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Ghana Demographics Profile

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Population32,372,889 (July 2021 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
Nationalitynoun: Ghanaian(s)

adjective: Ghanaian
Ethnic groupsAkan 47.5%, Mole-Dagbon 16.6%, Ewe 13.9%, Ga-Dangme 7.4%, Gurma 5.7%, Guan 3.7%, Grusi 2.5%, Mande 1.1%, other 1.4% (2010 est.)
LanguagesAsante 16%, Ewe 14%, Fante 11.6%, Boron (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% (2010 est.)

note: English is the official language
ReligionsChristian 71.2% (Pentecostal/Charismatic 28.3%, Protestant 18.4%, Catholic 13.1%, other 11.4%), Muslim 17.6%, traditional 5.2%, other 0.8%, none 5.2% (2010 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 37.44% (male 5,524,932/female 5,460,943)

15-24 years: 18.64% (male 2,717,481/female 2,752,601)

25-54 years: 34.27% (male 4,875,985/female 5,177,959)

55-64 years: 5.21% (male 743,757/female 784,517)

65 years and over: 4.44% (male 598,387/female 703,686) (2020 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 67.4

youth dependency ratio: 62.2

elderly dependency ratio: 5.3

potential support ratio: 17.1 (2020 est.)
Median agetotal: 21.4 years

male: 21 years

female: 21.9 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate2.26% (2021 est.)
Birth rate29.08 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate6.3 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Net migration rate-0.17 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Population distributionpopulation is concentrated in the southern half of the country, with the highest concentrations being on or near the Atlantic coast as shown in this population distribution map
Urbanizationurban population: 58% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 3.06% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
Major cities - population3.390 million Kumasi, 2.557 million ACCRA (capital), 991,000 Sekondi Takoradi (2021)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth20.7 years (2014 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-49
Maternal mortality rate308 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 33.33 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 36.86 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 29.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 69.01 years

male: 67.33 years

female: 70.74 years (2021 est.)
Total fertility rate3.71 children born/woman (2021 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate27.2% (2017/18)
Drinking water sourceimproved: urban: 97.4% of population

rural: 80.6% of population

total: 89.9% of population

unimproved: urban: 2.6% of population

rural: 19.4% of population

total: 10.1% of population (2017 est.)
Health expenditures3.5% (2018)
Physicians density0.14 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Hospital bed density0.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: urban: 84.2% of population

rural: 49.5% of population

total: 68.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 15.8% of population

rural: 50.5% of population

total: 31.3% of population (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate1.7% (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS350,000 (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths13,000 (2020 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis
Obesity - adult prevalence rate10.9% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight12.6% (2017/18)
Education expenditures4% of GDP (2018)
Demographic profile

Ghana has a young age structure, with approximately 57% of the population under the age of 25. Its total fertility rate fell significantly during the 1980s and 1990s but has stalled at around four children per woman for the last few years. Fertility remains higher in the northern region than the Greater Accra region. On average, desired fertility has remained stable for several years; urban dwellers want fewer children than rural residents. Increased life expectancy, due to better health care, nutrition, and hygiene, and reduced fertility have increased Ghana’s share of elderly persons; Ghana’s proportion of persons aged 60+ is among the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. Poverty has declined in Ghana, but it remains pervasive in the northern region, which is susceptible to droughts and floods and has less access to transportation infrastructure, markets, fertile farming land, and industrial centers. The northern region also has lower school enrollment, higher illiteracy, and fewer opportunities for women.

Ghana was a country of immigration in the early years after its 1957 independence, attracting labor migrants largely from Nigeria and other neighboring countries to mine minerals and harvest cocoa – immigrants composed about 12% of Ghana’s population in 1960. In the late 1960s, worsening economic and social conditions discouraged immigration, and hundreds of thousands of immigrants, mostly Nigerians, were expelled.

During the 1970s, severe drought and an economic downturn transformed Ghana into a country of emigration; neighboring Cote d’Ivoire was the initial destination. Later, hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians migrated to Nigeria to work in its booming oil industry, but most were deported in 1983 and 1985 as oil prices plummeted. Many Ghanaians then turned to more distant destinations, including other parts of Africa, Europe, and North America, but the majority continued to migrate within West Africa. Since the 1990s, increased emigration of skilled Ghanaians, especially to the US and the UK, drained the country of its health care and education professionals. Internally, poverty and other developmental disparities continue to drive Ghanaians from the north to the south, particularly to its urban centers.

Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 76.6%

male: 82%

female: 71.4% (2015)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 12 years

male: 12 years

female: 12 years (2019)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on September 18, 2021

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