Malta might have had the smallest EU population at the beginning of this year, however it recorded - by far - the highest population increase.

According to Eurostat data, there was an increase of nearly 42 people for every 1,000 Malta residents.

The country to register the second highest increase - Luxembourg - saw an increase of nearly 20 people for every thousand, followed by Cyprus (13.7) and Ireland (12.1).

Overall, the EU's population was estimated at 447.7 million on January 1, down by 12.8% when compared to 513.5 million in 28 member states in January of 2019. This decrease is mainly due to the withdrawal of the UK from the European bloc.

Data issued by the National Statistics Office shows that the estimated population of Malta and Gozo at the end of 2019 stood at 514,564, up by four per cent when compared to 2018.

The population increase in 2019 was driven by a net migration (immigration less emigration) of 20,343 people, according to NSO.

The largest proportion of net migrants were men - 13,535, while 6,808 were women.

Excluding adoptions, the largest share of migrants were third-country nationals (12,355) followed by other EU nationals (7,489).

In January of 2019, former head of JobsPlus Clyde Caruana had said that Malta needed another 13,000 foreigners if it was to maintain its economic growth.

Births decrease

Births throughout 2019 amounted to 4,350, a decrease of two per cent over the
previous year.

There were approximately nine births for every 1,000 people in 2019.

Over the past 10 years the fertility rate has decreased from 1.42 to 1.14, while the average age of parents who gave birth has increased from 28.6 to 30.6 years.

Total deaths remained constant with the previous year, but rising by 14 per cent over the past ten years.

Of the 3,688 registered resident deaths during 2019, 65% were peeopl aged 75 and over. The average life expectancy for those born in 2019 was 83 years, an increase of 2.6 years when compared to 10 years ago.

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