Population Size and Growth Rates

The Ada East District has a population of 71,671 people with females slightly outnumbering their male counterparts. The 2010 Population and Housing Census put the female population of the district at 37,659 representing 52.54 per cent of the total district population. The male population was at 34,012 representing 47.46 per cent.

Data from the 1984, 2000, 2010 censuses and a projection to 2020 suggest that, the population of the District rose from 71,550 in 1984, 93,112 in 2000 and then dropped to 71,671 in 2010 and is again expected to increase to 95,783 in 2020. This gives inter-census growth rates of 1.7 per cent and -2.6 per cent per annum respectively for the periods between 1984 and 2010. However, the period between 2010 -2020 is 2.9 per cent annually for the ten (10) years of population growth.

It is quite possible (looking at the annual inter-censal growth rate) to conclude positively that, the population of the District has decreased tremendously between the period of 1984-2000. However, it should be noted that, the percentage increment for the sixteen (16) years of population growth outweighs the periods of 1960-1970 and 1970-1984 respectively. An observed trend of the national population figure revealed that, the 1984-2000 population growth has not recorded any significant increment over the 1970-1984 rate of growth.

Whilst between 1970 - 1984 inter-census population growth rate of Ghana was hovering around 2.6 per cent, the 1984-2000 growth rates have only recorded a marginal increase of about 0.1 per cent over the 1970-1984 rate giving an annual inter-census growth rate of 2.7 per cent. Following a critical analysis therefore, it can be said that, the inter-census population growth rate of the Ada East District has not altered significantly from the national trend. The table below presents the population figures and the annual inter-censal rates of growth of the Ada East District from the census period of 1984-2010.


The reasons which accounted for the decrease in population between 2000 and 2010 is as a result of the creation of a new district (Ada West District) out of the then Dangme East District. Figure 5 below presents the graphical view of the inter-censal growth rates of the District.


Sex Ratios

The 2010 Population and Housing Census have put the sex ratio of the District at 90.3.  This implies that, there were about 90.3 males to 100 females in the District.  At a glance, it shows that, the females have outnumbered their male counterparts in the district. In comparison, the regional and national ratios conform to the district figure. The difference is insignificant; it could probably be due to technical factors which have not been taken into consideration. However, as it stands, both levels have more females compared to males as the District. Table 1.5 below presents the sex ratio of the Ada East District as well as the regional and national levels.


Table 1.6, below presents the sex ratios of selected Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the Greater Region. Critical observation concludes that, the number of males in the Ga West Municipal Assembly is closely commensurate to the number of females. The analysis presents a ratio of 100.9, which is higher than all the other Assemblies. The Accra Metropolitan Assembly came closer with an average ratio of 97.1.

However, what has become noticeable about the ratios with due cognisance to the age cohorts is that, the ages ranging between 35-69 years especially for the Accra Metropolitan, Ga West Municipal and Tema Metropolitan Assemblies have more males than females. The implication of this is not farfetched. It is extremely possible for the practice of polygamy which is quite conspicuous in the Ada East District to set in. The increasing number of HIV/AIDS infections together with a concomitant increase in population is all the hand-maidens of females outnumbering males in the district.

The increasing numbers of teenage pregnancies leading to school drops, and the broken moral decorum amongst the youth as a result of irresponsible parenthood have presented complex socio-cultural factors which needs urgent attention.


It is therefore important to incorporate Civil Society Organisations, Community Based Organizations, Non-Governmental Organisations, Traditional Authorities, the Private Sector as well as Development Partners to adopt a holistic approach which will emphasize a serious focus on these issues of population management, gender and as well as finding solutions to adequately mitigate the spread of HIV/AIDS in the District.


As a way of policy, the District is making conscious efforts to ensure that, women issues are critically incorporated into any interventions in order to facilitate gender balance as well as reduce the unwarranted socio-economic pressure faced by women. Already, the District has created a Gender Desk which seeks to promote issues relating to gender with a strict focus on women.


Age Structure

The structure of the District’s population from the 2010 Population and Housing census shows that the population is growing very fast as compared to other districts in the region especially for persons under 15 years of age. Whereas AMA, TMA, Ga West and Ga East have recorded less than 40 per cent, Ada East and West have rates above 40 per cent. Figure 5 below provides a greater insight into the age structure of the district.

Figure 9 above indicates that, the district possesses a very youthful population. The chunk of the population falls within the less than 4 years category.  According to the diagram above, almost 30 per cent of the total population constitutes the less than age 4 years. Again, the percentage of the active class is quite enormous. Between ages 15-49 years, a population of almost slightly above 40 per cent has been recorded. The implications of this to the development of the district are worth welcoming. As way of policy, it is important for the district to fast track the creation of job opportunities to meet the yearning desires of these energetic youth.


It has been widely recognized that, the district can generate enough revenue if pragmatic steps are adopted to tap tremendously into this potential. With respect to the less than age 4 years category, it is quite obvious that, the district needs to make considerable strides towards the provision of Pre-school facilities in order to adequately cater for the needs of very young population.

It has been also discovered that, if the district performs creditably well with respect to the implementation of the stipulated measures, it will be generating a long-term stopgap measure to the rural-urban migration syndrome that has characterized the youth especially the working class (15-49 years).


Age-Sex Structure

The age-sex structure of a population is influenced by factors such as fertility, mortality, migration, dependency ratio, potential output per head, and the distribution of political power, youth-connected problems as well as problems connected with ageing.


Age-Dependency Ratio

Dependency ratios have been calculated using only the 2010 Census data. According to the Ghana Statistical Service, the dependency ratio is the ratio of persons in the “dependent” ages (generally under age 15 and over age 64) to those in the “economically productive” ages (15-64 years) in a population. Table 1.7 below shows the dependency ratios of selected Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the Greater Region.


According to table 1.7 above, the dependency ratio of the District stands at 102.3. This is quite mind-boggling and complex for modern-day life. The implication of result is that, to every 100 economically productive persons in the district, there are a commensurate number of 102 persons to be catered for, a value which is comparatively larger than the sum of dependency ratios of all the districts in the Greater Accra Region.


With respect to the Ada East District, a contributory factor to this high incidence of dependency on the economically productive can be partly attributed to the high rate of population growth experienced a couple of years ago and now.


According to the age structure analysis of the district, it became obvious that, the chunk of the population in the district is within the less than age 4 years category. When this happens, it becomes especially difficult for the working class to form capital. A population made up of a high rate of dependent persons is a disincentive to capital formation as well as makes it difficult for the economically productive to invest in other sectors of the economy to enhance the growth of the local economy.


As stated earlier, there is the need for a strong commitment towards the promotion of population control measures to ensure that, people do not make large household sizes which normally become a burden for both government and the economically productive.



Population Density

Over the years, the persistent increase in population has increased the population density of the district.  Population density is usually expressed as the number of people per unit of land area. The total land area of the district is 289.78 sq km. In terms of population measurement, the District is a candidate of four consecutive censuses and has a total population of 71,671 people. Table 1.8 below shows the population density of the District for the past eight years since 2010.

From table 1.8 above, it can be deduced that, an increment in the population size of the district has an attendant change in the population density. It is worthy to note that, since June, 2012, the District land size had shrunk due to the creation of Ada West District from the then Dangme East District; with an initial District land size of 909 sq. km hosting a population of 71,550 people. Now with a District land size of approximately 290 sq. km and a population of 87,803 in 2017. It has been certified that, land is a fixed variable in the production function. This has been highly proven by the table above hence, justifying the production assertion. What is critical about the technique it that, it does include the acreage of arable land being available as far as the increment is concerned. Figure 7 below presents a graphical view of the population density trend in the district.


In 1984, there were 79 persons per acre. Between 2000 and 2010, an observed increment of 147 persons per acre has been calculated to have added to the 79 persons recorded in 1984. Following this, it has been realized that an increment of more than 30 persons have added continuously to the previous figures and has again been observed to have added to the 2000 figure in order to achieve 147 persons per unit acre in 2010.


The growth in population presents a lot of benefits: serves a potential market size, produce the necessary labour force to drive the industrial economy etc, however; if population management strategies are not adopted critically the benefits will culminate into adverse effects which will become difficult to manage. From figure 8 above, the density trend keeps on moving in a progressing manner as well as the increase in population size.


The concern of all these requires that, the district adopt land management techniques such as zoning, designation of resource assessment maps, and consider the policy of affordable housing. It’s quite obvious that, there will be pressure on the existing land resources since land is fixed in supply. To the best, the district will have a large pool of the needed manpower, however, to the worse, it is possible that there will be an encroachment on the available arable land, a condition of haphazard housing development will emerge and the lack of long-term family planning methods will lead to a geometric increase in the population affecting the socio-economic lives of the people.


Birthplace and Fertility rate

As per the 2010 PHC, the distribution of population by birthplace and point of enumeration indicates that except Ga West Municipal and Tema Metropolitan Assemblies, more than half of the population was born in the locality of enumeration.  In the Ada East District, it is about three quarters.


The proportion of persons born in another locality in the region ranges from 3.2 per cent for Accra Metropolitan Assembly to 12.9 percent in Ada East. Tema Metropolitan and Ada East District Assemblies have large proportions of their residents coming from the Volta region. This may be due to the factor of proximity, occupation and the language commonalities.


The fertility rate in the district is relatively high (3.5 per cent as compared to other districts in the region e.g. in AMA, which is 2.2 per cent). This means that more educational programmes must be intensified to arrest the negative situation. This must include education on the use of condoms, other birth control methods and also encourage more parents to send and retain their daughters in educational institutions to attain high education thus delay marriage and child birth.



The district experiences a considerable movement of people out of the district. This high rate of population could be attributed to the lack of job opportunities and basic social amenities in the district. Another factor that may account for the high rate of migration is the district’s proximity to the capital city and other areas such as Ashaiman and the Tema metropolis. It is observed that intra-regional migration pattern is very common in the district (22.2 per cent).


The people have two types of migration. They migrate internally to places such as Tema, Ashaiman, Accra, Yeji and Akosombo.  The external migration trend is characterized mainly by fishermen who move across the borders of Ghana to neighbouring countries like Togo, Benin, Senegal and Cameroun. Albeit, this has assisted them to improve their socio-economic lives tremendously, the negative idea of employing children in the fishing industry and travelling with them constitutes a greater challenge which needs careful education and community sensitization.


Ada East District depicts a rural- urban split of 68:32 as against 12:88 for the entire Greater Accra Region. However, with the dispersed nature and small population sizes of these rural communities, the distribution of higher order services and functions become very difficult. This is because some services need some population thresholds before they can be provided. Figure 8 below presents a picture of the Urban-Rural split of the Ada East District.


Spatial Analysis

Spatial Distribution of Population by Settlement

The Ada East District is most rural with only a few settlements depicting urban statuses. The District has a population of 71,671 (2010 PHC Report) with a population projected figure of 87,803 as at 2017. Out of this, over 68% are living in typical rural areas. Most of these settlements have a population less than 200 people. The location of these settlements especially, is making the distribution and implementation of development interventions difficult.


The situation has also led to the over concentration of services in the District Capital, Ada-Foah and two other settlements; Big-Ada and Kasseh. The low population of most of the settlements stem from the fact that, most of them are predominantly engaged in fishing and farming. The quest to find a suitable agricultural land has necessitated their spread; hence the sparse distribution of population making the provision of social services and other basic infrastructure difficult. Table 1.10 below presents the population of 20 major settlements in the district; their spatial distribution and hierarchical appearance about facilities and population.

Characteristics and Potentials of Rural Settlements in the District

v As identical of most rural settlements, subsistence farming is being highly practiced.

v Roads leading to most of the rural areas are very poor and most of them feeder.

v Generally, living standard in most rural communities is poor.

v Most rural folks in the district are engaged in vegetable farming extensively.

v Over 67 per cent of the 180 rural communities have access to potable water.

v About 80 per cent of all the rural communities have at least an educational institution.

v Fertility rate in the rural communities is very high leading to increased population.

v The rural communities are divided into two folds. Those closer to the sea are engaged extensively in fishing with small farming and those living onshore engage extensively in farming with small fishing on the Volta Lake.

v Most of the rural communities have a large potential of land for irrigational farming.

v There is a wide range of tourism potentials untapped in most rural communities.

v All the rural communities depend largely on only one market, Kasseh Market.

Location and Distribution of Services and Facilities

Most frequently, the distribution of social services and other basic facilities poses problems. Basically, every community has a problem and therefore needs a service or facility to ameliorate it. However; communities tend to lose sight of the fact that, the resources to meet the provision of these services are themselves scarce if not insufficient. Albeit, population is generally used in the location of facilities, other essential circumstances such as emergency cases and the magnitude of a problem bedevilling a community among others are sometimes given the priority.


There is a wide range of services in the Ada East District. However, for the sake of precision and analysis, 20 services have been considered. The services and facilities were captured under the broad areas such as Education, Health, Social Services, Governance, and Water and Sanitation. With reference to the planning standards and spatial distribution of population, it can be deduced that, the distribution of facilities and services does not match the existing population of all communities. The services have been centralized in the district capital to the detriment of other areas.

However, in terms of educational facilities and the provision of potable water, the district has performed remarkably well to ensure that, most of the communities in the district has at least an educational facility and access to potable water (refer to scalogram for detailed analysis).

Considering the population interface of the three bigger settlements in the district, it will be realized that, these settlements stand to take all the most important and highly functional facilities and services hence; depriving other important settlements in the district. A closer comparison among three settlements: Ada-Foah, Big-Ada and Kasseh show that, Ada-Foah alone has almost half of the facilities in the district in terms of distribution.  


According to the table below, it is quite obvious that, about 20 (representing 51%) of facilities in the district is being possessed by the District capital. Despite the fact that, Kasseh has a bigger population than the capital, it will be realized that, population has not formed the basis upon which such facilities have been distributed. However, it is quite identical that, much attention has been paid to the District Capital particularly because it was bustling and sprawling of time the district was created. What has become a challenge now is to divert attention to the growing settlements in order to create better conditions for the populace.

Spatial Analysis of Settlement System- Functional Matrix (Scalogram)

 The Functional Matrix indicates the number of functions played by community in a district. In the spatial analysis, 19 services were utilized in the process. Most of these services include those related to basic needs and necessities. The aftermath of the analysis indicates that, Ada-Foah, the District Capital, performs over 14 functions and holds higher ranking functions such as a Higher Educational Institution, the Ada College of Education.


Following the District Capital emerged Big-Ada and Kasseh. Kasseh alone performs 15 functions whiles Big-Ada performs 12. The analysis again indicates that, with respect to the distribution of facilities, rural setups were not generally considered.

Apart from the provision of basic social amenities such as primary school and potable water, they lack higher services such as bank, market infrastructure and access to health facilities.


The Alma-Ata Declaration on Health has changed the approaches towards securing health care. The principles sought to promote community participation and decentralization of health care. It is therefore important to particularly decentralized health facilities to rural areas in order to achieve the goal of the Primary Health Care concept. Pute for instance, has the population and all it takes to have a market infrastructure yet, hitherto, the community lacks a market infrastructure. This gap has contributed to the slow pace of development in the district. It is therefore important to ensure that, subsequent interventions will be spread out to ensure a holistic development of the entire District.


Functional Hierarchy of Settlements

Having fashionably curved out the Scalogram, Big-Ada emerged as the first order settlement. Albeit, Big-Ada does not hold the record of the settlement with the highest functions, the tradition of the Scalogram Analysis has adjudged the town as the first order settlement.

It is imperative to realize however that, the functions being played by the District Capital have higher functional weights than those in Kasseh. Based on the category, Ada-Foah and Kasseh emerged as the second order settlements in the District. The rest have been categorized under third, fourth and seventh order settlements respectively. Table 1.13 below indicates the functional matrix of the top 20 communities in the District.



Date Created : 11/14/2017 4:17:17 AM