Malawi is in Southern Africa, east of Zambia. The climate is sub-tropical with a rainy season (November to May) and a dry season (May to November). The official languages are English and Chichewa. It is the official language of business and government and is widely spoken in the capital Lilongwe and other urban centres. Chichewa, the tongue of the dominant Chewa tribe, is the other official language, while Chitumbuka is the predominant language of the north. The main religions are Christianity and Islam. The economy of Malawi is among the world's least developed and most densely populated. The economy is heavily agriculture-based, with around 85% of the population living in rural areas. More than one-third of GDP and 90% of export revenues come from agriculture. Malawians are generally extremely friendly. Expatriate business dress is typically a lightweight suit and tie for men and a lightweight suit or its equivalent for women. Using first names in business meetings is considered impolite in Malawi. The use of 'Sir' or 'Madam', or alternatively 'Mister' or 'Missus' followed by a surname is preferred. The security risk for expatriates in Malawi is low overall, but medium in urban areas. Risks include general crime and scams, particularly of those perceived as wealthy. The currency of Malawi is the Malawi Kwacha (MWK). While ATMs are available in major urban areas not all international cards are accepted. Major credit cards are accepted at some shops and restaurants. Medical facilities are generally below international standards. Outbreaks of gastric intestinal infections including cholera are common. There is a high prevalence of HIV. The population of Malawi is 14.8 Million (2016 est.), while the inflation rate is 8.4% (Sept 2017).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In Malawi, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Malawi as at 1 October 2017 is average in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Low 2) Clothing: Average 3) Communication: Very High 4) Education: Low 5) Furniture & Appliances: High 6) Groceries: Very Low 7) Healthcare: High 8) Household Accommodation: Very Low 9) Miscellaneous: Low 10) Personal Care: Very High 11) Recreation & Culture: Very High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Low 13) Transport: Very High Malawi is for example -26.9% cheaper than USA for groceries, -34.6% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 158.1% more expensive for transport costs than India. The hardship premium for Malawi for an expat from Australia, is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Malawi) premium of 30% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%. Malawi is ranked as a high degree of hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Malawi? Register subscribe to your home location and Malawi and run your personalised reports.