In my opinion, Malta is perfect for a temporary experience. Even for families with young children, it can be an excellent environment in which to grow up: Most of the year is spent outdoors, the people are relaxed, and the kids can learn English. Let us find out what are the pros and cons of living in Malta.
In Malta, the unemployment rate is very low and there is generally a large supply of jobs, so of course it depends a lot on your skills and qualifications. Highly qualified and professional people earn a lot and live very well.
The sectors where high salaries can be obtained are: IT pharmaceuticals, accounting and finance, and online gaming. On the other hand, unskilled work (hospitality, construction, etc.) is not well paid, and with the wages received it is difficult to cope with the ever-increasing cost of living.
Malta is an ideal place for those who work remotely, as taxes are among the lowest in Europe.
The people have a typical Mediterranean attitude, that is, they are more relaxed towards life. The Maltese are friendly, welcoming, perhaps a bit culturally backward, but almost always affable and approachable.
Malta is a small island and in practice smaller than any of the major European metropolises. There are virtually no green spaces. In the summer months, the crowds are considerable, and no matter where you are, you are always in the company of other people, the island is flooded with tourists, full buses, busy streets, crowded beaches, disorder and chaos reign.
Traffic is an aspect you will notice as soon as you set foot on Maltese territory. There are too many accidents on the road, and some roads are so narrow that you have to fold in your side mirrors if you want to overtake an oncoming vehicle.
Generally, traffic is concentrated at certain times during the lunch hour and at times when people are entering and leaving offices. The roads are so congested that even traveling a few miles can become a challenge. In the event of an accident or a rainstorm, the entire island comes to a standstill. If you live near your workplace, you will have no problems, otherwise you will have to make do with public transport, which is rarely on time.
Public education is free of charge. The Maltese school system follows the British model. There are free (state) and fee-paying (private and Catholic) schools, the latter being in high demand among Maltese. All schools teach in English and Maltese. Private schools have to be paid in any case, and compared to the costs of international schools in other countries, Maltese schools are cheaper.
Public health care is free, but there is no family doctor.
Malta is a very safe country with a low crime rate. There are few police officers, very few homeless people, and a general sense of security throughout the island.
The cost of rental housing is high, especially in the tourist areas (Sliema, St. Julians, etc.). This leads many to opt for a shared apartment in order to reduce costs. However, there are still areas, not in the center of course, where you can find houses at reasonable prices. The houses are generally unheated and cold and damp in winter.
The climate is fantastic for about 8 months of the year, summer temperatures average 35 °C, while in the winter months, especially between January and February, rainfall is concentrated and, unfortunately, there is no collection network for rainwater, and often flooding and circulation problems occur.
The judiciary is inefficient and unreliable and not fully transparent. Corruption is also pervasive, and the public sector is based on recommendations and personal relationships.
The food is very good. The cuisine is characterized by Italian influence and Mediterranean traditions.
Living and working in Malta – pros and cons
Living in Malta, pros
- Good job opportunities
- International environment
- Low crime rate
- Efficient bureaucracy
- Good weather
- Tourism all year round, nightlife and entertainment
Living in Malta, cons
- High rental costs in relation to the average salary
- Small size of the island, after a while you might get bored
- Heavy traffic and poor road infrastructure
- Few green spaces
- High pollution
- Densely populated
- Low wages (unskilled job)
Living and working in Malta, conclusion
If you travel to Malta expecting Nordic efficiency, excellent cleanliness, cool summers, mild-mannered locals, etc., you won’t exactly find what you expect. If you compare Malta with the big cities of Northern Europe, the impression will be quite strong, if you compare Malta with Southern Italy or Spain instead, you’ll find much more similarities.
Malta has its disadvantages: overworked, crowded, noisy, disorganized, but it also has its advantages: welcoming, safe, friendly, beautiful, lively – all this makes it a wonderful place.
If you are interested in moving to Malta, you can read the article Move to Malta
On the other hand, those who want to find out about job opportunities on the island can read How to work in Malta