Malawi Facts


Malawi, Eastern African State; 118,000 km2 (including 24 208 km2 inland water), 18.1 million residents (2019).Malawi is located along the southernmost outlet of the East African rift system and borders Tanzania in the northeast, Mozambique in the east, south and west and Zambia in the west. The capital is Lilongwe (1.2 million residents, 2018).

Malawi Country Flag

Country facts

  • Republic of Malaŵi / Republic of Malawi
  • Country abbreviation: MW
  • Area: 118 000 km2
  • Population (2019): 18.1 million residents
  • Capital: Lilongwe
  • Main languages: English, (chi) chewa
  • State: Republic
  • Head of State and Head of Government: Peter Mutharika (President)
  • Per capita GDP (2018): US $ 389
  • GNI per capita (2018): US $ 360
  • Coin unit: 1 kwacha = 100 tambala
  • Currency code: MWK
  • Country number (telephony): 265
  • Internet domain name: mw
  • Time difference compared to Sweden: +1
  • National Day: July 6 (Independence Day, 1964)

Nature

  • Land use: forest (39%), agricultural land (21%), other (40%)
  • Highest mountain: Sapitwa (3,000 meters above sea level)
  • Largest lake: Lake Malawi (31,000 km2 )

Population

  • Population density (2019): 153 residents per km2
  • Natural population growth (2019): 2.8%; birthrate 35 ‰, deathrate 7 ‰
  • Age structure (2019): 0-14 years (45%), 15-64 (52%), 65- (3%)
  • Life expectancy (2019): men 60 years, women 66 years
  • Infant mortality (2019): 43 per 1,000 live births
  • Population forecast 2050: 37 million residents
  • HDI (2017): 0.477 (place 171 of 188)
  • Urbanization rate (2019): 17%
  • Most populous cities (2018): Lilongwe (1.2 million residents), Blantyre (994,500)

Business

  • Industry’s contribution to GDP (2017): agriculture (29%), industry (15%), service (56%)
  • Exports (2017): US $ 1,420 million
  • Main export products: tobacco, tea, sugar
  • Main exporting countries: Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Belgium
  • Imports (2017): US $ 2 312 million
  • Main Import Products: Food, Oil Products, Manufacturing
  • Main importing countries: South Africa, China, India
  • Railway network (2014): 770 km

Along the western side of the Malawi Lake there is a narrow coastal plain, where swamplands and lagoons are abundant. To the west from Lake Malawi a plateau landscape rises. Higher, isolated mountain areas are found in the north and partly in the southwest. Due to the height of the country, a warm temperate climate dominates.

The country’s parliament is elected for five years. At the same time, the president is elected for the same term. The president is both the head of state and the prime minister and appoints the government. The country became independent in 1964.

Malawi is very poor and dependent on aid and lenders. Poverty is the worst in the countryside. Poor access to natural resources and a low level of education mean that the country’s development opportunities are limited. The economy is entirely dependent on commodity exports, mainly tobacco exports. This makes the country sensitive to weather conditions and world market prices.

Malawi Map

Malawi Map

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