Malta Independent

77% of Millenials and 72% of Gen-Z would rather live outside of Malta, EY survey finds


77% of Millenials and 72% of Gen-Z would rather live outside of Malta, a survey conducted by EY has found.

“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, EY said.

Only 28% of Gen-Z and 23% of Millenials 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 Millenials, 26% had indicated this response last year, meaning that a decrease has been registered.

From those people who would rather live abroad, the majority in 2021 ( 60% of Gen-Z and 59% of Millenials) responded that they would rather live elsewhere in Europe, with the rest selecting other continents.

This year, 58% of Gen-Z and 61% of Millenials 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, the survey found.

According to almost three quarters of youth, Malta’s biggest challenge is overdevelo­pment, the survey found. “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 GenZ broadly share the same view, with the highest amount of respondent­s answering that the economy’s condition is fair, the survey read.

“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, while 30% believe they will be in the same position, the survey reads. 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 than 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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