Over the past 10 years, the number of employed persons, including individuals aged 15 years and over, increased from 171,855 to 273,955. This marks an increase of 102,100 individuals in employment.

This resulted from the National Statistics Office (NSO)’s third and final volume carrying results from the Census of Population and Housing carried out in 2021.

As would be expected, the count of persons taking care of the house and family decreased from 80,493 in 2011 to 60,242, indicating a decrease of just above 20,000 individuals.

Analysing further the employment of participants, NSO noted that when one takes into consideration the nature of occupations, gender disparities persisted when compared to the previous census.

Males predominantly held positions as professionals (16.4 per cent), technicians and associate professionals (14.9 per cent), and craft and related trade workers (13.7 per cent).

On the other hand, females predominantly employed as service and sales workers (25.7 per cent). Professionals (24 per cent), and clerical support positions (14.2 per cent).

NSO notes that the shift towards higher education “continued to materialise with all categories from the attainment of an upper secondary level being higher compared to 2011.” Almost a quarter of persons aged 15 or more were in possession of a tertiary level education, when compared to 14.1 per cent in 2011.

Keeping with the same trajectory in 2021, the literacy rate reached 95.7 per cent resulting in 20,453 individuals classified as illiterate.

Ħal Luqa (89.4 per cent), Bormla (89.8 per cent) and Marsa (89.9 per cent) had the lowest rates, whereas Swieqi (98.8 per cent), Ħal Balzan (98.1 per cent) and Ħ’Attard (98 per cent) recorded the highest literacy rates.

In addition, Swieqi was noted once more, this time as having the highest rates of Maltese nationals aged five years or more speaking English from early childhood (37.7 per cent). The locality was followed by Sliema and St Julian’s (just over a quarter) and Mdina (24.2 per cent).

Overall, while Maltese remained the predominant language across all age groups of Maltese nationals, nearly a quarter of those under 10 years of age and 14.7 per cent of those aged 10 to 19 years considered English as their primary language from early childhood.

The mean age of mothers who experienced first live birth saw one-year rise

The majority of households (76.1 per cent) recorded in the census had not dependent children with NSO noting an increase of 65 per cent from 2011.

The most prevalent household type was the single-parent household, characterised by individuals aged 30 to 64 years, with 18.1 per cent.   

Additionally, a total of 6,378 households were comprised of single parents with one or more dependent children, an increase of 922 households compared to 10 years ago.

With regards to sexual orientation, 11,073 individuals (or 2.5 per cent of people aged 16 and over), identified themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or have different sexual orientation.

Here, NSO notes that this rate was over three times higher among non-Maltese nationals (5.5 per cent) compared to the Maltese (1.6 per cent).

Over half of the female population aged 16 and over were either married or in a civil union (50.4 per cent). “A greater proportion of single males emerged, constituting 42.8 per cent compared to 34.5 per cent for females.”

In total, at the time of the consensus, Malta had 139,223 mothers, equating 64.2 per cent of the female population aged 15 and over. Among them, 14,491 were single.

The mean age at which mothers experienced their first live birth was 25.9 years, reflecting a one-year rise from the 2011 figure of 24.9. “This was found to be highly correlated to the age and level of education of the mothers,” explained NSO.

Overall, in 2021 a total of 129,132 individuals, meaning 26 per cent of persons aged five or more, suffered from long-term illness, disease and/or a chronic condition. This marked six percentage-point rise compared to the preceding census held in 2011.


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