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Ghana’s population structure Essay

The 2000 Population and Housing Census (PHC) of Ghana was forth post independence Population Census in Ghana. The earlier 3 post independence censuses did not collect detailed information on housing. The 2000 Population and Housing Census was therefore the first time Ghana collected information on both population and housing. The 2000 Population and Housing Census started on midnight of 26th March 2000. 26th March 2000 was therefore the census night. The process lasted for 3 weeks. Ghana’s population can be described as a stationary one since it has a moderate proportion of children and aged persons with slow growth rate.

Specifically, during the 2000 Population and Housing Census, it was identified that Ghana has about 40% of its population being children under 15years and 3% above 65years meaning that majority of the population lies with 15 and 65 years. Since there are more adults in the population this would tend to raise the crude birth rate by producing a larger number of children relative to the total population. The population growth rate of Ghana (3. 1%) is also higher than that of the world (1. 6%). There is still more females than males in Ghana due to the high mortality in males to females.

The population density is concentrated in the urban areas. About 47% of the population are located in the urban areas. This can be attributed to the fact that over the years there has been a higher rate of migration from the rural to urban areas. Most of them in search of greener pastures. This has resulted in the high rate of unemployment and increase in social vices. The average fertility rate has seen much improvement since the last census. It has decreased from 6. 2 to 4. 2 as an estimate to the number of children an average woman would have during her reproductive years.

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With this fertility rate, migration has also declined. The number of the young migrating has reduced. The country still needs to provide more facilities to cater for the population growing now. More schools need to be built, job opportunities made available all to cater them. Because of the high number of the young in the population, there is the risk of social vices especially from the young who do not make it in life. Most of them would turn to drugs abuse, nervous diseases, and armed robbery and the like.

This is why the government has to provide more facilities to help curb these vices. Since majority of Ghana’s population lies within the productive age group which are the young adult (youth), they would have a higher per capita output, greater savings and higher investment available for development process. Under these conditions less would be spent on education, housing and social overhead (services). Also since about 40% of the population are under 15, the current and projected number of population of school age would require of educational facilities and teaching personnel.

This means more money from the Ghana’s national income would be spent to provide education at the given standard. Another socio-economic implication of differences in age structure from the 2000 population and housing census is the dependency ratio. This referring to the ratio of the dependent-age population (the young and the old) on the working-age population. Here the dependency ratio is 0. 75 meaning there are 0. 75 dependents per working-age person which is nearly one dependent for each working age person.

This is a fair heavy load as compared with that of the world which has 0. 56 as dependency ratio. For individuals with large families, this impact is very visible. Even those without children are also affected since the effect of higher taxes to pay school fees; health facilities and good adequate housing to support accommodate all. Workers end up saving less because they have to spend on their families and dependents. The government also loses because more money goes in subsidizing food housing and education instead using the monies for more development such as road, power etc.

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