Brits made up the lion’s share of foreigners living in Malta during the 2011 census, with 6,652 out of 20,289 non-Maltese residents holding a UK passport. Just 1,357 of all foreign residents lived in Gozo.

The number of non-Maltese residents had grown by some 65 per cent since the 2005 census, when 12,112 foreigners lived on the island.

Sixty per cent of all foreign residents were EU citizens, while the majority of non-EU citizens were Somalis (1,041 people).

The figures were revealed in the National Statistics Office’s first volume report on the 2011 census, entitled Population.

Following the Britons and Somalis, Italians (947), Bulgarians (850) and Germans were the next largest non-Maltese communities living in the country.

On a regional basis, the majority of non-Maltese nationals (7,768) were found in the Northern Harbour District. Of these, 2,096 lived in Sliema and 1,172 in St Julian’s.

352,121 people could speak Maltese ‘well’ while 248,570 could speak English to the same level

A further 5,239 non-Maltese lived in the Northern District, with 3,023 of them residing in St Paul’s Bay.

In total, 4,178 residents in 2011 had been living in another country prior to the census, with the majority being British (1,203), Somalis (249) and Italians (213).

In terms of the population by country of birth, 382,316 of the 417,432 people living in the country were born in Malta, while 10,480 were born in Britain, 4,354 in Australia, 1,766 in Canada and 1,511 in Italy.

All residents aged 10 and above were asked to state which languages they spoke. It transpired that 352,121 people could speak Maltese “well” while 248,570 could speak English to the same level.

A further 93,401 said they could speak Italian well, followed by 11,698 who could speak French, 3,979 who spoke German and 3,948 who spoke Arabic fluently.

The 50-59 age group had the highest number of people (56,473) who spoke Maltese well, while for English it was the 20-29 age group (46,576).

Only 1,821 foreign residents said they could speak Maltese well while 1,052 had an average knowledge of it. A total of 10,617 foreign residents said they had no knowledge of the national language at all.

On the other hand, 14,312 non-Maltese residents were fluent in English while just 717 said they did not know Malta’s second official language at all.

Although more than 95 per cent of those who lived in Malta one year prior to the census still resided in the same home, nearly 6,000 had moved to another home in the same town, while more than 10,000 had changed locality altogether.