Maltese Culture

Maltese in Australia

The first Malta-born migrants arrived in Australia as convicts in 1810 as a part of the British colony. In the post-WWII period, the Maltese were offered assisted migrant passage to Australia. A majority of the Maltese migrants who came were semi-skilled or unskilled workers seeking refuge from poor socioeconomic conditions. During this time period, industrial centres – particularly Melbourne and Sydney – became the major areas of Maltese settlement.


In contemporary times, Melbourne and Sydney continue to be the main population centres of the Maltese community. A vast majority of the Maltese community identify as Catholic (91.6%). The number of Maltese in Australia is expected to decline over the coming years as the community ages and many Maltese expatriates return to their homeland. There are concerns within the community regarding the maintenance of language and cultural heritage among the growing second- and third-generation of Maltese migrants. In turn, there continue to be many organisations throughout Australia (mainly in Victoria) that assist in maintaining the legacy of Maltese history, language, music and religion.

Cultural Competence Program
Cultural Competence Program Logo

Join over 300 organisations already creating a better workplace

Find out more
Download this Cultural Profile

Too busy to read it right now?

You can download this cultural profile in an easy-to-read PDF format that can be printed out and accessed at any time.

Malta
  • Population
    415,196
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Language
    Maltese (official) (90.1%)
    English (official) (6.0%)
    Other (0.9%)
    [2005 est.]
  • Religion
    Roman Catholic Christianity (official)
  • Ethnicity
    Maltese
  • Cultural Dimensions
    56
    59
    47
    96
    47
    66
  • Australians with Maltese Ancestry
    175,555 [Census, 2016]
Maltese in Australia
  • Population
    37,613
    [Census, 2016]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Malta.
  • Median Age
    68
    [Census, 2016]
  • Gender
    Male (50.2%)
    Female (49.8%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Religion
    Roman Catholic Christianity (89.0%)
    No Religion (4.4%)
    Other Religion (3.8%)
    Not Stated (2.6%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Ancestry
    Maltese (86.1%)
    English (6.9%)
    Australian (1.6%)
    Italian (1.6%)
    Other Ancestry (3.7%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Maltese (55.2%)
    English (42.7%)
    Italian (0.5%)
    Mandarin (0.2%)
    Other Languages (0.4%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 89.4% speak English fluently.
    [Census, 2016]
  • Diaspora
    Victoria (47.5%)
    New South Wales (38.5%)
    Queensland (6.7%)
    South Australia (3.8%)
    Other (3.5%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2007 (94.4%)
    2007 - 2011 (1.0%)
    2012 - 2016 (0.6%)
    [Census, 2016]
Country https://dtbhzdanf36fd.cloudfront.net/countries/42/mt.svg Flag Country Malta