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Malawi’s first digital population and housing census of September 2018 puts the country’s population at 17,563,749—a 35% increase over the 2008 population of 13,029,498, increasing at an annual growth rate of 2.9%.

The census results further indicate that 26 % (4,569,248) of the total population are adolescents aged 10-19 years and that 47.2% (4,267,973) are women of reproductive age. The Under –five (0-4 years) constitute 11.5% (2,029,604) of the total population. 51.3% of the total population is less than 18 years. The majority of the population (84%) lives in rural areas

 By the age of 18, 47 per cent of girls are already married and 29 per cent aged 15-19 have begun childbearing, contributing to 25 per cent of all pregnancies annually.

Poverty is still widespread, exacerbated by high fertility and a high dependency ratio (91 per cent).

The Government has adopted the demographic dividend as a conceptual framework to guide programming and policy formulation to accelerate socioeconomic development