Changes in any population are brought about through the dynamics of fertility, mortality and migration. This chapter therefore provides information on the population size of the District, the sex and age structure and dependency ratios as well as the migratory pattern within the District. Population distribution by rural-urban residence is also discussed in addition to fertility and mortality (cause of death, child survival, and crude death rate and age specific death rate).

Population Size and Distribution

Ghana recorded a population of 24,658,823 in 2010 compared to 6,726,815 in 1960 and increased to 18,912,079 in 2000. Thus the population more than tripled between 1960 and 2010 a period of 50 years (3.666). The Brong Ahafo region recorded a population of 587,290 in 1960. In 2000 it was 1,815,408 in 2000 and 2,310,983 in 2010 (Ghana Statistical Service, 2013). In the case of Brong Ahafo region, the population almost quadrupled (3.935 times) from 1960 to 2010 and hence the population explosion was higher for Brong Ahafo region than Ghana.

Table 2.1 presents data on the Dormaa West District’s population by age, sex and locality of residence in 2010. Dormaa West has a total population of 47,678 made up of 51.8 percent males (24,681) and 48.2 percent females (22,997). The District's share of the total population of the region is 2.1 percent and it is predominantly rural (GSS, 2013). More of the population (36,854 or 77.3%) lives in rural communities compared with an urban population of 10,824 representing 22.7 percent. As shown in the Table, females constitute about 48.2 percent against 51.8 percent males giving a sex ratio of 107.3 males to 100 females. The male dominance over females could be due to rural nature of the District which is suitable for agriculture especially cocoa farming.

Age and Sex Structure

The age structure and the sex composition of the population of the District follow the region and the national pattern. The age structure is broad at the base and reduces gradually in the subsequent age groups until the population becomes relatively small at the top.

Table 2.1 provides information on the age and sex composition by five year age groups for the District. In addition to the absolute numbers, the table provides derived useful information for data users. For example, the data show that the age-based dependent population (population 0-14 years and 65+ years) divided by the total population and multiplied by 100 is 79.4 percent. Percentages computed from Table 2.1 shows a relatively large proportion of children (15.4%) below five years (7,359). The population under age 15 constitute 40.2 percent of the total population while the older age groups 65+ is very small (4.0%) in comparison. Youths between the ages of 15-19 years comprise 10.1 percent of the total population. The total  population 15-64 years (conventionally referred to as the potential labour force) is 55.7 percent of the total population.

Taking this potential labour population that is those between 15-64 age group only, almost one out of two (47.9%) is below 30 years while 22.7 percent are between the ages of 30-39 years. About 16.5 percent are between 40-49 years and 12.9 percent are above 50 years. About 70.6 percent of this population are below 40 years. In terms of the proportional distribution of males and females into various age groups, there are more males, as a percentage of the population age 0-14 years (51.5%) compared to females (48.5%). There are also proportionally more males in the 15-64 years age group (51.9%) and the 65+ age group (52.5%) than females.

Sex ratio

The sex ratio is defined as the number of males per 100 females1. The sex ratio at birth for most countries is about 105 or 106 males per 100 females. After birth, sex ratio varies because of different patterns of mortality and migration for males and females within the population. Throughout life, it is expected that at every age, mortality rates for females will be lower than that of males. Therefore the sex ratio(s) for any population should decline from one age group to the other with advancing age. Sex ratios that are higher than 100 indicate that there are more males than females but sex ratios under 100 indicate that there are more females than males.Table 2.1 shows that, for the Dormaa West District, the subsequent sex ratios after the overall sex ratio of 107.3 do not follow this expected pattern of steady and gradual decline with advancing age. The large and fluctuating sex ratios with visible troughs could suggest age misreporting, under-enumeration, out- migration or differential mortality.

Age-dependency ratio

The age-dependency ratio is the ratio of people who fall within the “dependent” ages (those below 15 years and 65 years and older) to those in the “economically productive” ages (15 years to 64 years) in a population. The age-dependency ratio is often used as an indicator of the economic burden the productive portion of a population must carry. Countries with very high birth rates and declining death rates usually have the highest age-dependency ratios because of the large proportion of children in the population.

The age dependency ratio, however, is a theoretical concept and is generally not equivalent to economic dependency. For example, not all persons in the age group 15-19 are independent in terms of the production of goods and services. The 2010 PHC data reveals that it is likely that in the District, the economically not active persons in the age group 15-19 years (2,468) are in school since a total of 4,313 persons aged 15-19 years are full-time students. Equally, not all persons in the age group 65 years and older are dependent on others for their upkeep.

Table 2.1 shows the age dependency ratio for Dormaa West District. The table shows that, the dependency ratio for the District is 79.4. This indicates that, there are approximately 79 persons (child and adult) in the dependent age groups for every 100 persons in the working age group (15-64 years).

Child dependency ratio is defined as the number of people in the 0-14 year’s group divided by population in the 15-64 years group. The child dependency ratio for the District is 72.2 percent which is about the same proportion (71.6%) for males and for females (72.9%). The old age dependency ratio (65+ divided by population 15-64 years) is 7.2 percent which again is about the same proportion for males (7.2%) as for females (7.1%).

Table 2.1 indicates that the age dependency ratio is 72.5 for urban and 81.6 for rural areas. Thus for people in the urban areas, seven persons in the dependent age group are supported by about 10 persons from the working population while about eight persons in the dependent age group are supported by 10 persons from the working population in rural areas. The age dependency ratio is 78.9 percent for males and 80.0 percent for females.

Population pyramid

A population pyramid is a graphical representation of the age and sex composition of a population and its shape is influenced by the levels of fertility, mortality, migration and coverage and content errors such as digit preference and hyperbole of age. The broadness of the base is determined by the level of fertility, while the shape is determined by mortality and to some extent migration2. The sizes of various age groups are represented by bars and a longer bar in a pyramid indicates more people in an age group while a shorter bar indicates fewer people. Generally, a pyramid shows a pattern of declines in the length of bars of each successive age group with advancing age.

Figure 2.1 is a pyramid representing the structure of the total population by sex of the Dormaa West District in 2010. In general, the population pyramid reflects a broad-base pattern, characteristic of a developing nation. Over half of the District’s population for both males (51.6%) and females (48.4%) are young and under 20 years of age. This type of age structure has a built-in momentum for the growth of the District’s population.

When the young people reach reproductive age, the result is likely to be a high population growth rate for some years to come. However, if the socio-economic potentials of the youth are properly harnessed with appropriate human development policies especially in the areas of quality education and entrepreneurial training, the youth can contribute significantly to the development of the District and the nation as a whole.The pyramid generally shows the expected pattern of declines in the length of the bars for each group with advancing age. However, some ages do not follow this expected pattern. For instance, the bars for the age group 70-74 years are longer than those for 65-69 years for both males and females indicating the likelihood of some errors in the age data.

Fertility, Mortality and Migration

Fertility, mortality and migration are important in influencing population dynamics and development. Fertility and mortality determine the natural increase or decrease of the population. The 2010 population and housing census collected data on fertility which is the natural capability of producing off-spring. Mortality refers to all deaths that occurred in the household during the 12 months preceding the Census Night. Migration on the other hand is the physical movement by individuals or groups from one area to another, sometimes over long distances or in large groups. For the 2010 census, migration of the population is measured by combining data on the place of birth with place of enumeration and duration of stay at place of enumeration.


Fertility is the frequency of childbearing among the population. Fertility rates measure the relative frequency with which births occur within a given population. Table 2.2 presents information on the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) for women aged 15-49 years Crude Birth Rate (CBR) and General Fertility Rate (GFR) in the District.

The TFR is the average number of children that would be born to a woman by the time she completes childbearing if she is to experience the prevailing age-specific fertility rate. It is calculated by adding up the age specific fertility rates (ASFR) and is always expressed as per one woman. It is a single figure measure that is independent of age structure. It is a measure of fertility that is most widely used by demographers.

The crude birth rate (CBR) is the simplest and most frequently used measure of fertility. It always expressed per 1000 population. It is crude because it includes all ages and both sexes in the denominator. It is easy to calculate because it requires only the total number of births and the total population. There is no attempt to relate the births to the women at risk of having those births. Because of this it is not a good measure of fertility at all.

The general fertility rate (GFR) expresses births relative to the number of women in the reproductive age. More data are required to calculate the GFR than the CBR because one has to know the age and sex composition of the population. The GFR is affected by age structure since there may be substantial variations between populations within the reproductive age range.

Table 2.2 shows the reported Total Fertility Rate, General Fertility Rate and Crude Birth Rate for the Brong Ahafo Region and Dormaa West District. The region has a population of 2,310,983 of which 572, 813 or 24.8 percent are women in the reproductive ages of 15-49 years. These women produced 61,426 children in the last 12 months before the census, giving a total fertility rate of 3.58 births per woman, a GFR of 105.9 live births per 1000 women and CBR of 26.3 live births per 1000 population. The Dormaa West District has a total population of 47,678 of which women aged 15-49 years are 11,282 or 23.7 percent.

Table 2.2 shows that in the twelve months preceding the census night 1,487 children were born to women in the reproductive age in the District, giving a TFR of 4.5 per woman compared with the region’s TFR of 3.28 and a GFR of 131.8 per 1000 women compared to the regional average of 105.9. The CBR of the District is 31.2 which are higher than the regional average of 26.3. All the reported fertility indicators are higher in the District compared with the region.

Children ever born and surviving

The 2010 PHC also took information on lifetime fertility of all women 12 years and older in the District. In all, 75,742 children are recorded to have been born to women 12 years and older. Table 2.3 shows that the number of children ever born increases with age and peaks at the age group, 35-39 years. Children surviving include all children (male and female) born alive by females 12 years and older who are still living (either living with the mother or elsewhere).Table 2.3 shows that out of the 41,780 children ever born by 15,162 females in the Dormaa West District 88.3 percent survive. This is higher than the national figure of 81.9 percent (Ghana Statistical Service, 2013). Even though, child bearing among 12-14 years mothers is highly associated with the risk of death of both the mother and child, no death occurred

among the 12 children of these young mothers. The survival rate of 88.4 for the age group 15-19 years is the second lowest in the District. The survival rate of the children of mothers 60 years and older is the lowest (78.1%). In Ghana the age specific fertility distribution reflects the “early peak” type in which the peak of fertility is attained in the 15-29 year age group. The low survival rate of children for the age group 60+ years may therefore be due to the fact that most of them may have been born a long time ago and thus exposed to the risk of dying for the longest period. Also most of the children might have been born during periods when maternal and child health services were least available.

The male and female disparity survival rates shown in Table 2.3 support the argument that more females survive than males. This is because of all children ever born by women 12 years and older, the proportion of female children who survive is more than the proportion of male children who survive. For example, out of 20,452 female children ever born in the District 88.8 percent survive while out of the 21,328 male children ever born 87.9 percent survive. Furthermore, out of 2,688 female children ever born by women in age 35-39 years 93.5 percent survive while out of 2,863 male children ever born by women of that same age group 91.5 percent survive. In fact, in almost all age groups, more female children survive than males.


Mortality, as one of the three components of population change, plays an important role in determining the growth of a population. Mortality is the occurrence of death in a population. The level and pattern of mortality is a reflection of the health status of a population.

Reported age specific death rate

Figure 2.2 shows the reported age specific death rates by sex. As expected, male mortality at birth is higher than female mortality till after age 9 years. The male mortality rate recorded lowest in the age group, 15-19 years while female mortality rate remains high through to age  34 years. From age 55 years the male mortality rate picks up momentum and increases at a faster rate whereas that of the female picks up momentum at age 65 years.

Crude death rate

In the District, out of the total population of 47,678, a total of 275 deaths were recorded in the 12 months preceding the census, yielding a CDR of close to six (5.8) deaths per 1000 population. This shows that the mortality experiences in the District and the region are about the same (Table 2.4).


Migration is defined as a geographical movement involving a change from a usual place of residence over a defined territory in a defined period (GSS, 2012). A migrant is a person whose current place of residence is different from his or her place of birth or previous place of residence. There are two types of migration, namely internal and external. Internal migration is the movement of people between geographical boundaries within national borders whiles external migration is the movement of people outside national borders.

Internal migration can be discussed in terms of intra and inter-regional. Intra-regional migration refers to the movement of people between localities within an administrative region, while inter-regional migration is the movement of people between different administrative regions of the country. This is measured by information on place of birth as against place of enumeration of migrants. On the basis of the answer to the “place of birth” question in the 2010 census, migrants are defined as persons who were enumerated in a place different from where they were born, while non-migrants are persons who were enumerated in the place they were born.

Figure 2.2 presents data on the birth place of migrants in the Dormaa West District. There are 47,678 persons enumerated during the census. Out of this number, there are 22,543 migrants representing 47.3 percent of the population. This means that the current population of Dormaa West District comprises about one-half of who were born within. Among the 22,543 migrants 12,652 representing 56.1 percent were born elsewhere in the region, 9,170 persons representing 40.7 percent were born elsewhere in another region in Ghana and 721 or 5.2 percent were born outside Ghana.

The three northern regions together contributed 6,102 or 27.1 percent. Those from Ashanti are 1,299 or 5.8 percent of all migrants. About three percent were born outside Ghana. The high inter-regional migration into the District of persons born in other regions (40.7%) and those born outside Ghana (3.2%) in the District may be as a result of the agriculture and related activities that form the backbone of the District economy. Also, the high overall percentage of migrant population in the District (47.3%) may have positive implication for the economic growth of the District since migrants bring with them innovative skill and the desire to work hard for survival.

In relation to the duration of residence of all migrants, Table 2.6 shows that 14.2 percent have lived in the District for less than one year, 29.0 percent for 1-4 years. Thus about two out of every five migrants have lived in the District for less than 5 years. About one in six (16.1%) has lived for 5-9 years, and about 19 percent (19.2%) for 10-19 years. Those people who have lived in the District for more than 20 years make up 21.5 percent of the migrants.

Table 2.6, further reveals that migrants from the Volta Region are the second highest proportion of migrants who have lived in the District for 20 years and above. Western Region records the highest (58.6%) of migrants who have lived for less than five years in the District but have the lowest percentage (9.5%) of migrants who have lived in the District for 20 years and above. For those born elsewhere in the region, 41.5 percent have lived in the District for up to 4 years, 15.2 percent for 5-9 years, 19.1 percent for 10-19 years and 24.1 percent for more than 20 years.



Date Created : 11/23/2017 5:11:09 AM