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This paper studies the trends in life expectancy in Malawi since independence and offers possible explanations regarding inter-temporal variations. Descriptive analysis reveals that the life expectancy in Malawi has trailed below the Sub Saharan African average. From the 1960s through to the early 1980s life expectancy improved driven mainly by rising incomes and the absence of HIV/AIDS. In the mid 1980s life expectancy declined tremendously and never improved due to the spread of HIV/AIDS, thedoi:10.4314/mmj.v19i4.10946 fatcat:pkgi7lsfdrdcbh3o2m4i7vtasy