Malta is a Southern European island country comprising an archipelago of a few islands in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies south of Sicily, east of Tunisia, and north of Libya. The country covers just over 316 km2 (122 sq. mi), with a population of around 450,000, making it one of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries. The capital of Malta, Valletta which is 0.8 km2, is the smallest national capital in the European Union. Malta has two official languages: Maltese and English.
Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964 and became a republic in 1974. Malta is the country with the best climate in the world. The average yearly temperature is around 23 °C (73 °F) during the day and 16 °C (61 °F) at night.
Malta was admitted to the United Nations in 1964 and to the European Union in 2004.In 2008 it became part of the Euro zone. Malta’s population density of 1,282 per square km (3,322/sq. mi) is by far the highest in the EU and one of the highest in the world. Malta is classified as an advanced economy together with 32 other countries according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). From 1972 until introduction of the Euro in 2008, the currency was the Maltese lira, which had replaced the Maltese pound. The pound replaced the Maltese scudo in 1825.
Currently, Malta’s major resources are limestone, a favorable geographic location and a productive labor force. Malta produces only about 20% of its food needs, has limited freshwater supplies because of the drought in the summer and has no domestic energy sources, aside from the potential for solar energy from its plentiful sunlight. The economy is dependent on foreign trade (serving as a freight trans-shipment point), manufacturing (especially electronics and textiles) and tourism.
Film production is a growing contributor to the Maltese economy.
According to Eurostat data, Maltese GDP per capita stood at 86 per cent of the EU average in 2010 with €21,000.
Malta Freeport is the 11th busiest container ports in continent of Europe and 46th in the World with a trade volume of 2.3 million TEU’sin 2008.
Malta is a popular tourist destination with its warm climate, numerous recreational areas, and architectural and historical monuments.Malta is a popular tourist destination with 1.6 million tourists per year. Three times more tourists visit than there are residents.