Malawi population increased by 35% in last decade

Mothers wait in a crowded maternity ward at Bwaila District Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Malawi’s population has reached 17,563,749 million, according to newly released preliminary results of the 2018 Population and Housing Census (PHC).

Commissioner of Statistics Mercy Kanyuka made the announcement on Thursday in Zomba.

The 2018 Population and Housing Census represents a 35% growth over a period of 10 years from 13,029,498 in 2008 when the last census was conducted 

According to the report, the population for males is 8,521,456, representing 49 percent of the total population, while for females its 9,042,293 representing 51 percent of the population.

At regional level, the results show that the Southern Region had the highest number of people with 7,750,629 or 44 percent followed by the Central Region with 7,526,160 people representing 43 percent and 2,286,960 people or 13 percent of the population live in the Northern Region.

Lilongwe rural has the highest population at 1,637,583 followed by Mangochi with a population of 1,148,611.

On the other hand, Likoma district has the lowest population of 14,527.

Lilongwe City continues to grow population wise with 989,318 seconded by Blantyre with a population of 800,264.

Mzuzu is the third largest city according to the report

Mzuzu City is the third largest city with 221,272 people, followed by Zomba with a population of 105,013.

The report states that Malawi’s population density continues to grow, while the land area remains static.

During the 2018 PHC, Malawi population density stood at 186 persons per square kilometer, up from 138 in the 2008 census representing a 35 percent jump.

The Southern Region has the highest population density at 244 persons per square kilometer followed by the Central Region with 211 persons per square kilometer and the Northern Region with an average of 84 persons per square kilometer.

The results also show that the Malawian population is still very young. A population of 8,894,534 is below the age of 18 representing 51 percent of the total population.

The population for those aged 18 and above is 3,778,805 in the southern region representing 44 percent of the population above 18.

Youths like these ones form 51 percent of Malawi's population

The central region has 3,761,964 persons above 18 representing 43 percent while the Northern Region has 1,128,446 people above 18, representing 13 percent of all people above this age.

At regional level, the Southern Region has the largest number of households at 1,799,576, representing 45 percent of the total households in the country.

The Central Region has 1,713,490 households, representing 43 percent of the households while the Northern Region has 471,863 households, representing 12 percent of total households in Malawi.

The Northern Region has the highest average household size at 4.8 persons per household, while the Central Region stands at 4.4 and the Southern Region has an average of 4.3 members per household.

Across the districts, Nkhata Bay has the highest average household size of 5.5 persons per household, followed by Likoma at 5.0 persons per household and Chiradzulu has the lowest average household size of 3.9 persons per household.

Implemented between September 3 and 23, 2018, the census was the first one to be conducted on Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) programme.

It  was funded by Ministry of Finance, UNFPA, DFID, USAID, Norwegian, Irish, German and Iceland Governments, People’s Republic of China, the UN family and Standard Bank of Malawi.