2018 Census of Malawi

Last updated
Sixth Census of Malawi

  2008 September 3-23, 20182028 

General information
Country Malawi
Total population17,563,749 [1] (Increase2.svg 34.8%)
Most populous  region Southern (7,750,629)
Least populous  region Northern (2,289,780)

The 2018 Malawi census was the sixth national census in Malawi, which took place on 3-23 September 2018. The population of Malawi was counted as 17,563,749 – an increase of 4,534,251 (34.8%) over the 2008 census. [1]


Preliminary results from the 2018 census were released to the public in December 2018 and final results in May 2019, from the National Statistical Office of Malawi website. The next Malawian census is set to be held in September 2028.


The 2018 projected population of Malawi was 17,931,637 based on the medium variant of projections based on the 2008 census. [2] The actual enumerated population was 17,563,749 which was about 98% the size of the 2018 projection. [2]


Population and dwellings

Population counts for regions of Malawi. All figures are for the census de jure population count.

Region Population%
Southern 7,750,62944.13
Central 7,523,34042.83
Northern 2,289,78013.04
Flag of Malawi.svg Malawi17,563,749100


In 2018, 17,506,538 people (99.67%) were born in Malawi, with 57,211 (0.33%) born abroad. [1]

BirthplaceResponsesChange from 2008
Number%Number pp
Malawi17,506,53899.67Increase2.svg 4,538,143Increase2.svg 0.06
Abroad57,2110.33Increase2.svg 5,687Decrease2.svg 0.06
Zambia 12,1270.07Increase2.svg 6,355Increase2.svg 0.03
Mozambique 5,3490.03Decrease2.svg 13,671Decrease2.svg 0.12
Zimbabwe 2,8750.02Decrease2.svg 1,567Decrease2.svg 0.01
South Africa 1,7360.01Increase2.svg 297Decrease2.svg 0.00
Tanzania 1,2520.01Decrease2.svg 1,235Decrease2.svg 0.01
United Kingdom 8620.00Decrease2.svg 742Decrease2.svg 0.01
Other33,0100.19Increase2.svg 16,220Increase2.svg 0.06


    The 2018 Census asked a question on ethnicity for the first time and the five largest ethnic groups were Chewa (34.4%), Lomwe (18.9%), Yao (13.3%), Ngoni (10.4%), and Tumbuka (9.2%). [1]

    Data is for the population that stated their ethnicity. [1]

    Ethnic groupPopulation%
    Chewa 6,020,94534.39
    Lomwe 3,302,63418.87
    Yao 2,321,76313.26
    Ngoni 1,819,34710.39
    Tumbuka 1,614,9559.23
    Sena 670,9083.83
    Mang'anja 559,8873.2
    Nyanja 324,2721.85
    Tonga 310,0311.77
    Nyakyusa 174,4301
    Lambya 106,7690.61
    Sukwa 93,7620.54


    According to the 2018 Census, 77.3% of the population identified as being Christian, 13.8% as Muslim, 2.1% identified as having no religion, 1.1% as having traditional religions, and 5.6% had other religions. [1]

    Religious affiliationPopulation%
    Christian 13,581,62377.33
    Roman Catholic 3,028,43517.24
    Church of Central Africa Presbyterian 2,498,96914.23
    Seventh-day Adventist/Baptist/Apostolic 1,644,8299.36
    Pentecostal 1,332,4207.59
    Anglican 410,6332.34
    Other Christian4,666,33726.57
    Islam 2,426,75413.82
    Irreligion 376,7842.15
    Traditional 186,2841.06
    Buddhism 5,5060.03
    Hinduism 3,2110.02

    Related Research Articles

    Demographics of the United States Study of the population of the United States and how it changes

    The United States is the third-most populous country in the world, with an estimated population of 330,058,718 as of January 27, 2021. The United States Census Bureau shows a population increase of 0.75% for the twelve-month period ending in July 2012. Though high by industrialized country standards, this is below the world average annual rate of 1.1%. The total fertility rate in the United States estimated for 2019 is 1.71 children per woman, which is below the replacement fertility rate of approximately 2.1.

    Lapel, Indiana Town in Indiana, United States

    Lapel is a town in Stony Creek Township, Madison County, Indiana, United States. It is part of the Anderson, Indiana Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 2,068 at the 2010 census.

    Perry, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

    Perry is a city in Shiawassee County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 2,188 at the 2010 census. The city is surrounded by Perry Township, but the two are administered autonomously.

    Travelers Rest, South Carolina City in South Carolina, United States

    Travelers Rest is a city in Greenville County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 4,576 at the 2010 census, up from 4,099 in 2000. The population was an estimated 5,253 in 2018. It is part of the Greenville–Mauldin–Easley Metropolitan Statistical Area. Travelers Rest is located between the Blue Ridge Mountains and Greenville, the primary city of the Upstate region of South Carolina. The campus of Furman University is located just south of the city limits of Travelers Rest, but the university retains a Greenville address based on its ZIP code.

    Gambela Region Regional state in western Ethiopia

    Gambela or Gambella, also officially known as Gambela Peoples' Region, is a regional state in western Ethiopia. Previously known as "Region 12", its capital is Gambela. The Region is situated between the Baro and Akobo Rivers, with its western part including the Baro salient.

    Harari Region Region of Ethiopia

    Harari, officially Harari People's National Regional State, is one of the ten ethnically-based regional states (kililoch) of Ethiopia, covering the homeland of the Harari people. Formerly named Region 13, its capital is Harar. It has the smallest land area and population of the Ethiopian regional states. Harari and Oromo are the two official languages of the regional Authorities.

    Birkdale is a suburb of Auckland, New Zealand, comprising statistical area units 'Birkdale North' and 'Birkdale South'. The suburb is located in the North Shore, and is under the governance of Auckland Council.

    Glendene is a suburb of Auckland, New Zealand. It is under the local governance of the Auckland Council.

    The demographics of Metro Vancouver indicate a multicultural and multiracial region. Metro Vancouver is a metropolitan area, with its major urban centre being Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Vancouver census metropolitan area, as defined by Statistics Canada, encompasses roughly the same territory as the Metro Vancouver Regional District, a regional district in British Columbia. The regional district includes 23 local authorities. Figures provided here are for the Vancouver census metropolitan area and not for the City of Vancouver.

    Asosa Zone

    Assosa is one of the three Zones in Benishangul-Gumuz Region of Ethiopia. This Zone was named after the Assosa Sultanate, which had approximately the same boundaries. Assosa is bordered on the south by the Mao-Komo special woreda, on the west by Sudan, and on the northeast by the Kamashi. The largest town in this zone is Assosa. Its highest point is Mount Bambasi, located in the woreda of the same name. The majority ethnic group in the zone is the Berta people.

    Welkait District in northwestern Ethiopia

    Welkait is a woreda and region in northwestern Ethiopia. Located in Mi'irabawi Zone in Tigray Region, this woreda is bordered to the north by Kafta Humera and to the south by Tsegede; these are the other two woredas of Mi'irabawi Zone in Tigray. It is bordered on the east by the North West Zone; the woredas of Tahtay Adiyabo and Asgede Tsimbla lie to the north-east, on the other side of the Tekezé River, and Tselemti is to the east. The administrative center of Welkait is Addi Remets; other towns in the woreda include Mai'gaba and Awura.

    Gambela Zuria is one of the woredas in the Gambela Region of Ethiopia. Part of the Anuak Zone, Gambela Zuria is bordered on the south by Abobo, on the west by Itang special woreda, and on the north and east by the Oromia Region. Gambela, which is the capital of the Region, is surrounded by this woreda.

    Mida Woremo is one of the woredas in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. Part of the Semien Shewa Zone, Mida Woremo is bordered on the south by the Qechene River which separates it from Merhabiete, on the west by the Oromia Region, and on the north and east by the Debub Wollo Zone; the northern boundary is defined by the Walaqa River. The administrative center of this woreda is Meragna; other towns include Rema.

    Ōmokoroa Place in Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

    Ōmokoroa is a small urban area in the Western Bay of Plenty District of New Zealand. The suburb is considered part of Greater Tauranga, and is within the Coromandel electorate. Ōmokoroa began as a small rural holiday village, but is expanding to be a commuter town, with a 25-minute drive to Tauranga City.

    Abay Chomen is one of the woredas in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia. Part of the Horo Gudru Welega Zone, Abay Chomen is bordered on the south by Lake Finicha'a, on the southwest by Jimma Horo, on the northwest by Amuru Jarte, on the north by the Abay River which separates it from the Amhara Region, and on the east and south by Guduru. The woreda capital is Finicha'a; other towns in Abay Chomen include Finicha'a Camp.

    Pinehill is a small suburb in the East Coast Bays area of Auckland, New Zealand. Pinehill contains two shopping centres, one along East Coast Road and the other along Greville Road. The suburb has only recently grown because of the housing estates being built in the area for the rapidly growing Albany area. Pinehill is regularly serviced by buses which go to Takapuna and Auckland City. The Auckland Northern Motorway passes to the west of the suburb.

    Manurewa East is a suburb of Auckland, New Zealand. Formerly part of Manukau City, it is now under the local governance of Auckland Council, following the merger of Manukau City Council with all of Auckland's other councils in 2010 to form a single authority.

    Rotokauri Suburb in New Zealand

    Rotokauri is a semi-rural suburb in western Hamilton in New Zealand. It is one of the future urban zones of Hamilton, along with Peacocke. The northeastern parts of Rotokauri are sometimes called Burbush and Baverstock.

    Tamahere is a locality within Waikato District, New Zealand; on the outskirts of Hamilton. The majority of the Ward is zoned as Country Living, with a minimum lot size of 0.5ha. The landscape is dominated by several large gully systems that contribute to the Waikato River.

    The 2008 Malawi census was the fifth national census in Malawi, which took place on 8-28 July 2008. The population of Malawi was counted as 13,077,160 – an increase of 3,143,292 (31.64%) over the 1998 census.


    1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "2018 Population and Housing Census Main Report" (PDF). Malawi National Statistical Office. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
    2. 1 2 "2008 Malawi Population and Housing Census Population Projections Thematic Report" (PDF). Malawi National Statistical Office. Retrieved 26 January 2020.