Malawi is a landlocked country located in southeastern Africa. It has an area of 118,484 square kilometers and a population of approximately 18 million people. The ethnic composition of Malawi is mainly Chewa, Yao, Lomwe, Tumbuka and Ngoni, with other groups including Tonga, Nyanja and Sena. The majority of the population are Christian, with around three-quarters being Protestant and the rest being Roman Catholic or other denominations. Education is compulsory for children up to the age of 16 and the literacy rate is estimated to be around 64%. The official language is English but Chichewa is widely spoken throughout the country. The capital city Lilongwe has an estimated population of over 1 million people making it the largest city in Malawi. Check hyperrestaurant to learn more about Malawi in 2009.
In recent decades, Malawi has been waging a conscious and successful fight against poverty, but about 40 percent of the population still lives below the poverty line. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of MWI and acronym for Malawi. About 80 percent of the population has access to clean water (2008). Nearly half of children under five are malnourished.
Like most countries in southern Africa, Malawi is severely affected by HIV/AIDS; 11 percent of the population aged 15-49 are estimated to be infected (2009). Although 12 percent of public spending is spent on health care (2009), the availability of healthcare is very poor; there are eleven hospital beds (2007) and fewer than one doctor (2008) per 10,000 residents. Qualified personnel are available for just over half of the births. Check to see Malawi population.
|Gross domestic product (GDP)||$ 22,420,000,000|
|GDP growth rate||4.00%|
|GDP per capita||$ 1,200|
|GDP by sector|
|Proportion of the population below the national poverty line||53%|
|Distribution of household income|
|Industrial production growth rate||4.00%|
|Investment volume||49.9% of GDP|
|National debt||59.20% of GDP|
|Foreign exchange reserves||$ 613,500,000|
At the 1987 census the country’s population amounted to 7,982,607; Registry estimates in 1991 attributed to Malawi a population of approximately 8,556,000 residents. Considering that the state extends over 94,276 km 2, the average density is 90.7 residents / km 2 (if inland waters are included, the total area rises to 118,484 km 2 and the average density drops to 72, 2 people / km 2). The capital, Lilongwe, also in 1987, had 233,973 residents (they were less than 20,000 in 1966); the largest urban center of the country remains Blantyre, which, considering the urban agglomeration as a whole, hosts over 330,000 residents. The remaining population lives scattered throughout the territory (the one considered urban is just over 13% of the total) even if, as in the past, the average densities are very different from region to region. The annual growth coefficient is high (3.7% on the 1985-90 average), to the point of compromising the country’s economic emancipation efforts. The illiteracy rate is just under 60% (at the 1987 census it was found that less than 50% of school-age children attended school
The economic structure of the country is still very backward today. According to the estimates of the World Bank, in 1991 the per capita income was around 230 dollars, a value that places Malawi among the poorest states on the African continent. As already noted, a heavy conditioning to development comes from high birth rates: the World Bank estimated that, in the decade 1980-90, in real terms, per capita income decreased by 0.1% per year, despite the fact that the GDP, in the same interval, has increased annually by 3.3%.
The town maintains its typically rural structure. In 1990 just under 80% of the total active population was employed in agriculture, whose contribution to GDP was however less than 40%. Agricultural products grown for export are tobacco (60% of currency revenues), tea and sugar cane. Corn, rice, sorghum, potato, etc are grown for local sustenance; other crops concern coffee, peanuts and palm trees. The livestock is made up of 1.1 million heads of cattle, 1 million goats and over 200,000 pigs. Woods are also exploited: in 1989 7.6 million m 3 of timber were produced (mainly processed in Blantyre).
The industry is still very modest and contributes 20% to the formation of the GDP (the contribution of the manufacturing sectors is just over 14%). The most common processes concern the transformation of agricultural products (tobacco, sugar, beer) and are mainly located in Blantyre. Some plants have also sprung up near the capital. The mining sector is modest (coal and bauxite). The energy sources are oil (about 10% of total imports) and, to a lesser extent, hydroelectricity. Wood is widely used for domestic purposes.
Communications are ensured by 830 km of railways and 12,000 km of roads (mostly unpaved). Airports in Lilongwe (Kamuzu airport, with 256,000 passengers handled in 1990) and Blantyre (Chileka airport, with 76,000 passengers).