19,104 surnames in Malta - double-barrel surnames soar
The census held in Malta in 2011 recorded 19,104 different surnames of which Borg, Camilleri and Vella were the most common, covering almost 10 per cent of the population.
The National Statistics Office said that almost 14,000 residents, or 3.3 per cent of the total population, had a double-barrel surname, an increase of around 45 per cent compared to the 2005 Census, when 9,507 persons were enumerated as such. Of these, 2,917 residents, or 21.2 per cent, were non-Maltese.
Localities with the highest proportion of residents having a double-barrel surname were Mdina, with 15 per cent, followed by Swieqi (8.3 per cent), Balzan (8 per cent) and Tas-Sliema (7.7 per cent). Localities in Gozo recorded the smallest proportions of persons with a double-barrel surname.
Residents having a double-barrel surname tended to be relatively younger, with an average age of 32.4 years , compared to 40.8 for other residents.
MOST COMMON SURNAMES
The top ten surnames were identical in rank to those recorded in the 2005 Census, and accounted for almost one-fourth of the population. In particular, 13,610 persons, or 3.3 per cent of the population, bore the surname Borg, followed by Camilleri and Vella, with 13,090 and 12,192 persons respectively.
The top 20 surnames accounted for 38.6 per cent. No significant difference was observed on a gender level.
The top three surnames among non-Maltese nationals were the same as for their Maltese counterparts.
Additionally, the three most prevalent foreign surnames were Smith, Jones and
Brown, with less than 80 persons carrying each surname.
Interesting trends emerged at locality level. For instance, whereas the majority of the most common surnames, including Borg, Camilleri, Zammit, Galea, Micallef and Attard, were found in Birkirkara and Mosta, the largest two localities on the island, other popular surnames were most prevalent in smaller localities.
Grech, Farrugia and Spiteri are most likely to be found in Zabbar, Zurrieq and Zejtun respectively.
Interesting trends emerged among other less popular surnames, particularly in Gozo. For instance Mintoff, which ranks 144th at a national level, has the most common cluster in Ghasri, while DeBrincat is most concentrated in Munxar. Similarly, although Carabott is the third most common surname in Marsaxlokk, it places 94th nationwide.
"Such trends indicate that despite an increasingly mobile population, many surnames still have strong ties to specific localities, even in a relatively small country such as Malta," the NSO said.