7,000,000 in Malawi (Johnstone and Mandryk 2001). Population total all countries: 8,659,700.
West central and southwest. Also in Botswana, Mozambique (Nyanja), Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
3 (Wider communication). De facto national language.
Chewa (Cheva, Chichewa, Sheva), Manganja (Cimanganja, Waganga), Ngoni, Nyasa, Peta (Cipeta, Malawi, Marave, Maravi). Manganja is also a Chewa-influenced dialect of Sena [swk].
Most Ngoni in Malawi speak the Chewa dialect or Tumbuka [tum].
Traditional religion, Christian.