Malta ranked 15th for GDP per capita among the EU’s 28 member states last year.

With a GDP per capita of 86 pent cent of the EU average, the island retained the same level of wealth as in 2011, according to data issued by Eurostat yesterday.

Expressed in Purchasing Power Standard – an artificial currency unit that eliminates price level differences between countries – Malta ranks higher than most of its fellow EU member states that joined in the same batch in 2004.

The exception is Cyprus, which is richer than Malta at 92 per cent, although is fast losing momentum due to its continuing economic crisis.

Malta was also higher ranked than some member states that have been part of the EU for a long time, namely Portugal (76 per cent) and Greece (75 per cent).

Still, the island has far to go to reach the level of affluence signified by the EU average or the 17-member eurozone average, which is nine per cent higher.

Luxembourg is by far the richest, with a GDP per capita of 263 per cent of the EU average. The Grand Duchy is followed by Austria (130 per cent), Ireland (129 per cent), the Netherlands (128 per cent) and Sweden and Denmark (both 126 per cent).

On the other side of the scale, Bulgaria (49 per cent) and Romania (50 per cent) are the poorest. The EU bases its funds allocation on the statistics, with the poorest member states normally qualifying for the most funds.

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