Malawi Population 2020 (Live)

19,326,196
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According to current projections, Malawi’s population is expected to surpass 50 million people by 2058 and reach 66.21 million by the end of the century. With a current population of about 19.13 million for 2020, this means that Malawi’s population is expected to more than triple by 2099.

Malawi’s population grew 2.69% from 2019 to 2020, adding about 500,000 people to the population. While Malawi experiences negative net migration, the fertility rate of 4.25 births per woman helps boost the population growth.

Malawi’s rapid population growth will challenge the country’s ability to meet the needs of its people and its health, education, economic, and agricultural sectors. The rapid population growth will also lead to environmental degradation and faster depletion of resources, such as clean water, as well as create an even larger poverty problem.

The current population of Malawi is 19,326,196, based on projections of the latest United Nations data. The UN estimates the July 1, 2020 population at 19,129,952.

Malawi Growth Rate

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Malawi Population 2020 (Live)

Name Population
Lilongwe646,750
Blantyre584,877
Mzuzu175,345
Zomba80,932
Kasungu42,555
Mangochi40,236
Karonga34,207
Salima30,052
Nkhotakota24,865
Liwonde22,469

Malawi Area and Population Density

Malawi has a land area of almost 119,000 square kilometers, or 99th in the world, with an estimated population of 17.2 million. Malawi still has a fairly low population density of 129 people per square kilometer (86th in the world).

Largest Cities in Malawi

Malawi has a low urban population at only 16.45%, and there are just three cities in Malawi. The capital is Lilongwe (978,000 in 2014), while the largest city is Blantyre (1.9 million in 2014) -- the commercial capital -- and Mzuzu (1.7 million in the outskirts, 130,000 in the city).

Malawi Population Density Map

Year Population Growth Rate Density (km²) Population Rank Density Rank
202019,129,9522.69%202.916273
201918,628,7472.68%197.596374
201818,143,2172.68%192.446474
201717,670,1962.70%187.426474
201617,205,2612.75%182.496574
201516,745,3032.86%177.616674
201014,539,6122.86%154.226875
200512,625,9522.52%133.926978
200011,148,7582.52%118.256985
19959,844,4150.92%104.427691
19909,404,5005.29%99.757392
19857,268,2673.06%77.0981108
19806,250,4403.03%66.3083112
19755,384,7952.74%57.1183111
19704,703,7822.61%49.8985112
19654,134,4602.47%43.8589111
19603,659,9842.28%38.8288112
19553,270,5482.06%34.6989111
19502,953,8710.00%31.3389111

Malawi Population by Year (Historical)

Year Population Growth Rate Density (km²) Population Rank Density Rank
202019,129,9522.69%202.916273
202521,857,4722.70%231.846166
203024,849,4402.60%263.576062
203528,022,2732.43%297.225954
204031,317,3222.25%332.175850
204534,703,7932.08%368.095743
205038,142,9731.91%404.575440
205541,614,4401.76%441.395239
206045,059,7301.60%477.944937
206548,436,6691.46%513.754734
207051,684,4121.31%548.204631
207554,753,3751.16%580.754527
208057,611,5611.02%611.074325
208560,238,9230.90%638.944125
209062,613,6760.78%664.124123
209564,719,7120.66%686.464123

Malawi Population by Year (Projections)

Malawi Population Pyramid 2020

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Malawi Median Age

16.5


Total

16.4


Male

16.7


Female

Malawi Population by Age

There are 9,227,414 adults in Malawi.

Malawi Population Pyramid

Malawi Demographics

Malawi has several ethnic groups, including the Chewa, Nyanja, Yao, Tumbuka, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, and Ngonde. There are sizable populations of Europeans and Asians. The official language is Chichewa, spoken by 57% of the population although English, Chinyanja, Chiyao, and Chitumbuka are spoken by a large percentage of people. There are also several native languages, such as Malawian Lomwe, Kokola, Lambya, Ndali, and Nyakyusa-Ngonde.

Malawi Religion, Economy and Politics

The main religions are Christianity and Islam. There are no accurate estimates on the religious affiliation of Malawi's population, but it is estimated that 68% of the country is Christian while 25% is Muslim.

Malawi is one of the least developed countries in the world with an economy centered on agriculture and a population that is mostly rural. The government depends a great deal of outside aid. There is a low life expectancy in Malawi with a high infant mortality rate and a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS (12% of the population).

Malawi Population History

What we now know as Malawi was formed by various indigenous tribes to create what was then the "Kingdom of Maravi" in the 1500s. In the late 1800s, a Scottish explorer identified the land as something he wanted, developed a trade route to the country via a river, and the country came under British rule before the turn of the 20th century. The indigenous people revolted against the British and formed their own Congress by the 1950s. By the 60s, Malawi declared independence with a leader named Banda, who declared himself president for life.

Between 2002-2005, drought caused widespread death of crops that affected both the economy, food, and water supply. However, this didn't have a dramatic effect on the rate of population growth, which has stayed around 3% annually since 2000.

About Malawi