The demographic characteristics of the population in the municipality have social and economic implications and are the benchmark for the provision of social services such as recreational centers, housing, health services, and education. The age-sex structure also influences fertility and mortality levels. At the community level, age and sex are two attributes that largely influence an individual’s status and role in society.
Population Size and Growth Rates
At a growth rate of 2.1, the Municipal population is projected to increase to 109,928 by 2021. This is attributable to the influx of farmers, Traders and government employees from other parts of the country. Another major reason for this increasing growth trend is the natural increase in population due to high fertility rate of 3.1. The exponential growth of the population however outpaces the growth in socio-economic development thereby increasing pressure on the available scarce resources with the worst affected being job creation and employment.
Age and sex are the most critical characteristics of any population. The population of Abuakwa North Municipal comprises of 51.0% females and 49.0% males indicating the dominance of females in the municipality. Further to this, the age-sex structure indicates the number of male and female in the 5 years age cohort. Table 1.59 reveals that for population aged 0-4 years through to 15-19 years the male cohort population is slightly higher than that of the female and then reverses in favors of females from age 20-24 years onwards.
The youth population (0-14 years) constitutes 35.9% of the entire population thus giving credence to the youthful nature of the municipal population while population 15-64 years representing the workforce of the Abuakwa North municipal is more than half (57.4%) of the population. More so the older population (65 years and older) make up 6.7 percent indicating a rather favourable age dependency ratio of 74.3 contrary to the reality on the ground.
Population Pyramid of Abuakwa North Municipality
Population pyramids are often viewed as most effective way to graphically depict the age and sex structure of a population. Figure 1.2 is a population pyramid, which depicts the age-sex structure of the population of Abuakwa North Municipality. The pyramid has a broad base of the younger population and a narrow apex of the older population. With increasing age, the age-sex structure looks slightly thinner for the males than for the females, indicating that, at older ages, the proportion of males is lower than that of females.
Particularly, for the age groups 25 - 29 years onwards there are more females than males and 95-99 years onwards also males become almost extinct in the municipality. The high proportion of the populations aged 0-4 years and 10-14 years indicate that the population in the municipality has the potential to grow for a considerable number of years with implications for economic development of the municipality. It requires increased provision of educational and health facilities as well as social interventions targeted at children.
Fertility is considered as the total number of live births that females, 15 years and older, ever had during their lifetime. Measures of fertility are important in determining the size and structure of the population and therefore critical for the management of the population for social and economic development. The total fertility rate (TFR) for the East Akim municipality which Abuakwa North formed an integral part, is 3.1 live births per woman aged 15-49 years which is lower than the regional average of 3.5.
This implies that a woman living in the municipality would have an average of 3.1 children by the end of her reproductive period, if the age-specific fertility rates were observed. Similarly, the general fertility rate for the municipality which stands at 89.9 live births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15-49 years is lower compared to the regional figure (103.9 live births per 1,000 women). The crude birth rate for the municipality stands at 22.3 which is also higher than the regional figure of 25.4, and again is the second highest in the region. The incidence of high fertility among women calls for intensification of facility planning education coupled with incentives for small size families going forward.
Data on mortality provide an indication of the health status of the population as well as a measure of the living conditions of the people. However, factors that mitigate against further improvement in the mortality conditions of the population such as the persistence of poor environmental sanitation, inadequate nutrition, poor access to drinking water and the prevalence of infectious and parasitic diseases, among others still persist in the municipality.
The 2010 census data shows that a total of 1,427 household deaths, representing 6.6 percent the regional household deaths, occurred in (Abuakwa North and South regions) East Akim within the 12 months prior to the 2010 PHC. The data again shows that the municipality recorded a higher crude death rate (per 1,000) of 8.5 relative to that of the region (8.2).
The data also shows that death due to accident/violence/homicide/suicide accounted for 16.5 percent, while the remaining 83.5 percent were due to other causes. The data shows that the municipality comes third in ranking in death due to accident/violence/homicide/suicide in the region (10.4%). There is therefore the need for improvement in security and road safety education for both resident and transient drivers while enforcing the laws on road safety to the latter. The churches and mosques should also be encouraged to intensify counseling service to the followers to prevent homicide and suicide cases which has been on the rise in recent times.
The economically active population (labour force) is within the 15-64 age group and form 57.4% of the population of the municipality. The dependency ratio, which is the number of economically active persons catering for economically inactive who are within the 0-14 and above 65 years or more in the municipality, is 74.3 percent. This implies that every 100 persons are catering for 74 dependants. Out of this figure, child dependency constitutes more than half (62.6%) compared with old age dependency ratio (11.7%). The higher figure for child dependency indicates that it has a bigger influence on total age dependency ratio and population. The dependency ratio is however lower than the national average of 1:0.96. Despite the low dependency ratio of the municipality, its population growth rate of 3.8 as compared to that of the national average of 2.5 might result in higher dependency burden in the future.
The relatively high depency burden requires implementation of policies to create wealth and job opportunities for the unemployed and the underemployed youth. Furthermore as the aged population increases there is the need for social intervention policies including LEAP, Free NHIS and Home-Base Care geared towards the improvement in the lives of the aged.
The population in the municipality is 60% urban and 40% rural depicting a typical urban economy within a rural setting as majority of the communities exhibit rural characteristics. Few towns, notably, Kukurantumi, New Tafo, Old Tafo, Osiem are urban. Most of these urban towns except are located along the major Koforidua - Kumasi trunk road and this explains the concentration of socio economic and physical infrastructure in these areas.
The apparent concentration of socio-economic infrastructure in the urban centers has contributed to a high level of rural-urban migration resulting in increase in the population of notably New Tafo and Kukurantumi which control about 48.7% of the municipal population. The influx of the population in these three towns has had implications on housing, educational, health, water and sanitation facilities. There is therefore the need to expand the infrastructure and services of the urban areas while developing the rural areas to be attractive to the youth to stay and engage in agricultural activities which is the mainstay of the economy.
Households and household size
There are 25,130 households with household population of 98,008 in the municipality, accounting for an average household size of 3.9 which is slightly lower than the regional average of 4.1. The rural locality has same figure as the municipal average, whereas in urban localities an average of 3.8 persons share a house.
The average household per house is 1.5, which is the same as the regional average. At the locality level, there are fewer households per house in rural localities (1.3) than in the urban (1.7). The situation in urban localities has an average of 1.7 households per house relatively more compared with the region’s average (1.5). The relatively low household average per house is consistent with the housing pattern in the municipality which is mostly self-contained interspersed with the traditional compound houses.
Migration is a critical factor of population growth in the Municipality. The urban nature of the Municipality and the vibrant mining activity with its related industries including trading has continued to attract people from all walks of life into the Municipality. There are 32,830 migrants in the municipality, with about 40.0 percent born either elsewhere in another region of Ghana or outside Ghana. Almost three quarters of the migrant population born elsewhere in another region is from Volta Region (5,626) and Ashanti Region (4,309), Greater Accra (3,798) and Central (2,126). A total of 1,203 migrants were born outside Ghana. In further analysis, a higher proportion of migrants from regions other than Eastern had lived in the municipality between one to four years.
The 2010 census data further show that though more people from the Volta Region have lived in the municipality for more than 20 years, the proportion of migrants from Upper east (30.0%) is relatively higher compared with migrants from other regions. Migrants from outside Ghana, who are mainly West and North Africans, constitute 4 percent of the migrant population in the municipality. While they contribute to the local economy through the payment of rents and patronage of local goods, they do not pay any tax or revenue to the assembly for development purposes. It is however worthy to note that majority of the Ghanaian migrants in the municipality are peasant cocoa and food crop farmers with significant contribution to the municipal economy.
Date Created : 3/26/2019 7:27:23 AM