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.