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Ghana Demographics Profile

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29,340,248 (July 2020 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: 37.44% (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 ratios
total dependency ratio: 67.4
youth dependency ratio: 62.2
elderly dependency ratio: 5.3
potential support ratio: 17.1 (2020 est.)
Median age
total: 21.4 years
male: 21 years
female: 21.9 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate
2.15% (2020 est.)
Birth rate
29.6 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate
6.6 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Net migration rate
-1.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
urban population: 57.3% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 3.34% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major cities - population
3.348 million Kumasi, 2.514 million ACCRA (capital), 946,000 Sekondi Takoradi (2020)
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: 97.2 male(s)/female (2020 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: 32.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 35.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 28.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 68.2 years
male: 65.6 years
female: 70.8 years (2020 est.)
Total fertility rate
3.9 children born/woman (2020 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
30.8% (2017)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
1.7% (2019 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
340,000 (2019 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
14,000 (2019 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: 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.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: 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.)
Major infectious diseases
degree 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
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)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 12 years (2019)
Education expenditures
3.6% of GDP (2017)
Maternal mortality rate
308 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
12.6% (2017/18)
Health expenditures
3.3% (2017)
Physicians density
0.14 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 Friday, November 27, 2020

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