More Restaurants in Malta than in Paris? Time to Debunk a Myth! How to Discern Reality from Distorted Data…

More Restaurants in Malta than in Paris? Time to Debunk a Myth! How to Discern Reality from Distorted Data…

I recently came across an article ( claiming a surprising fact: there would be more restaurants in Malta than in Paris or New York. Intrigued by this assertion, and being passionate about numbers and statistics, I decided to delve deeper into this matter. I compared Malta not only with Paris and New York but also with Rome and Valencia, creating a simple Excel table including cities, population, “restaurants” (interpreted as “places to eat,” following the logic of the article), and their ratio, measured in the last column with a multiplication factor of 1,000 to make it more “intuitive.”

Data Under the Microscope:

The Reality of the Numbers:
After careful analysis, the actual ranking turns out to be quite different from what was suggested: Paris emerges as the absolute winner, followed by Rome and Valencia. Malta holds the penultimate position, only ahead of New York.

Methodology and Considerations:
For the numbers, I relied on the most logical groupings: namely, considering the population density category that is most consistent with what can be compared to Malta, which, although a nation, due to its geographical conformation is more similar to a large city. In the referenced article, for example, they compared the population of Malta with that of “Paris,” understood however as the region “Île-de-France,” i.e., Paris, Seine-et-Marne, Yvelines, Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, and Val-d’Oise. This makes a huge difference: in Paris “city” there are 2 million people, while in Paris “Île-de-France” there are about 13 million. Consequently, the ratio was distorted, and the wrong place emerged as the winner. That’s why I have considered, for my numbers, “Paris city”, “Rome city”, “Valencia city”, “Malta” and “New York city”.

Then, of course, there are variables and considerations that are very difficult to quantify, but which render all this data (including that of the referenced article) absolutely useless: one must indeed consider that restaurants do not “serve” only the resident population (which, on the contrary, might be used to always eating at home), but also tourists. To make sense, one should understand how many “users” of real restaurants there are and use that number to make a ratio with the number of restaurants. For instance, an island in the middle of the sea with one inhabitant and one restaurant would become the absolute first in the ranking, with a ratio of 1:1. But if a cruise ship arrives with 1 million tourists, then everything changes in the reality, but not in the numbers. So, this ranking, besides being incorrect in the starting article, makes no sense at all.

These types of comparisons, especially when based on distorted or manipulated data, seem to have the sole purpose of promoting a reality in a misleading way, rather than correctly informing the public.



Malta: The main link of this article Valencia: and,Castell%C3%B3n%2C%20que%20cuenta%20con%201.721.

New York:

Rome: Official “FIPE” data of Rome (

Paris: (reports 44,000, but I made an average between various sites)

Other Data:

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