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Child towns

Santa at the crossroads – will he head to Mdina first or favour Mtarfa’s younger generation? Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Santa at the crossroads – will he head to Mdina first or favour Mtarfa’s younger generation? Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Father Christmas will have plenty of stops to make when he delivers presents in Mtarfa this year, as almost a quarter of the hilltop town’s population are children.

Mtarfa in the north is home to 2,564 people, including 588 children, making it the town with the most youngsters, according to the last census.

It is closely followed by Xgħajra, where 22 per cent of the population is under 15.

The next two localities with the youngest populations are Pembroke and Marsascala, where a fifth of residents are children.

But while Mtarfa, Xgħajra and Pembroke are small, in Marsascala Santa Claus will have to deliver presents to more than 2,200 children. The seaside town has a population of more than 11,000.

The four ‘youngest’ localities are characterised by a relatively recent surge in new buildings that attracted young families over the past decade.

On the opposite end, Christmas reindeers will only make a fleeting stop in Mdina, as only 14 children live there. They make up six per cent of the 237 residents in the Silent City.

There will also be fewer presents delivered in Ta’ Xbiex and Sliema, which are characterised by an ageing population.

In Sliema there are only 1,300 children in a population of more than 13,500.

In Gozo, Għasri has the youngest population but it is still a far cry from the figures for Malta.

With a population of 427, just 78 children make up 18 per cent of all residents in the village.

The overall figure shows there are more than 61,500 children under 14 in Malta and Gozo, making up 15 per cent of the population.

Child-friendly
Children aged 14 and under as a percentage of locality’s population

Mtarfa - 23%
Xgħajra - 22%
Pembroke - 20%
Marsascala - 20%
Għargħur - 19%
Mqabba - 19%

Adult-focused
Children aged 14 and under as a percentage of locality’s population

Floriana - 11%
St Julian’s - 11%
Luqa - 10%
Sliema - 9%
Ta’ Xbiex - 8%
Mdina - 6%

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