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Malawi, Traditional Authority 1987 - 2008 [Level 2; consistent boundaries, GIS]

Codes and Frequencies

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GEO2_MW identifies the household's Traditional Authority (TA) within Malawi in all sample years. Traditional Authorities (TAs) are the second level administrative units of the country, after districts. GEO2_MW is spatially harmonized to account for political boundary changes across census years. Some detail is lost in harmonization; see the comparability discussion. A GIS map (in shapefile format), corresponding to GEO2_MW can be downloaded from the GIS Boundary files page in the IPUMS International web site.

The full set of geography variables for Malawi can be found in the IPUMS International Geography variables list. For cross-national geographic analysis on the first and second major administrative level refer to GEOLEV1, and GEOLEV2. More information on IPUMS-International geography can be found here.

Comparability — General

Where boundaries changed over time, units were harmonized to create units with boundaries that remain stable over time. Where officially-defined traditional authorities have populations less than 20,000, they have been regionalized (combined) with neighboring traditional authorities within districts.

Boundary changes for GEO2_MW are too numerous to list here, but users should be aware that there were changes over time.


  • All households


  • Malawi: 1987, 1998, 2008