Malta is a southern European country about 50 miles south of Sicily. Malta has just 122 square miles of land and its capital, Valletta, is the smallest capital in the European Union. A popular tourist destination, Malta has some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world. Malta is one of the smallest countries in the world, and one of the most densely populated. Its estimated population of 422,000 is spread over just 122 square miles, with a population density of 1,562 people per square kilometer (4,077/sq mi), which ranks 7th in the world. The capital is Valletta, but the largest city is Birkirkara, with a population of 22,000.
Native Maltese make up the vast majority of the population at 95%. British are the largest majority, estimated at 1.6%, and many are Britons who have chosen to retire in Malta. All censuses since 1842 have found a slightly higher number of females over males, with the highest ratio in 1957 at 1088:1000.
The Maltese language is the national language, and English (imposed by British occupiers in the 19th century) is also an official language. Malta is one of the most multi-lingual countries in the EU with 100% of the population speaking Maltese, 88% speaking English, 66% speaking Italian and 17% speaking English.
Catholicism is the state religion with a Catholic population of 98%. There is one church for every 1,000 residents.