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Malta (/ˈmɒltə, ˈmɔːl-/ ( listen); Maltese: [ˈmɐltɐ]), officially known as the Republic of Malta (Maltese: Repubblika ta' Malta), is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km (50 mi) south of Italy, 284 km (176 mi) east of Tunisia, and 333 km (207 mi) north of Libya. Malta is one of the world's smallest and most densely populated countries, at over 316 km² (122 sq mi) with a population of about 475,000. Its capital is Valletta, which is the smallest national capital in the European Union by area at 0.8 km.² Its largest town is Birkirkara, while its chief economic centre is Sliema. The official languages are Maltese and English, with Maltese also recognised as the national language. Maltese is the only Semitic language to be officially recognised in the European Union. Italian is also spoken by most of the population.