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Malta is once again among the worst countries for expats to live and work in, coming in 46th out of a total of 53 surveyed countries. The country scored poorly in metrics related to quality of life, job satisfaction and dealing with administration in the study conducted by InterNations Expat.

This survey contrasts sharply with a recent poll published by an iGaming company which ranked Malta as the third most relaxed country in Europe.

The Maltese Islands have ranked relatively poorly for a number of years, having plunged from it’s all-time high second place ranking in 2016, to settling in the bottom 10 list since 2021. Year-on-year the country’s rank worsened by three positions.

In the 2023 edition of the survey, Malta is of three EU countries to occupy the bottom 10 list. The others include Italy (47th) and Germany (49th).

The top three countries for expats to live in were recognised as Mexico, Spain and Panama respectively.

According to the latest JobsPlus report, the number of foreign workers in Malta amounted to 96,970 by the end of 2022. According to the National Statistics Office, the total number of persons employed at the end of 2022 was 290,955, meaning one in three workers was effectively an expat.

When it comes to quality of life, Malta ranked third from last. Despite benefiting from a Mediterranean climate, expats indicated dissatisfaction with the urban environment, dragging its score down in the environment and climate sub-category.

The country also scored last when it came to infrastructure for cars, and while public transport was deemed affordable, it was not considered accessible. Expats also indicated that getting around on foot or by bike was not necessarily a safe and easy alternative either.

When it came to the ease of settling in, Malta did a bit better and ranked 26th. The country scored reasonably when it came to finding friends, however it was in the bottom half of the list for local friendliness.

Expats were also critical of job satisfaction in the country, ranking Malta 40th out of all surveyed countries. The main issues were due to pessimistic career prospects, issues related to salaries and job security and work culture.

Malta was also in the bottom 10 list in the category concerning expat essentials. This includes the ease of which expats can communicate with others in the country, access housing, deal with Government administrations and digital life.

Within this category, Malta’s strongest score was in relation to language, which is no surprise due given that English is one of the country’s official languages. However it scored poorly in everything else, especially in dealing with bureaucracy.

Despite consistently being recognised as one of the worst place for expats to live in, Malta continues to attract thousands of foreign workers every year. In 2022 alone, Malta's population grew by 4.2 per cent, almost exclusively due to immigration.


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