While an overwhelming majority of people living in Malta are satisfied with their lives and financial situation, almost two-thirds are worried about rising prices, according to a recent Eurobarometer survey.  

When asked about their level of life satisfaction, 94 per cent of the 504 participants surveyed replied positively, with 48 per cent reporting being ‘fairly satisfied’ and 46 per cent being ‘very satisfied’.

Only six per cent reported being unsatisfied with their lives.  

The survey also reveals similar levels of financial satisfaction, with 91 per cent describing their household’s financial situation as ‘very good’ or ‘rather good’, putting Malta in joint first place in the union alongside Denmark, Luxembourg and the Netherlands and beating the European average by 22 percentage points.  

Despite the strong financial outlook, 61 per cent said that rising prices were a major issue of concern – eight percentage points more than the European average and more than double the percentage of Maltese respondents concerned about crime (26 per cent).  

Earlier this month, the National Statistics Office (NSO) reported that inflation had risen to seven per cent in February, an increase from the 6.8 per cent witnessed in January.

The EU barometer survey was carried out between January 12 and February 1. 

Immigration, climate change and the environment were all relatively low areas of concern for those in Malta, with only 15 per cent mentioning these as issues each. 

Overall, most respondents had good views about the situation in the country as a whole, with 73 per cent describing it as ‘very good’ or ‘rather good’.  

Faith in EU 

In addition to high levels of national satisfaction, 73 per cent of participants had positive perceptions about the EU, saying they were ‘very optimistic’ or ‘fairly optimistic’ about the future of the union.  

At 76 per cent, almost the same proportion of people said they didn’t think that Malta could better face the future outside of the EU.  

Trust in European institutions also registered strongly with 61 per cent saying they would favour more decisions being taken at an EU level, a proportion nine percentage points higher than the EU average. 

Support for the EU was especially strong amongst the younger generation, according to the authors of the survey, who noted that the majority of those between the ages of 15 and 24 reported positive impressions about the union. 

European policies also registered widespread approval, with 83 per cent of respondents saying the EU’s €806.9 billion NextGenerationEU recovery plan has been effective in supporting the economy with loans and grants.  

Other measures covered by the plan include investment in high-speed mobile and fixed broadband, artificial intelligence, healthcare, education and employment, as well as a renewed focus on social issues such as racism and LGBTQI+ rights.  

Trust in the media 

While 88 per cent of those surveyed said they used the internet every day, especially as an important source of European news, roughly the same percentage (90) said they often encounter disinformation. 

According to the survey, 68 per cent reported using social media and 64 per cent said they read news on the internet. Both were higher than the European averages for the same time period, which were 47 and 44 per cent respectively. 

Those in Malta also preferred more traditional media outlets, with 52 per cent reporting listening to the radio, and 26 per cent reading newspapers. These both beat the European averages of 41 and 18 per cent respectively.  

While engagement with the news was higher in Malta when compared to the European average, only 40 per cent said they believed the media provided information free from political and commercial pressure.

This contrasts with the 54 per cent who said they believe that Maltese media provides trustworthy information.  

Correction March 21, 2023: A previous version misstated trust in EU institutions as 66 per cent.

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