Education and Maltese language usage among persons of Maltese background
Author: Maurice Cauchi
Persons of Maltese Origins
The latest (1996) census shows that there are nearly 51,000 persons born in Malta living in Australia. This means that over the decade 1986-1996 there has been a reduction of 5353 of the total first generation residents, or 10.5% of that population (Table 1). This is to be explained partly by the increased death rate among the elderly migrants, and to some extent by the phenomenon of return migration in recent years.
Table 1: Number of persons born in Malta
(Source:ABS 1996 Census: Table B05)
The priority of Victoria as host for migrants from Malta remains confirmed, with 24,150 (or nearly 48%) of all Maltese first generation migrants being found in Victoria. Victoria and NSW together still make up 87% of the total first generation Maltese migrants in Australia (Table 1).
For most purposes, the "second generation" refers to children born in Australia having one or both parents born overseas. The assessment of numbers of second generation is rendered more difficult because the census tables refer to either father or mother being born overseas. With this proviso, we see that in 1996, the number of persons having a Maltese mother was stated as 104,143, while the number born to a Maltese father was given as 113,251. (It is not possible from the available census data to assess the number with only one parent born in Malta.) If one subtracts from this figure the number of persons actually born in Malta, one comes to the conclusion that there are around 70,000 second generation persons of Maltese background with at least one parent born in Malta (Tables 2 and 3).
Table 2: Number of Persons with Mother born in Malta
(Source:ABS 1996 Census: Population and Housing CCO6 BPW)
Table 2B: Number of persons with Father born in Malta
Source: Maltese Background Youth - Editors Cauchi M, Borland H, Adams R, 1999, [Europe Australia Institute], p 1
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