About Malawi

malawi-flag-154-pThis page is for the ‘geeks’ like Myles who love facts and data. The aim is to pull together into one place links that give insightful information and statistics about Malawi and its context.It will build slowly with time.

Please contact us if you have any favourite sources you think we should see.


On almost every indicator, Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. Indeed using the key parameter of Gross National Income per capita per annum it is the poorest country in the world at $250 in 2014 (ref) compared to  $42,690 in the UK. And it is on a downward trend with the comparable 2011 figure being $370.

Overviews of Malawi

Open data on Malawi

Try Open Data for Africa info, Google open data info.

Good basic data well presented. For example life expectancy from birth approx 50-53 years depending on region of country. Approx 34% of children enrolled in secondary education. Good links out to other sources like the World Bank.

The Economist

A collection of articlesfrom the Economist magazine. You will only be able to read a few every week unless you have a subscription.


  • A vicious cycle.
  • GDP growth for Malawi is reported as dropping back towards 3% this year (Ref). However the Malawi population is also expanding very rapidly at 3% per year (Ref) (Ref) meaning that the critical metric of GDP per capita is static.
  • Mobile phones per person (30%) is far below the Sub-Saharan average (71%). (Ref)
  • Overseas donors set conditions before start government support again.


Malawi is in the middle of the pack when it comes to the Global Corruption Index (see Wanted: Leaders of integrity) and on a downward trend. However there is room for optimism.

Food and agriculture

  • Deforestation rates at 2.8 percent annually are the highest in southern Africa, exacerbating food and water insecurity. (Ref)
  • More than 80 percent of Malawians are smallholder farmers with access to an average 0.23 ha of arable land, compared with the sub-Saharan African average of 0.40 ha. (Ref)
  • Agriculture accounts for 40% of the countries GDP, 80% of total employment and 90% of total exports. (Weekend Nation, 13-12-2014)
  • Food insecurity: According to the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee, an estimated 2.83 million people will experience acute food insecurity during the Dec 2015 to March 2016 ‘lean season’. (Ref)
  • Nutrition insecurity: 42% of children under age five have ‘stunted’ growth through malnutrition and 23% of all child mortality cases are associated with undernutrition. (Ref)
  • See special article on “Hunger Games“.

Deforestation and climate


  • Woman’s lifetime risk of dying during or following pregnancy in Sub-Saharan Africa is one in 31. In developed world it is one in 4,300. (Ref)
  • Maternal mortality = 510 per 100K births; UK= 8. (Ref)
  • Fertility rate (births per woman) = 5.5; UK = 1.9 (Ref)


  • Only 9% of Malawians have access to electricity. (Weekend Nation, 10-01-2015)

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