The city of Blantyre is located in the Blantyre District in the Southern part of Malawi. Before Malawi became a nation, Blantyre was already there. The community was founded in 1876 through the efforts of Scottish missionaries. It derived its name from the hometown of David Livingstone, the famous Scottish missionary, who was born in Blantyre, Scotland. Unlike many African towns and cities, Blantyre held onto its name even after the nation gained its independence from Britain in 1964.
In the early years, the city was known as a center for the Colonial trade in ivory but became recognized as a crossroads of trade, commerce, and education in South Central Africa. The community gained municipality status in 1895, after obtaining British consular status only 12 years earlier.
In recent years the city has been well-known as the commercial, banking, and manufacturing hub of the nation, as well as being a magnet for cultural expression and tourism. It is the 2nd largest city in the country and the capital of the Southern region of Malawi. The population in 2018 was estimated at 800,264 an increase of nearly 300,000 people in the past 20 years.
Blantyre is home to a number of educational institutions including, Malawi Polytechnic, Malawi College of Medicine, Kamuzu College of Nursing, Blantyre School of Health Sciences, Malawi College of Accountancy, Blantyre Teaching College, as well as a number of trade schools.
Health services include the nation’s largest government referral hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, as well as 18 clinics run by the Malawi District Health Office. Three private hospitals also serve the community.
Blantyre District has a population of over 125,000 and covers 2012 km.