Extreme Poverty Exists in Malta

There was a time where poverty in Malta felt like a very remote possibility. When Malta was a smaller community which was not as open for business, you would have expected less people to be in poverty. Research published by Our World in Data highlights that around one thousand and five hundred people in Malta live in extreme poverty. 

People living in such conditions are deprived of basic needs that many would take for granted. Around one thousand and five hundred people are making do with an approximate seventy-five Euro per month. 

There are numerous reasons which could be driving this increase in poverty. Over the past months, the world has been registering record inflation numbers and Malta was not spared. The cost of living in Malta increased, with basic, yet necessary items becoming more expensive. This has impacted mostly those people who were already struggling financially. People living in poverty also suffer from the lack of access to the property market. As property prices increased over the years, a number of people have been priced out, making it impossible for them to buy or rent. 

According to data collated over the years, there was a period in time where poverty in Malta was decreasing. Throughout the years 2009 till 2014, Malta was recording declines in its poverty rates. In 2009, Malta had 0.43% of its population in poverty, which translates to almost one thousand and eight hundred people. In 2014, Malta had registered a 0.0% rating of poverty, meaning that no one was classified in this category.

Following this period however, Malta registered significant increases in poverty. In 2019 poverty in Malta shot up by 0.3%. When compared to the rest of the world, Malta fares well as around eight percent of the global population lived on the poverty line in 2019. With that said, data from the National Statistics Office portrays a less optimistic setting. In its latest data, it has been concluded that twenty percent of Malta’s population is at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Those in this category earn an income which is just a bit over ten thousand Euro annually. People who are over the age of sixty-five face higher risks of falling into poverty. 

Whilst a thriving economy does come with several benefits, it brings about an increase in cost of living, making it harder for those whose income does not keep up. In this regard, balance between economic growth and maintaining the lowest levels of poverty possible is key.

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