The National Statistics Office has released data on the relating to the female population of the island, on the occasion of International Women’s Day celebrated on the 8th of March – when women are recognised for their achievements over time.
The female population in Malta and Gozo stood at 228,634 at the end of 2016, making up 49.7 per cent of the total population, the NSO said.
Thee NSO noted that there were more male resident births than female ones registered in Malta and Gozo year-on year.
It said that in 2016, female live births numbered 2,111 compared to 2,365 male live births, while life expectancy for females at birth stood at 84.4 years while for males it was 80.6 years.
“This partly explains why population counts for both sexes remain relatively close despite the fact that male births outnumber female ones,” the NSO said.
Female students enrolled in post-secondary and tertiary education institutions during academic year 2015-2016 stood at 12,645 or 52.4 per cent of total enrolments, while 59.2 per cent of the students who graduated at the tertiary level were females.
95.3 per cent of women used the internet on a daily basis in 2017,against 92.6 per cent of men.
Both went online mainly for communication and access to information purposes. However, the NSO said that female percentages in this regard were higher, for example, 97.1 per cent of women compared to 94.7 per cent of men for communication.
Labour Force Survey figures show that the highest female employment rate (64.3 per cent) was in the 25-54 age bracket. It noted that on average an employed female worked around 35 hours per week, which is six hours less than her male counterpart.
The unemployment rate for women was nearly one percentage point higher than that for men, at five per cent. The highest unemployment rate (10.9 per cent) was among females aged between 15 and 24.
The overall gender pay gap increased by 0.4 percentage points between 2014 and 2016, showing that by 2016, men were paid 11.0 per cent more than women.
The NSO noted that the gap is highest for the 65+ cohort (21.1 per cent) followed by the 35-44 cohort (13.1 per cent). Between 2014 and 2016, an overall drop of 4.3 percentage points was recorded in the cohort 35-64.
At risk of poverty or social exclusion rates show that women are more at risk of poverty or social exclusion than men, the NSO said. In 2016, there were an estimated 42,587 women at risk of poverty or social exclusion compared to 51,298 in 2014.
Females in the 0-17 age group were the most at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2014 and 2015.
By 2016, there was a shift whereby women in the 65+ cohort were the most vulnerable, and those who were separated or widowed were at a higher risk of poverty or social exclusion, the NSO said.
Out of 164,815 households, 36 per cent of the heads of household (breadwinners) were women, the Household Budgetary Survey (HBS) 2015 showed.
In addition, households with a male breadwinner, on average, spent €4,496 more than households with a female head of household.
The NSO concluded its data by saying that an analysis of household expenditure distribution indicates that households with a female head of household tend to spend bigger shares on housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, and Food and non-alcoholic beverages. Their male counterparts are more likely to spend a larger proportion of their household expenditure on transport and restaurants and hotels.
Photograph by Alain Salvary