Migration in Malta – Country Profile 2015 seeks to provide an overview of the migration situation and trends in Malta.
With an area of just over 316 km², Malta is the smallest EU Member State (MS) and one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Malta’s geographical position in the centre of the Mediterranean and the legacy of 7,000 years of colonization, as well as of the times of strife and destitution are among the factors that have interacted to create the country’s unique and complex migration narrative.
Over the recent years, most prominently, following its EU membership, Malta has turned from a country of emigration to a country of immigration – a reality that presents both challenges and opportunities. For many EU nationals, and others coming from further afield, Malta is the chosen destination for employment, retirement, or studies, coupled with the Mediterranean climate and lifestyle. Furthermore, located at the EU’s external borders, just 1,000 km off the coast of Libya, for more than a decade Malta has been receiving refugees and migrants, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East. For them, Malta may represent a place of refuge, a new home, or only transit point in their journey, but not necessarily a destination of choice.