According to a recent study by InterNations Expat, Malta is the 43rd best place for expats to live and work out of a total of 52 countries, regularly scoring near the bottom of the table on a number of metrics such as for quality of life (49th), environment and climate (50th), and bureaucracy (last).

Unfortunately this is not an uncommon trend with Malta’s ranking having plummeted over the past few years from among the top three places to now consistently ranking in the bottom 10, with fellow EU countries Italy (44th), Luxembourg (48th) and Cyprus (49th) ranking even worse overall.

According to the latest report by JobsPlus, around a quarter of the workforce is made up for foreign nationals, numbering at just under 78,000 with 44 per cent of them being EU citizens, and third country nationals at 56 per cent with EFTA countries at less than one per cent.

A rock bottom ranking on adminstrative matters - just behind Vietnam - reflects the difficulties the majority of respondents find in dealing with local bureaucracy, with a significant portion having difficulties with opening a bank account and with the visa process. This may be a bottleneck to expats' ability to participate fully in the workforce, which at the moment is suffering a worker shortage.

This low degree of satisfaction is definitely cause for concern when a number of significant industries such as iGaming, construction and increasingly hospitality are highly dependant on foreign workers.

Malta’s best ranking is when it comes to ease of making friends, which is likely facilitated by the widespread use of the English language, active nightlife, and packed calendar of events taking place. Malta also ranked in the top half for friendliness of locals, culture, and language. This results in Malta being among the better half of destinations for settling in, though it ranks poorly on every other field.

The 2022 edition of Expats Insider surveyed 11,970 respondents representing 177 nationalities and living in 181 countries or territories worldwide on 56 different factors (compared to 37 in the past year).


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