The district covers an area of 6,159 km2 (2,378 sq mi) and has a population of 1,346,360. Lilongwe was officially declared a township in 1947. Life President Ngwazi Hastings Kamuzu Banda declared Lilongwe the capital city of Malawi on January 1, 1975 after a ten year building period during which many people were forcibly displaced to make way for the new government buildings. Prior to 1975, the capital was the much smaller southern city of Zomba. Lilongwe is located 1,050 meters (3,400') above sea level and has a temperature range between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit (18-24 °C).