ by Labour backbencher Etienne Grech. The list provided by the minister is two-part: one listing the number of third country foreign nationals residing in Malta, and the other showing the number of EU nationals and their dependents, who are not necessarily EU citizens themselves.
In total there are 11,565 third country nationals residing in Malta. The largest group 1,988, are Libyans. Somalis come in second place with 1,206 and Russians in third with 1,029. There are also 790 Serbians, 720 Filippinos, 662 Eritreans and 608 Chinese living on the island. Some foreigners living in Malta come from less frequently heard of countries. These include three from Belize, six from Cambodia, 22 from North Korea, one from Madagascar, two from Mongolia, ten from Nepal, three from the Seychelles, thirty eight from Togo, three from the Maldives and one person from Kiribati, a small island nation in the Pacific Ocean. Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Mexico, Oman, Palestine and Vietnam also feature on the list, as do eight stateless persons.
Thousands of EU citizens living in Malta
The second list shows that there are 12,078 European Union, EEA and Swiss nationals, as well as their relatives living in Malta. 4,039 Brits take the number one spot on this list, followed by 1,635 Italians. 903 Bulgarians, 699 Germans, 470 Swedes, 446 Hungarian, 423 Spaniards and 372 French also reside in Malta. All but one of 28 EU members states are represented in Malta, the exception being Luxembourg.
Interestingly, a number of third country nationals feature on the EU/EEA list. Some might have been granted citizenship in any EU country while others could be family members, such as spouses, of EU citizens who are currently living in Malta and Gozo. These include people from Azerbaijan, Barbuda, Brazil, Egypt, Japan, Guinea, Iran, Israel, Canada, Laos, Morocco, New Zealand, Paraguay, the US, Turkey and Uzbekistan
A spokesperson for the Home Affairs Ministry told this paper not all of the 12,000 plus residents are EU nationals but the majority are. The list does not include Maltese nationals. Family members are spouses who did not marry out of convenience, direct descendents under the age of 21 and direct relatives of the EU nationals and their spouses.
15,095 foreigners working in Malta
In the meantime PL MP Etienne Grech also asked the Home Affairs Minister to say how many third country nationals work in Malta. Dr Mallia replied that, up to October 2013 there were 15,095 third country nationals employed on a full-time or part-time basis. 9,670 are EU nationals and 5,424 are third country nationals