Malawi Cities

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Malawi Cities by Population

32 cities shown of 32 total Malawi cities that are over 1,000 in population...

1. Lilongwe 646,750
2. Blantyre 584,877
3. Zomba 80,932
4. Kasungu 42,555
5. Mangochi 40,236
6. Karonga 34,207
7. Salima 30,052
8. Nkhotakota 24,865
9. Liwonde 22,469
10. Nsanje 21,774
11. Rumphi 20,727
12. Mzimba 19,308
13. Balaka 18,902
14. Mchinji 18,305
15. Mulanje 16,483
16. Dedza 15,608
17. Luchenza 11,939
18. Nkhata Bay 11,721
19. Monkey Bay 11,619
20. Mwanza 11,379
21. Mponela 11,222
22. Ntcheu 10,445
23. Chitipa 8,824
24. Ntchisi 7,918
25. Chikwawa 6,987
26. Thyolo 5,775
27. Dowa 5,565
28. Livingstonia 5,552
29. Chipoka 4,346
30. Phalombe 2,663
31. Chiradzulu 1,580
32. Machinga 1,418

Malawi History

Malawi has a low life expectancy and high infant mortality. There is a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, which is a drain on the labor force and government expenditures, and is expected to have a significant impact on gross domestic product by 2010. There is a diverse population of native peoples, Asians and Europeans, with several languages spoken and an array of religious beliefs. Although there was tribal conflict in the past, by 2008 it had diminished considerably and the concept of a Malawian nationality had begun to form. Malawi has a culture combining native and colonial aspects, including sports, art, dance and music.

The area of Africa now known as Malawi had a very small population of hunter gatherers before waves of Bantus began emigrating from the north around the 10th century. Although most of the Bantus continued south, some remained permanently and founded tribes based on common ancestry. By 1500 AD, the tribes had established a kingdom that reached from north of what is now Nkhotakota to the Zambezi River and from Lake Malawi to the Luangwa River in what is now Zambia. Soon after 1600, with the area mostly united under one native ruler, native tribesmen began encountering, trading with and making alliances with Portuguese traders and members of the military. By 1700, however, the empire had reverted to the control of many individual tribes, which was noted by the Portuguese in their information gathering.

David Livingstone reached Lake Malawi in 1859, and Malawi was originally known as Nyasaland under the rule of the British. In a prime example of what is sometimes called the Thin White Line"" of colonial authority in Africa, the colonial government of Nyasaland was formed in 1891. The administrators were given a budget of ?

In 1944, the Nyasaland African Congress was formed by the Africans of Nyasaland to promote native peoples' interests to the British government. In 1953, Britain linked Nyasaland with Northern and Southern Rhodesia in what was known as the Central African Federation, for mainly political reasons. The linking provoked opposition from African nationalists, and the NAC gained popular support. An influential opponent of the CAF was Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, a European-trained doctor working in Ghana who was persuaded to return to Nyasaland in 1958 to assist the nationalist cause. Banda was elected president of the NAC and worked to mobilize nationalist sentiment before being jailed by colonial authorities in 1959. He was released in 1960 and asked to help draft a new constitution for Nyasaland, with a clause granting Africans the majority in the colony's Legislative Counsel.

In 1961, Banda's Malawi Congress Party gained the majority in the Legislative Counsel and Banda was elected prime minister in 1963. The Federation was dissolved in 1963, and on July 6, 1964, Nyasaland became independent from British rule and renamed itself Malawi. Under a new constitution, Malawi became a single-party state under MCP rule and Banda declared himself president-for-life in 1970. For almost 30 years, Banda ruled firmly, suppressing opposition to his party and ensuring that he had no personal opposition. Despite his political severity, however, Malawi's economy while Banda was president was often cited as an example of how a poor, landlocked, heavily populated, mineral-poor country could achieve progress in both agriculture and industrial development. While in office, and using his control of the country, Banda constructed a business empire that eventually produced one-third of the country's GDP and employed 10% of the wage-earning workforce.

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