The social characteristics of the population influence and are in turn influenced by social and economic development occurring in the district. This chapter examines the social characteristics of the population of Awutu Senya East in the areas of household characteristics, marital status, nationality, religion, education and Household size, composition and headship. The 2010 PHC defines a household as a person or a group of persons, who lived together in the same house or compound and share the same house-keeping arrangements and constitute a single consumption unit.

Household members are not necessarily related by blood or marriage because friends and hired domestic workers may also be part of households. The information on households basically includes household size, composition, and headship. The size, structure and composition of households are influenced by social, economic and demographic factors while the total size of a population and its characteristics are in effect largely a reflection of what pertains at the household level (Weeks 2012, Shyrock et al. 1976).

Household size

The household is the basic unit for demographic and economic analyses. Household size refers to the total number of persons in a household irrespective of age, sex, or relationship status. Table 3.1 presents the household size of the District by locality of residence. There are 20,955 households of which 50.7 percent (13,291) are in rural areas with the rest in urban settlements. The average household size for the District is the same as that of the region. While the average household size is slightly higher in rural areas, the number of household per house is lower in rural areas compared to urban areas.


Household composition

Table 3.1 presents the household composition of the Awutu Senya East . From the table, the district has a household population of 84,505 and 20,955 households. Of the male household population, 31.4 percent are household heads while for the female household population 19.0 percent of them are household heads. The table further shows that more than two fifths (42.6%) of the household members are children of the heads of household, slightly less than one tenth of the members are spouses (9.7%) with parents or parents in law constituting less than one percent of the household population.

Adopted/foster children constitute a low 0.03 percent of the household population. The relatively high proportion of grandchildren (10.3%) of the household population reflects a common living arrangement that encourages the grandchildren of the household head and/or spouse to live in the household rather than with their own nuclear families. Other relatives make up 6.4 percent of households. However, 1.6 percent of household members are not related to the head of household.


Household and population structure

The characteristics of any population usually reflect the features of its individual household members within the population. The population size, composition, and structure of households are influenced by socio-economic and demographic factors such as age at first marriage, 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. Knowledge of household structure and composition provide important statistical tool for social and economic planning. A study of households also provides the basis for a reasonable projection of the future size of population and planning of housing needs.


Table 3.3 summaries information about the household population and structure by sex for the district. Living arrangement is an important aspect of the cultural settings in Ghana. The table shows that 42,063 households are nuclear while 42,442 households are extended. This indicates a slight dominance of extended family households in the District. For the nuclear family households, the majority of households in the district are composed of head, spouse(s) and children (28.9%) followed by single parenthood nuclear household (14.2%).

Nearly five percent of households in the district are heads only or single-person households. Households comprising of the head and his or her spouse constitute 1.8 percent of total household population. Households with single parenthood and extended family members (19.3%) constitute the largest proportion among the extended family category, followed by extended family households consisting of the head, spouse(s), children and head’s relatives (16.8%). Head with other composition but no spouse (9.2%) comes next.

In the nuclear family structure, male proportions exceed corresponding female proportions in all four household categories. Nuclear (head, spouse(s) and children) constitute the largest proportion for both male (31.4%) and female (26.7%) households under the nuclear family structure.  Three of the six household categories under the extended family structure have female household proportions more than corresponding male proportions. They are single parent extended, head, spouse(s) and other composition, and single parent extended with non-relatives.

Marital status

Marital status is one of the social characteristics of a population that is determined by biological, social, economic, legal and, in many cases, religious factors. Marriage is socially defined to include formal unions that are legally, traditionally or religiously sanctioned as well as cohabiting unions. Marriage is associated with population dynamics as it affects the processes and levels of fertility and, to a lesser extent, mortality and migration.

Distribution of population by marital status

Figure 3.1 depicts marital characteristics of the population 12 years and over at Awutu Senya District. In 2010, 38.6 percent had never married, 36.9 percent had been married, 12.4 percent are in informal or consensual union, six percent are widowed and 3.9 percent are divorced. Only a relatively small proportion of reported being separated (2.2%).

Marital status by age and sex

The distribution of marital characteristics by age and sex in the district is shown in Table 3.3. As expected the majority (91.4%) of the never married population are adolescents who may still be in school or training. The proportion married increases with age up to age group 45-49 years and then starts to decline for older ages.

Divorce is more prevalent after age 45-49 years probably as a result of effect duration of marriage. Widowhood is also more common at the older ages, particularly among those 65 years and older (40.8%). Similar pattern is observed for both sexes but widowhood is relatively higher among females compared to males. However, 47.0 percent of the never married are males compared to 31.7 of females.

Marital status and level of education

Table 3.4 provides information on marital status and level of education. Majority of the population 12 years and older who had never married had basic education (75.5%). The lowest proportion of them have either vocational/technical/ commercial (0.7%) or tertiary education (0.7%).  Among those in consensual union/living together 63.8 percent had basic education and 28 percent with no education. 59.3 percent of the married also have basic education and 36.8 percent have no education. The proportion is lowest across all the marital characteristics for persons with tertiary education. Variations in marital status for the sexes follow similar pattern.

Marital status and economic activity status

Activity status of persons provides an indication of ability to marry and support a spouse financially in some cultures in Ghana. Table 3.5 presents information on persons 12 years and older by sex, marital status and economic activity status. It is seen from the table that 65.5 percent are employed, 2.9 percent are unemployed while 31.6 percent are not economically active.

Nearly 60 percent of the district’s population who have never married are economically not active and the female proportion of this category (63.3%) is higher than the corresponding male proportion (57.1%). More than eight in ten of the married persons (86.6%), those in consensual union (89.3%), the separated (84.6%) and the widowed (84.4%) are employed. Similar pattern is observed among the sexes. Unemployment figures for both males and females in all marriage categories are less than 5 percent except for females in informal/consensual union.


The nationality of the population of Awutu Senya District is shown in Table 3.6. Persons of Ghanaian parentage, as expected, constitute the largest percentage of the population (95%) and Ghanaians with dual citizenship form 1.7 percent. Almost three percent (2.8%) of the population in the district are each from ECOWAS countries (2.1%), Africa and other ECOWAS (0.4%) and other countries (0.3%) countries.



In Ghana, Information Communication Technologies (ICT) developments have taken place with significant growth over the past decade. ICTs bring about social and economic development and transformation by creating an enabling environment for accelerating economic growth. ICT can be applied in all sectors: Economics, Education, Communication, Health and Manufacturing.  For the first time, the 2010 PHC had a module on ICT and questions were asked for individuals and households 12 years and older.

Development in ICT has helped Ghanaians and particularly the people in the Awutu Senya District in information sharing and increasing people’s knowledge on what goes on around them and beyond. Internet and mobile phones are increasingly bringing market information, financial services, and health services to remote areas, and is helping to change people's lives in unprecedented ways. This chapter looks at ownership of mobile phones, use of Internet, household ownership of fixed telephone lines and household ownership of desktop or laptop computers.

Ownership of Mobile Phones

Table 5.1 shows the distribution of mobile phone ownership and usage of Internet facility for persons 12 years and older in the District by sex. The proportion of persons 12 years and older in the Awutu Senya District who own mobile phones is 39.5 percent. Mobile phone ownership is higher among males (48.5%) than in females (32.0%).

Use of Internet

Internet accessibility and its use are essential in this current global economy. Table 5.1 shows the usage of Internet facility. For the entire District, only 2.9 percent of persons 12 years and older use the Internet. The relatively low usage of Internet at the household level is more likely due to inadequate levels of Internet facilities in the area. About 4.5 percent of the total male population in the district use the Internet compared to the corresponding value of 1.6 percent for females.

Households Ownership of Desktop or Laptop Computer

Table 5.2 also shows the proportion of households owning desktop or laptop computers in the District. Of the total population of households in the Awutu Senya District, only 3.1 percent, representing 643 households own desktop or laptop computers. Out of that total, 4.0 percent of households in the District representing 500 households are headed by males compared to 1.6 percent headed by females.


Type of dwelling, holding and tenancy arrangement
House ownership

Ownership status of dwelling by sex of household head and type of locality is presented in Table 8.2. A total of 10,754 dwelling places out of the total of 20,955 are owned by household members constituting a share of 51.3 percent of all dwellings. Of the 10,754 dwellings owned by household members, 61.4 percent of them are headed by males while 48 38.6 percent are headed by females. About 39.3 percent of these dwellings are in urban localities with the remaining 60.7 percent in rural localities.

About a quarter of the dwelling places (4,999) are owned by relatives who are not members of the household. Out of that proportion of households, 50.2 percent are headed by males and 49.8 percent are headed by females; 67.5 percent of households owned by relatives who are not members of the household are located in urban areas while the remaining 32.5 percent are in rural areas.

A total of 3659 dwellings are owned by private individuals out of which 64.8 percent are headed by males and 35.2 percent are headed by females; 58.8 percent of these dwellings are in urban localities and 41.2 percent in rural localities. About 62.2 percent of the households (127) owned by Public/Government have male heads and the remaining 37.8 percent have female heads; 59.1 percent of these public/government dwellings are in urban areas and 40.9 percent are in rural areas.

Construction materials
Materials for outer wall

The main construction materials for outer wall of dwelling unit by type of locality as presented in Table 8.4 shows that more than three fifths (64.5 percent) of the outer walls of the dwelling units in the District are made of cement blocks/concrete. As expected, 81.6 percent these dwellings are in the urban areas. Mud brick/earth (32.1%) is the second most important material used for outer walls of dwelling units in the District while metal sheet/slate/asbestos constitutes only 1.5 percent of the types of materials used for outer wall. The remaining types of materials used for outer wall of dwelling places constitute between 0.2 and 0.6 percent.