FACTS ABOUT MALTA
The Republic of Malta is a small but heavily populated island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean, 93 kms south of Sicily and 288 kms north of Africa and consists of 7 islands. it is a popular tourist resort due to it's tropical climate, exciting nightlife, and a history dating back thousands of years.
The resident population of Malta, which includes foreigners residing in Malta for at least a year, as of 27 November 2005 was estimated at 404,039.
The Constitution of Malta provides for freedom of religion but establishes Roman Catholicism as the state religion.
The national language of Malta is Maltese, a Semitic language which descended from Maghrebi Arabic, with many borrowings from Italian and, in particular, Sicilian.
Until 1800, Malta had very few industries except the cotton, tobacco, and shipyards industry. In 1869, the opening of the Suez Canal benefited Malta's economy greatly as there was a massive increase in the shipping which entered in the port.
Presently, Malta's major resources are limestone, a favorable geographic location, and a productive labor force. The economy is dependent on foreign trade (serving as a freight trans-shipment point), manufacturing (especially electronics and textiles), and tourism.
Malta enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. In January 2007, International Living chose Malta as the country with the best climate in the world.