The population of the Birim North District based on the 1970 population Census was 48,519. The population increased to 68,525 in 1984 indicating a population growth rate within this inter censual period of 2.9 per cent per annum. Compared with annual growth rates of the other 14 districts of the region, the Birim North had the fifth highest growth rate in the region. According to the 2000 population and housing census, the total population of the district was 123,579. This population figure gave the population growth rate between 1984 and 2000 as 3.4 percent far higher than the regional growth rate of the Eastern Region.
Based on this population growth rate of 3.4 percent, and holding most of the variables that affect population growth constant, the projected population of the district in the year 2006 is 151401.
Population Distribution by Age and Sex
The proportion of the females in the district is reported to be a little higher than that of the males. The females form about 50.4 percent of the entire district population. This is in line with both regional and national figures where the females form higher proportion of the population. The population between the ages of 0-14 years constitutes about 45.8 percent of the district’s population. Those within the active labour force (15-64 years) also represent about 48.8 percent of the population while the population 65 years and above forms 5.2 percent of the entire population.
With a total area of 1,250 sq km, the District’s population density in 1984 was 77 persons per sq km. Based on the 2000 population figure of 123,579; the population density in 2000 was 99 persons per sq. km. According to the projected population of 152401 in 2006, the district’s population density is 122 people per square kilometer. The district is thus sparsely populated.
Compared to the whole region, the district has a low population density than the average for the region reflecting the dominance of relatively small size settlements in the district. This crude population density figure indicates that the farmers in the district could have access to large tract of land to undertake their farming activities. The population density has been increasing over the years which imply that with time the land available for agricultural activities will lessen. This will reduce the size of farms and farmers may not be able to expand their farming activities.
Also with the introduction of large scale mining activities in the district by multi national companies, land available for agriculture will continue to diminish. The District Administration in partnership with the Agricultural Directorate in the district should device new methods where by farmers can increase production and receive higher crop yield on their available farming plots without necessarily increasing their farm sizes. Also the District Assembly with the new mining companies should introduce alternative livelihoods to the people in the district.
A household here refers to a group of people who live together and share the same cooking arrangement. The average household size in the District is 3.8 persons per household. This household size confirms that the number of dependants is relatively equal to the population in the active labour force group as given by the dependency ratios. Males head majority of households in rural areas. The mean age of male household heads is 56 years and 53 years for females. The urban centres however reveal a different trend; the gap between the age of male households’ heads and that of female heads is quite wide with the mean ages being 54 and 44 years respectively. This conforms to the rural-urban differences in the African setting where the mean age of male household heads is often higher than that of the female. In the case of Ghana, the male dominance as heads of households emanates from the fact that the Ghanaian culture frowns on female headship. One indication from the survey showed that almost all the female household heads are either widowed divorced or single parents.
About 62.5% of persons 18 years and above are married, suggesting that the district as a whole has a higher marital rate than the nation, which stand at 44.8% respectively. The divorce rate is about 3.8%. This can partly be explained by the fact that the district is predominantly rural. The proportion of widows in the district is 0.2% whilst the national is 4.5%. The proportion of separated marriages is 0.06% whilst the national is 1.7%. Cohabitation rate in the district is 1.2% while that of the nation is 6.0%. In the light of the huge marital population, one can foresee a tendency towards a stable society.
In the rural areas of the district, 95% of the people stay all year round and 5% stay outside during certain times of the year. The urban centers also possess a high proportion of permanent residence (92 % of the population), while 8 % are seasonal residents. In the district as a whole, about 93.5 % of the population is permanent residents.
Spatial Distribution of Population
The 1984 population census indicated that there were 141 settlements in the district. The 2000 population figures however gave the number of settlements in the Birim North district as 160. The current number of settlements in the District is over 190. Based on a population of five thousand people and above as a criterion for defining urban settlements, then in 1984 only Ayirebi (5,805) and Akoase (5030) met the standard. Currently the number of towns/settlements with the population of five thousand and above has risen to five. These urban settlements are Ayirebi, Akoase and Akokoaso, New Abirem and Ofoase. The spatial distribution of population is presented.
Labour force and Dependency Ratio
The district has a high potential labour force. About 49 percent of the population falls within the active age group. About 48.2 percent of the potential labour force is males while the remaining are females. The dependency ratio in the district is 1.04:1. This means that 100 persons in the labour force category (15-64) take care of 104 dependents, those in the age categories of 0-14 and 65+. This figure is higher than the regional and national figures of 90.7:1 and 87.1:1 respectively. This implies that there are equally more people in the labour force to take care of the dependent population.
Though the district figure is higher than the regional and national figures, it does not represent a significant problem in the district. The economic dependency ratio which relates those who are not working to those who are working in the district is 1.1: 1. This means that every hundred persons working take care of about 110 persons who are not working. This figure is relatively good and the district should create more jobs to sustain this figure or improve upon it.
Population Distribution by Economic Activity
The district is dominated by the agricultural sector. This sector employs about 73.5 percent of the working population. The proportion engaged in the agriculture is high due to the fact that the district has a fertile soil which supports the cultivation of different types of crops, both cash and food crops. Also, the climatic conditions are favorable for crop production.
This can also be attributed to the existence of big companies into Agriculture, especially oil palm and the existence of Agricultural Research Institutions both within and outside the district. The existence of ready market for oil palm and cocoa and food stuff with in and outside the district promotes agricultural activities in the district.
Migration is very important in the development process of every district. This indicates whether there will be available labour to take up jobs to be able to sustain the economy of the district or not. With the Birim North being an agrarian one, the outflow and inflow of the people should be captured. The data collected indicated that about 2% of the entire district population surveyed normally leaves the district every year while those who come in constitute about 4%. This in migration figure is high as a result of the boom in illegal gold mining activities in the district.
The migrants are mainly energetic young men between the ages of 21-48 years. The males constitute about 76% of the migrants into the district. Internal movements in the district are also significant. During the rainy season some of the inhabitants leave their places of abode and go to their villages in the district to carry out their farming activities.
Majority of these migrants have low educational levels. About 74 percent of them have at least completed basic education, 18 percent have completed secondary, vocational and technical schools, and 5 percent have attained tertiary education while the rest have never attended any formal school.
There are also many settler communities in the district. The population of some of the towns in the district is dominated by settler framers. These towns include Dawdowraso, Twepease, Bepotuntum, Dadiekrom, Nyamfoman, Mukyea, Otabil, Asabidie Sevor. These settler farmers have been attracted into the district due to the fertile nature of the soil in the district for agriculture
Date Created : 11/23/2017 9:42:49 AM