Facts about Malawi 

  • Population: 13.1 million. Of these, 40% live below the national poverty line (IMF, 2009).
  • Average life expectancy: 52.4 years (HDI, 2008). UK: 79 years (World Bank development data).
  • Average per capita income: US$219 (WDI, 2004). UK: US$33,800 (purchasing power parity (PPP)) (World Development Indicators (WDI), 2007).
  • Gross national income (GNI): US$2.2 billion (WDI, 2006).
  • Average annual growth rate: 7.5% (IMF, 2008).
  • Percentage of people not meeting daily food needs:22% (IHS, 2005).
  • Women dying in childbirth: 807 per 100,000. UK: 11 per 100,000 (World Health report, 2005).
  • Children dying before age 5: 100 per 1,000 (DHS, 2004). UK: 6 per 1,000 (World Health Report).
  • Percentage of children receiving primary school education: 80% (IHS, 2005). UK: 100% (Unesco Institute of Statistics, 1999-2004).
  • Percentage of people aged 15-49 living with HIV/AIDS: 12% (UNAIDS and WHO’s 2004 report on global AIDS epidemic). UK: 0.11% (DHS, 2004).
  • Percentage of people with access to safe, clean water: 81% (Malawi Welfare Monitoring Survey 2007). UK: 100% (WHO and Unicef report).

Progress towards Millennium Development Goals

MDG 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Malawi is on track to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.

MDG 2: Achieve universal primary education
The provision of free education has closed the gap between girls’ and boys’ enrolment in primary school.

MDG 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
Women in decision-making positions have increased from 15% in 2005 to 19.2% in 2007, narrowly surpassing the target of 19%.

MDG 4: Reduce child mortality
Malawi has made strong progress in reducing child mortality, with a reduction of 10% between 2004 and 2006, down to 118 per 1,000 live births (MICS 2006).

MDG 5: Improve maternal health
The percentage of women who are attended by skilled personnel during delivery has gone up to 45% (2008) from 38% (2005).

MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Malawi has stabilised the rate of HIV and AIDS infection at 12%.

MDG 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Since 1990, the percentage of Malawians with access to safe drinking water has increased from 40% to 81%, and to sanitation from 47% to 61%.

MDG 8: In 2007, growth exceeded 7% for the third year running.
The average settlement time for commercial disputes has decreased from 337 days in 2006 to 180 days in 2007.

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