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Ghana Demographics Profile 2019

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28,102,471 (July 2018 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

Age structure
0-14 years: 37.83% (male 5,344,146 /female 5,286,383)
15-24 years: 18.61% (male 2,600,390 /female 2,629,660)
25-54 years: 34.21% (male 4,663,234 /female 4,950,888)
55-64 years: 5.05% (male 690,327 /female 727,957)
65 years and over: 4.3% (male 557,155 /female 652,331) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 73 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 67.1 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 5.9 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 17.1 (2015 est.)
Median age
total: 21.2 years (2018 est.)
male: 20.7 years
female: 21.7 years
Population growth rate
2.16% (2018 est.)
Birth rate
30.2 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate
6.8 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate
-1.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
urban population: 56.7% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: 3.34% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major cities - population
3.206 million Kumasi, 2.475 million ACCRA (capital), 900,000 Sekondi Takoradi (2019)
Sex ratio
at 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 (2018 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth
22.3 years (2017 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Infant mortality rate
total: 34.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
male: 38 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 30.1 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 67.4 years (2018 est.)
male: 64.9 years
female: 70 years
Total fertility rate
3.96 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
30.8% (2017)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
1.7% (2018 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
330,000 (2018 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
14,000 (2018 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 92.6% of population
rural: 84% of population
total: 88.7% of population
unimproved: urban: 7.4% of population
rural: 16% of population
total: 11.3% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 20.2% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 8.6% of population (2015 est.)
total: 14.9% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 79.8% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 91.4% of population (2015 est.)
total: 85.1% of population (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseases
degree of risk: very high (2016)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2016)
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever (2016)
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis (2016)
animal contact diseases: rabies (2016)
respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis (2016)
noun: Ghanaian(s)
adjective: Ghanaian
Ethnic groups
Akan 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.)
Christian 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.)
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.

Asante 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

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 76.6%
male: 82%
female: 71.4% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 11 years (2017)
Education expenditures
4.5% of GDP (2017)
Maternal mortality rate
308 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
11.2% (2014)
Health expenditures
5.9% (2015)
Physicians density
0.18 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Hospital bed density
0.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
10.9% (2016)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on December 7, 2019

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