Population Characteristics

This section focuses on the characteristics of the population of the District. The characteristics include size of the population, distribution in terms of age and sex and population density of the District. Since people are the target and beneficiaries of development, it is imperative to understand the above mentioned characteristics and how they facilitate development or otherwise.

Population Size and Growth

According to the Ghana Statistical Service, in the year 2015,2016, 2017 and 2018 the projected population of Daffiama-Bussie-Issa District (DBID) stood at 36,280; 37,149; 38,008 and 38,894 respectively. These figures show the intercensal growth rate of 1.5% for 2015 to 2020. Clearly the district population growth rate is relatively low compared to both the regional and national growth rate figures. Table 2.27 shows the population profile for the District, Upper West Region and Ghana.

Population Growth Trend by Sex

Data from the Ghana Statistical Service indicates that the base year and an annual growth rate of 1.5% the population in the District is currently estimated at 38,008. Table 1.28 above depicts the trend of the District’s population growth since 2010 by sex. It can be observed that over the years the female population continuous to be higher than that of males and this has potential for higher population growth. This potential can either have positive or negative consequences for the development of the District depending on how it is managed.


Age-Sex Distribution

According to the 2010 Population and Housing Census, the District has a total population of 38008, out of which 18671 constituting 49% are males and 19337 constituting 51% are females. The District’s share of regional population stands at 4.7%. The provision of social facilities in the District will therefore take into consideration the distribution and composition of population within the District to ensure equitable and fair distribution of resources. Table1.29 below shows the population distribution by sex.

Inferring from the table below, the population distribution shows that about 49.2% of the population are in the dependent age groups, that is those between 0-14 years and 65 years and over, and 50.8% constitute the potential labour force in the District. This gives Age-Dependency ratio of 1:1, implying that each individual in the economically productive ages had to work to support almost one other person in the dependent age groups (0- 14 years old and 65 years and older) .

This figure is far below the national and that of the regional, and therefore quite encouraging. The implication here is that there is less dependency or less pressure on the working class to provide extra resources to cater for those in the dependency age cohort. The relative improvement in the health care delivery and fair distribution of health facilities in the District might have accounted for the relatively high proportion of people above age 65.

The population pyramid for the district is shown in figure 1.5 below. It differs a little bit from that of the national as the 0-4 cohort is not the broadest category. This probably is due to the relatively low population growth rate compared to that of the regional and national growth rates. The pyramid however depicts a youthful population as a chunk of the population falls within the ages 0-24.

Sex Ratio

The estimated total population (2014)of34,856, made up of16, 958 and17, 897 males and females respectively, gives a district sex ratio of 95 males per 100 females. The districts sex ratio of 95 indicates that the total population was made up of a higher number of females than males. The situation amplifies the need to focus on the development of and actively involve women in the pursuance of development in the District, as they constitute majority of the population.

Population Density

Population Density of the district is 26 persons per square kilometre of land. The generally low population density in the District implies less pressure on the land for human activities that could compound the problem of environmental degradation in the District. The District has therefore a great potential of minimizing poor environmental hygiene and sanitation and general improvement in environmental management practices through public sensitization that can lead to attitudinal and behavioural changes.


There is no enough statistical data on migration trends in the District, the phenomenon however exists. There exists seasonal out-migration by the youth especially males to the southern part of the country in search of work, this is especially during the dry season thereby reducing the potential labour force needed for agricultural development and other labour intensive public works (LIPW). There is also inter-district migration from the District to other neighbouring districts in search of non-existent jobs.  There is also intra-District migration from the west to the fertile east for farming purposes.

This partly explains the low agricultural output levels and food insecurity experienced in the District particularly in the west. To curb this menace the district will have to put in place prudent measures such as construction of dams and dugout for irrigation during the dry season, also the GSOP projects which are normally implemented during the dry season will go a long way to minimise this trend.

Ethnicity and Religion

The District has 2 major tribes, the Dagaaba and the Sissalas. The District is highly homogeneous with Dagaabas constituting about 96% of the total population and the Sissalas represent 4%. The Sissalas are confined only to the south-eastern parts of the District. There are also three religious groups in the District including Christians (59%) Moslems (18%) and Traditional believers (23%).The Catholics dominate the Christians population. In spite of this heterogeneous religious composition, there is religious tolerance and peaceful co-existence among the people in the District. This is a major pre-requisite for development not only in the District but also in other parts of the region. Table 1.30 below shows the religious composition of the district’s population.

Population Distribution by Economic Activity

The economy of the District is dominated by subsistence agriculture and petty trading activities. The situation had not significantly changed at the close of 2017. About 78% of the active population is engaged in agriculture, with about 11% in the commerce/service and 11% in small scale industry. Agriculture still remains the major economic activity and the backbone of the District. 

Population Distribution by Settlement

Going by the national standard for the definition of an urban settlement, none of the settlements in the District has attained an urban status. Only Eight (8) out of the fifty (50) settlements have populations above 1,000. Table 1.31 below shows the first fifteen settlements with highest populations in the District.


In terms of distribution, the District’s population is concentrated in the western part of the District, as most of the major settlements are concentrated in this area. The uneven distribution of the Districts population partly explains the over concentration of social and economic infrastructure in the western portion of the District to the neglect of the other areas. 

Settlement System

Location and Distribution of Services and Facilities

This stage of the report deals with the organisation of human and economic activities in space with regards to the DBID. It highlights the social and economic functions that settlements perform and how in combination, they form a pattern or system that can influence economic and social development in the District as a whole.

Spatial Analysis of the Settlement System

This analysis offers an insight into the functional characteristics of the settlements and the description of the settlements hierarchy in the district. This approach to Development Planning is concerned mainly with the socio-economic functions that settlements perform, and how it forms a pattern or system that can influence socio-economic development in the District as a whole. The Scalogram and Weighted Centrality Index Analysis approach is used in this report to determine the spatial pattern or system of the district’s development.

The scalogram is mainly a graphic device that illustrates in the form of a matrix chart the spatial distribution of functions of all selected settlements in the locality or district by their frequency of presence or absence. The scalogram gives a good practical impression about the functions that settlements perform in a particular locality.

This in a way assists in the determination of which settlements lack which services or facilities. It also helps in the future project selection for settlements in a particular locality.  Based on the number and type of services/facilities available in each settlement in the said locality, the weighted centrality indexes of selected settlements are analysed which eventually leads to the ranking of the settlements. The scalogram also provides information on the population sizes of settlements.

In constructing the District’s scalogram, (see figure 1.6) a total of 23 functions were considered on presence or absence basis for all the selected settlements. It should be noted that the number and types of functions to be used for every scalogram analysis varies from one locality to another. Generally, it depends mostly on the services/facilities present in the locality in question.

The settlements in the district included in the analysis were selected using population size and one service/facility as the cut-off point. The service/facility used as a cut-off factor is minor road (third class road). Initially, settlements are ranked according to population size in descending order of magnitude.

However, this order changes when the functions that exist in a particular settlement are taken into account. The hierarchy that finally comes out is based on the centrality index which measures the total relative importance of facilities/services present in a settlement. Thus, the functions are assigned a weight which is inversely proportional to the frequency with which they occur. Therefore, the centrality index for a settlement is the sum of the weights of the functions found there. The higher the index, the greater its functional complexity.

Hierarchy of Settlements

The hierarchy of settlements in the Daffiama-Bussie-Issa District were distinguished by calculating the centrality index of each of the selected settlements as a percentage of the total weighted index of 608.88 as illustrated in figure 1.6. Using the following quintile bands as the criteria, the hierarchy of the selected settlements of the district were identified:

LEVEL I –  All settlements whose centrality indexes fall between 80 and 100 percent of the weighted centrality of 605.88 Thus, settlements having centrality indexes ranging from 484.70 to 605.88.

LEVEL II – All settlements whose centrality indexes fall between 60 and 79 percent of the    total weighted centrality of 605.88.Thus, settlements having centrality indexes ranging from 363.53 to 478.65.

LEVEL III –   All settlements whose centrality indexes fall between 40 and 59 percent of the total weighted centrality of 605.88. Thus, settlements having centrality indexes ranging from 242.35 to 357.47

LEVEL IV – All settlements whose centrality indexes fall between 20 and 39 percent of the total weighted centrality of 605.88.Thus, settlements having centrality indexes ranging from 121.17 to 236.29.

LEVEL V –  All settlements whose centrality indexes of less than 20 percent of the total weighted centrality of 605.88. Thus, all settlements with centrality indexes of less than 121.17.

Hierarchy and Distribution of Settlements

Figure 1.7 and table1.32 below further indicate that the existing hierarchy of settlements within the DBID consists of four levels. The levels are as follows:

• one Level II settlement - that is Daffiama;

• one Level III settlement - that is Issa;

• one Level IV settlement - that is Fian; and

• the rest of the settlements in the district are Level V settlements.

Thus, in the order of settlements, there exist one level II, III and V settlement in the district. There are no Level I settlements in the District. From table 1.32, it can be deduced that the District is dominated by fifth order settlements. This brings to the fore the inadequate nature of the existing services and facilities in the District to support the population. A second look at the centrality index of the District proved that there is weak relationship between the size of the settlements measured by their population and their functional complexity.

For instance, whereas Bussie with a population of 3,103 is a fifth order or Level V settlement, Fian with a lesser population of 2,831 is a fourth order settlement or Level IV, and Issa, a third order or Level III settlement with a population of 2,114 (figure 1.7 and table 1.32.). A careful look at the distribution of the second order settlement indicates more economically active areas in terms of road condition, quantity and quality of their social and economic infrastructure base than the rest of the settlements. The implication is that the hierarchical distribution of settlements is not tightly integrated.


Date Created : 4/10/2018 2:30:29 AM