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Demographics of Ghana

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The Demography of Ghana describes the condition and overview of Ghana's population. Demographic topics include basic education, health, and population statistics as well as identified religious affiliations. This article is about the demographic features of the population of Ghana, including population density, nationality and citizenship, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.


Map of Ghana

The population of Ghana is 25,009,153 (December 2013 estimate).

Population distribution

Population density increased steadily from thirty-six per square kilometer in 1970 to fifty-two per square kilometer in 1984; in 1990 sixty-three persons per square kilometer was the estimate for Ghana's overall population density. These averages, naturally, did not reflect variations in population distribution. For example, while the Northern Region, one of ten administrative regions, showed a density of seventeen persons per square kilometer in 1984, in the same year Greater Accra Region recorded nine times the national average of fifty-two per square kilometer. As was the case in the 1960 and 1970 figures, the greatest concentration of population in 1984 was to the south of the Kwahu Plateau. The highest concentration of habitation continued to be within the Accra-Kumasi-Takoradi triangle, largely because of the economic productivity of the region. In fact, all of the country's mining centers, timber-producing deciduous forests, and cocoa-growing lands lie to the south of the Kwahu Plateau. The Accra-Kumasi-Takoradi triangle also is conveniently linked to the coast by rail and road systems—making this area an important magnet for investment and labor. By contrast, a large part of the Volta Basin was sparsely populated. The far north, on the other hand, was heavily populated. The eighty-seven persons to a square kilometer recorded in the 1984 census for the Upper East Region, for example, was well above the national average. This may be explained in part by the somewhat better soil found in some areas. With the improvement of the water supply and the introduction of intensive agricultural extension services as part of the Global 2000 program since the mid-1980s.

Urban-rural disparities

Localities of 5,000 persons and above have been classified as urban since 1960. On this basis, the 1960 urban population totalled 1,551,174 persons, or 23.1 percent of total population. By 1970, the percentage of the country's population residing in urban centers had increased to 28 percent. That percentage rose to 32 in 1984 and was estimated at 33 percent for 1992.

Like the population density figures, the rate of urbanization varied from one administrative region to another. While the Greater Accra Region showed an 83-percent urban residency, the Ashanti Region matched the national average of 32 percent in 1984. The Upper West Region of the country recorded only 10 percent of its population in urban centers that year, which reflected internal migration to the south and the pattern of development that favored the south, with its minerals and forest resources, over the north. Urban areas in Ghana have customarily been supplied with more amenities than rural locations. Consequently, Kumasi, Accra, and many settlements within the southern economic belt attracted more people than the savanna regions of the north; only Tamale in the north has been an exception. The linkage of the national electricity grid to the northern areas of the country in the late 1980s may help to stabilize the north-to-south flow of internal migration.

The growth of urban population notwithstanding, Ghana continued to be a nation of rural communities. The 1984 enumeration showed that six of the country's ten regions had rural populations of 5 percent or more. Rural residency was estimated to be 67 percent of the population in 1992. These figures, though reflecting a trend toward urban residency, were not very different from the 1970s when about 72 percent of the nation's population lived in rural areas. In an attempt to perpetuate this pattern of rural-urban residency and thereby to lessen the consequent socioeconomic impact on urban development, the "Rural Manifesto," which assessed the causes of rural underdevelopment, was introduced in April 1984. Development strategies were evaluated, and some were implemented to make rural residency more attractive. As a result, the Bank of Ghana established more than 120 rural banks to support rural entrepreneurs, and the rural electrification program was intensified in the late 1980s. The government, moreover, presented its plans for district assemblies as a component of its strategy for rural improvement through decentralized administration.


English is the official language of Ghana. There are eight other languages sponsored by the Government of Ghana.


Primary and junior secondary school education is tuition-free and mandatory. The Government of Ghana support for basic education is unequivocal. Article 39 of the Constitution mandates the major tenets of the free, compulsory, universal basic education (FCUBE) initiative. Launched in 1996, it is one of the most ambitious pre-tertiary education programs in Africa. Since 1987, the Government of Ghana has increased its education budget by 700%. Basic education's share has grown from 45% to 60% of that total. Students begin their 6-year primary education at age six. Under educational reforms implemented in 1987, they pass into a junior secondary school system for 3 years of academic training combined with technical and vocational training. Those continuing move into the 3-year senior secondary school program. Entrance to one of the five Ghanaian universities is by examination following completion of senior secondary school.

Demographic trends

Ghana's first postindependence population census in 1961 counted about 6.7 million inhabitants. Between 1965 and 1989, a constant 45 percent of the nation's total female population was of childbearing age. The gender ratio of the population, 97.3 males to 100 females, was reflected in the 1984 figures of males to females. The figure was slightly below the 1970 figure of 98 males to 100 females, but a reversal of the 1960 ratio of 102.2 males to 100 females. The crude birth rate recorded in 1965 dropped in 1992 and also, the crude death rate of 18 per 1,000 population in 1965 fell to 13 per 1,000 population in 1992, while life expectancy rose from a 1992 average of forty-two years for men and forty-five years for women to fifty-two and fifty-six years in 2002 with the infant mortality rate improved in 2012 and fertility rate averaging two children per adult female in 2013.

Fertility and Births (Census 2000 & 2010)

Total Fertility Rate (TFR) and Crude Birth Rate (CBR):

Fertility and Births

Total Fertility Rate (TFR) (Wanted Fertility Rate) and Crude Birth Rate (CBR.) Demographics Health Survey:

Births and deaths

Fertility data as of 2014 (DHS Program):

Demographic statistics

The following demographic are from the independent Ghana Statistical Service, unless otherwise indicated.


25,009,153 (December 2013 est.) Females- 50.5% Male- 49.5%

Population growth rate

2.1% (2013 est.)

Birth rate

16.03 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)

Death rate

7.53 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)

Net migration rate

-1.85 migrant(s)/1,020 population (2013 est.)

Age structure and sex ratio

0–14 years: 22.8% (male 2,362,094/female 2,208,178)
15–24 years: 23.7% (male 2,360,293/female 2,382,573)
25–54 years: 42.4% (male 4,120,921/female 4,363,889)
55–64 years: 5.9% (male 577,431/female 610,716)
65 years and over: 5.1% (male 476,297/female 546,765) (2013 est.)

Infant mortality rate

39.01 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 65.46 years (2013 est.); 66 years
male: 64.48 years (2013 est.); 66 years
female: 66.48 years (2013 est.); 67 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate

Fertility rate declined from 3.99 (2000) to 3.28 (2010) with 2.78 in Urban region and 3.94 in rural region.


noun: Ghanaian
adjective: Ghanaian


  • Ghanaian citizens (20,000,000 million)
  • Ghanaian people Ghanaian nationality law


  • Christian 71.2%
  • Pentecostal/Charismatic 28.3%
  • Protestant 18.4%
  • Roman Catholic 13.1%
  • Islam 17.6%
  • Traditional 5.2%
  • None 5.2%
  • Other 0.8%
  • Language

    Asante 16%, Ewe 14%, Fante 11.6%, Brong (Brong) 4.9%, Dagomba 4.4%, Dangme 4.2%, Dagarte (Dagaba) 3.9%, Kokomba 3.5%, Akyem 3.2%, Ga 3.1%, Other 31.2%

    Ethnic groups

    Akan 47.5%, Mole-Dagbon 16.6%, Ewe 13.9%, Ga-Dangme 7.4%, Gurma 5.7%, Guang 3.7%, Grusi 2.5%, Mande 1.1%, other 1.4% (2010 est.)


    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 71.5%
    male: 78.3%
    female: 65.3% (2010 census)

    Category:Education in Ghana Education in Ghana


    Demographics of Ghana Wikipedia

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