Malawi Population

By | May 6, 2024

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Malawi is 21,196,629, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 21,196,629
Population growth rate 3.30%
Birth rate 41.00 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall 52.78 years
Men 51.95 years
Women 53.62 years
Age structure
0-14 years 46.17%
15-64 years 51.15%
65 years and above 2.69%
Median age 16.40 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 0.99
Population density 178.90 residents per km²
Urbanization 16.30%
Bantu peoples: Chewa 32.6%, Lomwe 17.6%, Yao 13.5%, Ngoni 11.5%, Tumbuka 8.8%, Nyanja 5.8%, Sena 3.6%, Tonga 2.1%, Ngonde 1%, other 3.5%
Protestants 55%, Catholics 20%, Muslims 20%, indigenous religions
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.485
HDI ranking 172nd out of 194

People in Malawi

Wouldn’t you like to travel to a country known as the “warm heart of Africa “? The “warm heart of Africa” ​​is so called because the people there should be so friendly.

About 16 million people live in Malawi. As in many other African countries, the population is very young. In Germany there are more old people than young people and people are getting older. In Africa it is often the other way around. More young people live there than old people. Unfortunately for so many people there is often no work and not enough to eat. 84 out of 100 people in Malawi live in rural areas. So only 16 out of 100 residents live in a city.

Flaming water

Most of the people belong to the Bantu peoples. 49 out of 100 people belong to the Maravi, who are composed of several subgroups. The Chewa is the largest group among them. 16 out of 100 residents belong to the Lomwe and 13 out of 100 to the Yao. Ngoni, Sena and Ngondo are minorities.

By the way, the name Malawi means “flaming water” when translated. Since the light breaks again and again on Lake Malawi and there are great light reflections, the term probably goes back to this.

Languages in Malawi

The official language in Malawi is English. Chichewa is the national language. Chichewa is the language of the Chewa people. Half of the population speaks it as their mother tongue. But it also serves to communicate with different ethnic groups. Chichewa is one of the Bantu languages. Other Bantu languages ​​are spoken regionally. These are, for example, Lomwe (the language of the Lomwe) or Chiyao (the language of the Yao).

Religions in Malawi

Many people in Malawi are Christians. The numbers fluctuate, but it’s definitely the majority – around 70 out of 100 people. 20 out of 100 are Muslims. The religions live together peacefully and there are no major conflicts. The Malawians often still live their traditional beliefs. They believe in ghosts and ancient rituals. The cult of the dead, the worship of the dead, also plays a major role.

Malawi Overview

Malawi, located in southeastern Africa, is renowned for its stunning freshwater lake, Lake Malawi, which spans over 580 kilometers and is home to a diverse array of colorful fish species. Its capital city, Lilongwe, is known for its modern architecture and vibrant markets. Malawi is famous for its warm and welcoming people, often referred to as the “Warm Heart of Africa,” and its rich cultural heritage, including traditional dances, music, and artwork. The country’s scenic beauty extends beyond Lake Malawi to encompass rolling hills, lush forests, and wildlife reserves, making it a paradise for nature lovers and adventurers alike.

  • Capital City: Lilongwe
  • Population: Approximately 19.1 million
  • Area: 118,484 square kilometers
  • Full Country Name: Republic of Malawi
  • Currency: Malawian Kwacha (MWK)
  • Language: English, Chichewa
  • ISO Country Codes: MW, MWI

Bordering Countries of Malawi

Malawi is a landlocked country in southern Africa that borders Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. With an estimated population of 18 million people, it is one of the most densely populated countries in the region. Malawi is known for its lush mountain scenery and vibrant culture with a unique mix of African, Asian and European influences.

Tanzania is located to the north of Malawi and shares a 488-mile border with the country. It is home to over 56 million people speaking mainly Swahili as their official language. Tanzania has vast areas of plains and plateaus as well as two large mountain ranges – Kilimanjaro in north and Usambara Mountains in east – both rising above 10,000 feet above sea level. The country’s economy relies heavily on agriculture but also has significant amounts of minerals such as gold and diamond reserves that contribute significantly to its GDP growth rate each year.

Mozambique lies east of Malawi across a narrow strip of land known as the Zambezi River Valley. It is a Portuguese-speaking nation with over 28 million people and a rich cultural history that dates back centuries. The terrain of Mozambique is mostly flat lowlands, although it does have some mountains in its western region. Much of its economy revolves around agriculture and natural resources such as coal, titanium ore and hydropower.

Zambia borders Malawi to the west along an 837-mile border which includes Lake Tanganyika on its northern tip. Zambia has a population of 17 million people who speak mainly English alongside local languages like Bemba or Nyanja dialects. Its main industries are copper mining, tourism, manufacturing and agriculture which help drive its economy forward each year despite being one of the poorest countries in Africa according to World Bank estimates.

Lastly, Zimbabwe lies south of Malawi along an 813-mile border between them which includes Lake Kariba on its eastern side. This former British colony has 16 million citizens who speak mainly English or Shona dialects alongside other local languages like Ndebele or Venda dialects respectively. Zimbabwe’s main industries are tobacco farming, gold mining and tourism which bring foreign currency into the country each year helping maintain its economic stability despite being one of the least developed countries in Africa according to UN estimates from 2018 onwards.


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