If you are considering relocating to a different country, Malta is the right choice! This beautiful Mediterranean island offers a lot, and you will enjoy living here.
Life in Malta
The climate is one of the best things about living in Malta. Additionally, the crime rate is meagre. There are also plenty of things to do on the island like visiting historical sites, beautiful beaches, and nature parks.
Besides having a stable economy, low unemployment rates and one of the world’s best climates, Malta offers excellent schooling, healthcare and an overall safe environment.
Let us imagine life in Malta together! Here are nine things you need to know about Malta.
Malta has a picturesque coastline with many harbours, bays, creeks, sandy beaches, and rocky coves. For those who are used to the chaotic city life with long travels between home and work, living in Malta for expats could be an unparalleled experience. Its tiny size places everything nearby.
You can even buy a property in the middle of nowhere and still enjoy living in Malta, as everything is within reach. You can move around the island comfortably on public transport or by driving your vehicle.
If you enjoy shopping, dining out, sports, and other activities, living in Malta will not disappoint. There are countless things to do – from hiking and cycling in nature reserves to enjoying the vibrant nightlife with bars and clubs open until late.
Living in Malta means you have access to some of the finest restaurants on the Mediterranean coast that serve fresh seafood prepared according to traditional recipes.
Along with its high quality and standard of life, Malta has been ranked as the one of the safest countries globally in terms of its vulnerability and ability to tackle natural disasters by the World Risk Report.
2. Weather in Malta
Malta’s climate is strongly influenced by the sea and is typical of the Mediterranean. The islands have very sunny weather with a daily average of five to six hours of sunshine in mid-winter to around 12 hours in summer.
Winters are mild, and summers are hot, dry and very sunny. Annual rainfall is low, averaging 600mm a year, and the length of the dry season in summer is longer than in neighbouring Italy.
Sunbathing is possible well into the ‘winter’ months, and the peak beach season can last until late October.
Interesting Read: Discover Malta
3. Cost of Living in Malta
Malta generally offers a decent and comfortable standard of living and is one of the most affordable countries to reside in compared to other European nations. The cost of living in Malta can differ depending on your lifestyle and where you live.
Generally, the expenses run low on the island. You could live a comfortable life on a budget of €1,800 to €2,000 a month.
As Malta is an island country, imported products or goods can be higher.
On average, utilities (water, electricity, fuel and internet) can cost between €100 to €150 a month. Transportation costs on the Maltese islands are also reasonably priced, covering almost the entire country.
A one-way ticket on any public transport would cost you about €1.50, and a regular monthly pass would cost about €26.
Renting a property in Malta could be one of the most variable costs, taking up most of the monthly budget.
A rent of about €1,000 to €1,200 a month can get you a comfortable, mid-range apartment in Valletta, the capital city of Malta.
If you live in Malta under a residence or work permit or are self-employed, you would be required to buy private health insurance.
Depending on your family size and what you need, it could cost between €60 to €100 per month. A visit to the doctor could cost about €15.
Here is a detailed price list of all the essentials for a comfortable living in Malta.
Malta is a parliamentary republic, and the head of state is the President, whom Parliament elects. Malta has a unicameral parliament, known as the House of Representatives, elected by universal suffrage every five years.
The Prime Minister, the head of government, is elected by Parliament among its members. Malta’s legal system is based on English common law.
Malta also has close ties with the Commonwealth of Nations. No one group or class dominates society or the economy.
The Constitution of Malta recognises the Roman Catholic Church as the state religion.
However, freedom of religion is guaranteed by law, and all religions are treated equally.
The majority of the Maltese population is Roman Catholic, with a small number of other Christian denominations such as the Anglican Church, Seventh-day Adventists, Methodists, Baptists, and Pentecostals also represented.
Malta also has a Muslim community and a small number of Hindu and Buddhist residents.
Relocating to a new country can sometimes be challenging for yourself and your family, especially regarding children. The school chosen for them is one thing that can make the settling down process easier for kids.
The education system in Malta is ranked highly, and most schools follow the British curriculum with a wide range of subjects to learn.
It is also mandatory for children to attend school in Malta up to the age of 16. The schools in Malta can be divided into three categories, namely:
- State Schools
- Church Schools
- Independent Schools
The system is structured into four stages:
- Pre-primary (ages three to five)
- Primary (ages five to eleven)
- Secondary (ages eleven to eighteen)
- Tertiary education (post-secondary education like college/university).
Malta also has several schools for children with special needs. Such schools are equipped with everything and have all the resources a specially-abled child would require to progress and learn.
The schools have specialist teachers trained to help children with special needs study.
Education for Foreigners Moving to Malta
Citizens of non-EU countries can apply for exemptions, which is done through a special application process. This policy applies to exemptions from fees payable at several educational institutions. The board shall consider applications for exemptions from fees if:
- The applicant is a third-country national who has obtained a long-term residence permit or EU Blue Card
- The applicant is a ‘family member’ of a third-country national who has obtained a long-term residence permit or EU Blue Card and is entitled to equal access to education as Maltese nationals following the Family Reunification Regulations (LN 150 of 2007).
7. Healthcare System
Malta displays very high quality and standards when it comes to healthcare services. The country’s top-ranked healthcare system has consistently been ranked among the top five globally by the World Health Organisation.
Both private and public hospitals are modern, equipped with the latest technology in the medical industry, and backed by a network of health centres all over the islands.
The Maltese public healthcare is funded and includes treatments, ranging from surgery and rehabilitation to pregnancy and childbirth. The centres are spread across the islands, providing primary healthcare services to the Maltese people.
Apart from nursing facilities, care, and general practitioners, the health centres also provide various services from proactive to reactive care.
As more and more people have started purchasing private health insurance, the number of private health clinics and hospitals has increased on the island.
Healthcare for Foreigners Moving to Malta
Like the Maltese, foreigners who move to Malta must pay National Insurance (NI) contributions to the social security fund. This accounts for approximately 10% of the employees’ gross salary, which also applies to the self-employed.
EU citizens travelling are eligible to use the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and receive medical attention from public clinics and hospitals at no cost.
Non-EU citizens must purchase insurance that covers medical treatments overseas and ensures that it also covers medical evacuations, as some policies do not. An excellent international cover would insure you against:
- Medical costs in your home country (or another relevant foreign country)
- Medical costs in Malta
- Medical evacuation costs
All in all, the health care system in Malta is very well-respected, and residents can choose between the private and public systems.
The official languages of Malta are Maltese and English. Maltese, the national language, is of Semitic origin and written in Latin script that, over the centuries, has incorporated many words derived from English, Italian and French.
As Malta once was a part of the British colony, most locals are articulate in English, so interacting and blending in would be easier.
Maltese and English are recognised and given equal status and use in government for official purposes. Likewise, most business correspondence is generally in English.
The population also speaks other languages, mainly Italian and French.
9. Economy of Malta
With a population of around 450,000, Malta has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of €14,533.8 million (as published by the National Statistics Office in 2022). FitchRatings also affirmed Malta at A+ in 2021.
The country’s economy is supported by high per-capita income levels, a significant net external creditor position and a pre-pandemic record of solid growth and sizeable debt reduction.
Fitch also rated with a Stable Outlook as Malta’s GDP growth is expected to recover.
The following activities generate the economy:
- Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
- Mining and quarrying
- Wholesale and retail trade
- Information and communication
- Financial and insurance
- Real estate
- Professional, scientific, and technical activities
- Public administration
- Arts, entertainment and recreation
Sustained by continued rapid growth, the Maltese economy retains a relatively low unemployment rate. The economy depends on foreign trade, manufacturing (especially electronics and pharmaceuticals), and tourism.
The economic recovery of the European economy has lifted exports, tourism, and overall growth. Major markets of Malta are Eurozone, USA and Singapore.
Malta has one of the lowest living costs in the EU, stunning real estate and high quality of life. As a whole, these are some of the many reasons to choose to live in Malta.