The Malta Independent 30 March 2023, Thursday
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77% of Millennials and 72% of Gen-Z would rather live outside of Malta - survey

Friday, 25 November 2022, 07:59 Last update: about 5 months ago

“Better employment and salaries are the top scoring factor for both generations. Gen-Z also have a hunger for new experiences and feel a constraint in Malta’s size. Millennials also would like new experiences but give a greater priority to being in a space that is quieter and more relaxing than contemporary Malta,” EY said.

The 5th EY Generate Youth Survey gathered the views of over 700 Generation-Z and Millennials in Malta. The survey was conducted between 30 September and 31 October 2022 and was officially released during the Generate event, which brought together over 800 students for a day of workshops and exploration.


The survey’s purpose is to provide public and private sector leaders with deeper insights into the thinking of Malta’s younger generations, their similarities, and their differences, particularly on the topics of economy, entrepreneurship, society, and the future outlook.

Only 28% of Gen-Z and 23% of Millennials said they would rather live in Malta.

The aforementioned statistics are similar, to last year’s survey. The 2021 survey found that 28% of Gen-Z would rather live in Malta, but in terms of Millennials, 26% had indicated this response last year, meaning that a decrease has been registered.

Of the percentages who would rather live abroad, the majority in 2021 (60% of Gen-Z and 59% of Millennials) responded that they would rather live elsewhere in Europe, with the rest selecting other continents. This year, 58% of Gen-Z and 61% of Millennials indicated that they would rather live elsewhere in Europe, with the rest indicating they would rather live on other continents.

Mixed results followed when asked about whether they would return to Malta after moving abroad in this year’s survey.

While 35% of Gen-Z and 33% of Millennials responded that they would return to Malta 35% of Gen-Z and 38% of Millennials are still uncertain, EY said.

“Malta’s biggest challenges include overdevelopment, traffic, and inflation.

According to almost three quarters of youth Malta’s biggest challenge is overdevelopment. This result has gone up 6% points since last year’s survey. Following it is traffic that has increased by 24% in one year. In third place comes inflation. On the lower end of the list, concerns over international image, climate change, and Covid-19 have decreased substantially in comparison to last year.”

The survey also found that Maltese youths are relatively happy. On a scale of 1-5, with five being very happy, the two generations registered an average of 3.2. “Both Gen-Z and Millennials take comfort in their relationship with friends and family and find their studies or work to be fulfilling.”

“But their anxieties and worries are all too real and familiar. The survey suggests that the top anxiety factors for Maltese youths are financial and career pressures. In 3rd place Gen-Zs classify school as their source of anxiety while Millennials are concerned about their health. Results indicate that the least sources of anxiety for both generations are physical harm, the war in Ukraine, and their relationship with friends.”

EY said that both generations focus on Malta’s natural aspects as their favourite elements of the island

“On average, Malta’s youth are at a neutral standpoint on whether Malta is a good place to live, registering a 2.5 on a scale of 1-5. Respondents identify the country’s best features as sunny climate, beaches, and health care.”

Still, “an overwhelming 93% of youth believe that the state of Malta’s nature is getting worse, with just 1% stating that it is getting better,” EY said.

With regards to the war in Ukraine young people are concerned about their financial situation. “Although it is geographically far, the war in Ukraine has had an impact on Malta’s youths. In terms of empathy and a need for social justice, 94% of Gen-Z and 92% of Millennials have shown concern for the well-being of Ukrainians. In terms of their own safety 62% of Gen-Z and 60% of Millennials are slightly or very concerned. Over 90% of both generations are slightly or very concerned about the financial implications as an indirect result of the war.”


When it comes to the economy these days, Millennials and Gen-Z broadly share the same view, with the highest amount of respondents answering that the economy’s condition is fair.

“Despite Malta’s economy faring above average compared to its European counterparts, a good portion of Gen-Z and Millennials still have a different perception of the economy’s performance with 35% of Millennials stating that the economy is poor,” EY said.

Young people hold a brighter outlook on their financial future, as 49% of Gen-Z believe they will be in a better situation next year, 30% believe they will be in the same position. Millennials share the same thought, with 41% hoping for better, EY said. “Respondents that think they will be worse off next year have primary concerns over inflation and a rising cost of living.”

The survey found that 60% of Gen-Z are very concerned about inflation, with Millennials following shortly behind at 58%. To reduce costs, 51% of Gen-Z plan to eat out less, while 50% are aiming to increase their income to keep up, the survey found. “55% of Millennials also plan to reduce eating out, in addition to that 48% will be switching to lower priced brands.”

Entrepreneur or employee?

9% more of Gen-Z would rather be an entrepreneur to an employee when compared to Millennials, the survey found. EY said that 57% of Gen-Z respondents have indicated that they would prefer being an entrepreneur. Millennials are relatively in balance as to their preference.

“This is probably why Gen-Z consider themselves to be more entrepreneurial than Millennials,” EY said. “57% of Gen-Z believe that their generation is more entrepreneurial than Millennials. On the other hand, a quarter of Millennials seem to think that they are as entrepreneurial as the Gen X generation.

Investment priorities?

The survey found that according to Malta’s young people, the major priorities for government investment should be public education, roads and infrastructure, and waste management and pollution.

Ronald Attard, EY Malta Country Managing Partner, had words of praise for the younger generations’ optimistic outlook: “Our youths appreciate that our country has a lot to offer but are mindful of many factors that they think we can do better, including sustainability and caring for our environment. In this year’s edition, it is evident that inflation is very topical, and youths are concerned.”

Attard believes that Malta’s young people can pave the way for the solutions of the future: “We hope that these results shed some light for those in public and private sectors as to how the younger generations see the country through their lens and assist them in their goal to build a brighter future.”

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