Explaining the Decline in Child Stunting in Malawi between 2010 and 2015

In 1992, the prevalence of stunting among under five children was 49%. In 2000, 2004 and 2010, the prevalence of stunting remained persistently high at 48%, 48% and 47%, respectively. However, this dropped dramatically to 37% in 2016, and led to considerable interest in understanding the drivers behind this improvement. Using the UNICEF conceptual framework, data from the 2010 and 2016 Malawi DHSs and Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition technique, this study could explain only 5% of the 10.5% decline in child stunting. This is attributable to improvements in standards of living in 2016, when the level of wealth status in households was observed to have improved. Focusing efforts on wealth creation can potentially reduce child malnutrition in Malawi.