Malawi is considered one of the world’s poorest economies. Recent data from the Ministry of Development Planning and Cooperation finds 40 percent of its population living below $1 a day. While significant progress toward the Millennium Development Goals has been made, development in Malawi remains unstable. Areas of education and gender equality remain problematic, and access to water and other basic services remains limited.
A rapidly rising population also threatens the country’s growth. With families having an average of six children, government data projects its population to rise to 23 million by 2025, and 37 million by 2050. The U.K. Department for International Development likewise notes climate change as a significant threat to the country’s largely agriculture-dependent economy, as droughts and floods impede on agricultural production.