Pros and Cons of Living in Malta

For more than half a century, Malta has been considered a top-rated destination to move to, particularly for European ex-pats. The island has a lot to offer to those looking for a relaxed and laidback life in the sun. 

Despite Malta being a paradise to live in or retire to, there are specific pros and cons you may want to consider before making the big move. 

Pros and cons of living in Malta
Photo by Magdalena Smolnicka on Unsplash

Pros 

1.) Low taxes: This is most likely one of the key reasons foreigners love settling down in Malta because there is no annual property, wealth or inheritance tax to worry about. Furthermore, income tax is lower compared to most western countries – with rates starting at just 15% for those earning €8.5-14.5k and around 25% for those earning as much as €60k. Anyone earning more than this must pay income tax at a 35% rate, which is still significantly lower than most European countries. 

2.) Close to other countries:  Malta is located very close to Tunisia, Italy, and Libya. It’s also close to France, Portugal, Spain, Greece, and Germany. A flight to London or Berlin takes about three hours, while Athens can be flown to in under an hour, Paris in two hours, and Madrid in about three hours. Many ex-pats love traveling from Malta to the UK by train and ferry, as this presents a unique opportunity to see Italy along the way. 

3.) English is commonly spoken:  This is another major benefit if living in Malta – even though the national language is Maltese, over 88% of the population is fluent in English. Furthermore, 66% can speak Italian and about 17% speak French. Foreigners from all kinds of European and western countries find it very easy to communicate with the locals, even if they don’t know much Maltese. 

Cons 

1.) Pollution and lack of cleanliness: Those who have visited and even lived in Malta, including people from the US, UK or Canada, for instance, have complained about pollution – with many of them resorting to the word “dirty” to describe the general environment. 

A lack of cleanliness can be observed throughout the island – ironically, the locals’ homes are kept very clean, but no one seems to give it much thought before discarding trash on the streets. Sewage outflows, construction waste, motor vehicle pollution is all considered ‘normal’ in Malta. 

2.) Generally laid back attitude: Even though this can potentially be an advantage, in Malta at least, it isn’t – because just about everyone seems to have a laid back attitude, professionally, that is. 

In fact, the locals have accepted the fact that a certain level of unprofessionalism is to be expected. For instance, if you call a plumber or electrician to fix something at your home, don’t be surprised if the individual shows up several hours or even several days later!

3) Inadequate infrastructure: The government here hasn’t done much to improve the overall quality of public transport, for example. Many residents have no options but to use their own transport, even to travel relatively small distances – which tremendously contributes to the already dense traffic. 

Alan Behrens
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