Understanding the dynamics of household is fundamental to the understanding of the characteristics of a population. The size of a population is mainly an aggregation of individual household members. The size, composition, and structure of households are influenced by socio-economic and demographic factors such as age at first marriage, length of time spent in school, cultural practices, occupation, material or financial abilities, capabilities of parents and couples, fertility and mortality rates. The total size of a population and its characteristics are, therefore, largely a reflection of what pertains within households while knowledge of household structure, composition, and headship provides important statistical tool for social and economic planning. (GSS, 2010 PHC Analytical Report) This chapter focuses on the size, household composition and headship, marital status, nationality, religious affiliation and literacy and education of the people residing in the District.
Household Size, Composition and Headship
Table 3.1 indicates that there are 29,359 households in the Amansie West District with nearly more than ninety percent (95.2%) in the rural areas compared with just 4.8 percent in the rural areas. The average household per house for the district according to the 2010 census is 1.5 with the rural areas recording a lesser number than the urban areas implying that there are less persons in a house in those settings than in the urban areas.
The average household size for the district is 4.5 comparing with 4.1 for the region as a whole and interestingly the average household size for the rural area is same for the total district.
The two major types of family ties that inform household formation are the nuclear and extended family systems. The nuclear family is made up of the father, mother and children (adopted and/or biological). The extended family consists of the nuclear family, parents, siblings, and other relatives (Nukunya, 2003; OTHERS). The relationship becomes more complex when marital ties of all these relations, both matrilineal and patrilineal, are taken into consideration. Another important factor is the formation of households in which 25 members are not necessarily related by blood but live together and share common catering arrangements. The size of a community’s population is mainly an aggregation of individual household members in the community.
The size, composition, and structure of households are influenced by socio-economic, and demographic factors such as age at first marriage and birth, length of time spent in school, cultural practices, occupation, material or financial abilities, capabilities of parents and couples, fertility and mortality rates, and migration. The total size of a country’s population and its characteristics are, therefore, largely a reflection of what pertains within households.
Households constitute important units in planning for goods and services. Modernization, as a process whereby a society becomes increasingly rational, urban, and literate, has been identified by family sociologists as a key factor inducing changes over time in the size and structure of households. Decrease in the size of households gives indication of aspects such as decline in fertility, decline in the presence in the household of unrelated individuals such as lodgers and servants, and the fall in mortality which increases the length of time couples survive after their children are grown and have left their parental homes (Wogugu and Fayorsey, 1980).
Table 3.2 put the household population in the District at 132,443 with 66,481 males and 65,962 females. Household heads account for 22.2 percent whiles 28.8 percent of the male population are household heads. Similarly 15.5 percent of the female populations are household heads. Spouses represent 10.5 percent of population of household and out of this 43.9 percent are males and 42.1 percent are females.
Table 3.3 shows the household population by structure and sex. Head only households account for 3.6 percent of the population whilst nuclear families (head, spouse, and children) account for 31.2 percent. Extended families account for 20.1 percent and single parent extended and single parent nuclear account for 16.5 and 9.8 percent respectively. There is not much difference in terms of sex of household structure such that among single parent Nuclear males constitute 8.6 percent and females 11.1 percent. The proportion of male single parent extended is lower (1 3.9%) than female (19.1%).
Marriage is a customary practice recognized as a voluntary union between a man and woman as well as their families and sanctioned by law. The 2010 PHC focuses on the main legal systems of marriage as the basis for defining marital status by age, sex, education and household headship. Marriage has demographic, economic, socio-cultural and health implications as it sets the context for reproductive activities such as legitimizing entry into sexual activities and childbirth (Braun, 2005). Thus, in cases where there is lack of adequate data on age, duration of marriage can be used as basis for fertility estimation. Marital status is also used as one of the determinants of social status and an indicator of social responsibility, trust and achievement in some societies (Animasahun and Fatile, 2011). Marital status has implications for other demographic events such as family formation, migration demand for housing and residential-related services
Figure 3.1 indicate that 41.5 percent of the population 12 years and older are married whiles the never married constitute 36.9 percent. Among the population aged 15-19 years 86.5 percent are never married and for those aged 45-49 years 72.2 percent are married and as high as 35.7 percent above 65 years are widowed in the district according to the table.
The proportion that is separated account for 2.1 percent of the married population. Consensual union/ living together account for 10.4 percent of the population.
Table 3.4 indicates that 36.9 percent of the population 12 years and older have never married, 41.5 percent are married, with 4.7 percent and 4.3 percent are divorced and widowed respectively
The table also shows that in the district. 44.4 percent of the male population 12 year and older have never married whiles 40.4 percent are married. Consensual union/ living together and Widowed constitute 9.7 and 1.2 percent of the male population respectively. Married females on the other hand constitute 42.6 percent while the never married constitutes 29.6 percent of the female population 12 years and older. However, consensual unions/living together and the widowed constitute 11 and 7.4 percent of the female population respectively. A large proportion of males (94.1%) and females (94.7%) in the age group 12 -14 years have never married. About five percent (4.9%) of males in the same age group are married compare to females (3.9%).
Figure 3.2 shows population twelve years and older by marital status and level of education. A large proportion (63.0%) of persons who are married had basic education while 25 percent had no form of education. The data also indicate that only 0.3 percent had tertiary level of education.
Table 3.5 shows persons twelve years and older by sex, marital status and level of education. The table shows that in the district 25.0 percent of the population have no education, 63.4 percent have basic education and just 0.3 percent have tertiary education.
The data in Table 3.5 indicate that 10.2 percent of the never married male population 12 year and older have no education, 70.2 percent have basic education and 0.5 percent has tertiary level education. Also, 22.5 percent of married males have no education, 64.9 percent have basic education and 0.7 percent has tertiary level education.
On the other hand, 10.5 percent of the never married female population has no form of education, 74.6 percent has basic education and 0.2 percent has tertiary level education. However, 38.4 percent of Married females have no form of education whilst 57 percent has basic education and 0.1 percent has tertiary level education.
Table 3.6 shows persons twelve years and older by sex, marital status and economic activity status. Of the population that is in the various marriage categories in the district, 66.8 percent are employed, 2.8 percent unemployed and with 30.4 percent as economically not active.
Out of the population who are employed, the highest, 53.5 percent are married, 21.1 percent have never been married and 2.6 percent are separated. Of those who are unemployed, the highest, 46.1 percent have never been married, 35.4 percent are married and the lowest, 1.9 percent is separated. On the other hand 70.8 percent of the economically not active persons have never been married, 15.7 percent of them have been married and 1.2 percent is separated.
Nationality is defined as the country to which a person belongs. Ghanaian nationals are classified as Ghanaian by birth, Dual Nationality and by naturalization. The population of Amansie West District by Nationality and sex is shown in Table 3.7. The table indicates that Ghanaians by birth constitute 96 percent of the population, dual nationality (1.7%) and naturalization (0.6%). Male Ghanaians by birth form 95.9 percent of the male population whereas female Ghanaians by birth constitute 96 percent of the female population.