There are an estimated 10,000 undocumented migrants in Malta, according to one of the first detailed attempts to examine the phenomenon.
Researchers from the US-based Pew Research Center uncovered that at least 2% of Malta’s entire population was undocumented in 2017, one of the highest proportions in all of Europe.
The estimated number of undocumented migrants is also increasing, moving up from 1% in 2015 and 2016, to 2% in 2017.
Most asylum seekers entered Europe without permission, with Malta rejecting close to half of all applications and a large number of applications still pending.
In fact, Pew believes that around a quarter of this figure are asylum seekers waiting for a decision on their application, while people who have been given temporary protection also falling in this category.
The full report, which includes the methodology behind the findings and a wealth of detail on the subject across Europe, can be found here.
When it comes to Europe as a whole, unauthorised immigrants accounted for less than 1% of Europe’s total population in 2017, but that’s still anything between 3.9 million to 4.8 million.
The majority of the group are located in four countries, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK.
Pew estimates that the number of undocumented migrants is largely related to recent arrivals to Europe in 2015, with about half having arrived in the past five years. The majority are also young, with two-thirds less than 35 years old (65%).
Unauthorised migration remains a deadly endeavour. Beyond the corpses lining the Mediterranean, the challenges were laid bare for all to see, when 39 dead people from Vietnam were discovered in a refrigerated truck trailer in Essex.