Patheos Watermark

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Population (2009 est.)405,165
Religious DemographicsRoman Catholic 98%
Ethnic GroupsMaltese (descendants of ancient Carthaginians and Phoenicians with strong elements of Italian and other Mediterranean stock)
LanguagesMaltese (official) 90.2%, English (official) 6%, multilingual 3%, other 0.8% (2005 census)

The country is an archipelago, consisting of three inhabited islands in the Mediterranean Sea, and has an area of 122 square miles. Its population is slightly more than 400,000. The overwhelming majority of citizens, 95 percent (2004 estimate), are Roman Catholic, and 53 percent (2005 estimate) attend Sunday services regularly. Almost all of the country's political leaders are practicing Roman Catholics.
Most congregants at the local Protestant churches are British retirees who live in the country or vacationers from other countries. Coptic and Greek Orthodox Christians, a union of 16 groups of evangelical churches comprising Pentecostal and other nondenominational churches, as well as Jehovah's Witnesses, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Seventh-day Adventists, Zen Buddhists, and Baha'is are also present. Of an estimated 3,000 Muslims, approximately 2,250 are foreigners, 600 are naturalized citizens, and 150 are native-born citizens. There is one mosque and a Muslim primary school. There is a Jewish congregation with an estimated 100 members. Approximately 2 percent of the population does not formally practice any religion.