Pembroke has the youngest average age at 33.5 years and Luqa - which includes St Vincent de Paul Home - has the oldest at 48.3 years, according to the preliminary report of last year's National Census, tabled in Parliament yesterday.

On average, the towns of the southern harbour area have the oldest average age at 41.8 but variations are not great with the South-Eastern region being the 'youngest' with an average population age of 38.2, up from 36.5 in 2005.

The report says that over a century, the population of Malta has nearly doubled, from 211,564 in 1911 to 416,055 last year.

Over a century, the population of Malta has nearly doubled

The population growth rate increased between the 19th and 20th centuries but  slowed between 2005 and 2011. The largest annual population growth was recorded between 1931 and 1948 at 3,786. Between 1957 and 1967 the population declined by 5,404 because of emigration.

In 2005 the population was 404,962 and last year it was 416,055 with an average annual increase of 1,849 compared to nearly 2,700 in the previous decennium.

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION

The Northern Harbour Area remains the most densely populated area - home to 28.9 of the population.However the Northern area is seeing the fastest population growth. It is home for 15.3% of the population.  The southern harbour district registered a drop in population over the past 16 years, from 83,234 to 79,203 last year.

Birkirkara has the biggest population at 21,533 and Mdina the smallest with 237.

On a percentage basis, Xghajra  is seeing the fastest growth, with 26.5 per cent followed by Birzebbuga and St Paul's Bay with just under 23% growth each since 2005.  Ta' Xbiex has seen a decline of 16.8%, Mdina 14.7% and Senglea 11.5%.

The number of households has since 2005 risen by just under 8% to 139,583.

The population density of Malta is more than three times that of Gozo.

Malta is by far the most densely populated country in the EU with 1,320 persons per square kilometre. The Netherlands come second with just  492.2 persons per square kilometre.

The population density of Malta is more than three times that of Gozo. Malta has a density of 1,562 per square kilometre to Gozo's 454.

The most densely populated locality is Senglea (17,027 per km) although it is declining fast. Ghasri in Gozo is the least densely populated with 85 persons per sq km.

POPULATION GETTING OLDER

The average age of the population has increased from 38.5 in 2005 to 40.5 last year. The average in Gozo and Comino at 41.6 is higher than for Malta.