Population Size and Growth rate
In 2000 the population of Sunyani municipality was 101,145. Currently, with a growth rate of 3.8 percent, the estimated population is 147,301. The growth rate of Sunyani compared with the national growth rate of 2.7 percent indicates a high growth rate. This has contributed to pressure on the available facilities. It is therefore required that development authorities intervene to reduce this pressure.
Table 2.1 below, indicates an increase from 3.5 percent to 3.8 percent of growth rate. Comparing with the national rate of 2.7 percent brings to fore issues of population management to be dealt with. This trend presents serious development challenges to the municipality, as the population growth does not match with the provision of social services and development infrastructure.
The population density of the municipality is 122 persons per square kilometre (MPCU Computation, 2010). In comparing this to the population density of the nation 76/sq.km, the municipality is densely populated resulting in high demand for land.
From the survey conducted, the densely populated areas in the municipality include Zongo, New Dormaa and Area 2 in that order. On the average these areas have 18 persons per house. Nkwabeng, Abesim and Nkrankrom constitute the medium densely populated areas with an average of 13 persons per house. The low density areas are Estate, South Ridge, Airport Area, Atronie and Baakoniaba with an average of 8 persons per house (Refer to Appendix I).The densely populated areas are mostly in the low income group whereas the less dense areas are mostly in the high and medium income groups.
Rural Urban Split
The population in the municipality is generally concentrated in the three largest localities (Sunyani, Abesim and New Dormaa) which hold about 74.3 percent of the population, with only 25.7 percent distributed among the other settlements. Sunyani, the municipal capital, accommodates about 60% of the total population. The current concentration of 74.3 percent in the urban areas has accounted for the high urban growth and its associated problems of congestion and erection of slum
The male female ratio as indicated in table 2.2 shows a ratio of 50.4 females to 49.6 males, thus the sex ratio of the municipality is 1 Male: 1.01 Females. The situation in the municipality does not deviate so much from what the national figure depicts.
The computation of this is done for the economically dependent and age dependent groups. The age dependency ratio refers to the ratio of persons in the ages of 0-14 and 65+ to persons in the economically active group (15-64) whiles economic dependency ratio refers to the ratio of persons who are actively working (employed) to those who are not (unemployed).
The age dependency ratio of the municipality stands at 73.3 percent (MPCU Computation, 2010). The ratio is lower than the national and regional figures of 87.1 and 90.5 respectively. This means that each person in the productive age has less than one person to support. On the other hand the economic dependency ratio stands at 1:0.08. This means that less than one unemployed person is supported by an employed individual. An age and economic dependency ratio of 73.3 percent and 1:0.08 depicts a positive economic situation of the municipality.
The survey showed that about 26 percent of households in the municipality have 1-3 persons making up a household, 45.3 percent have 4-6 persons, and 22.7 percent 7-9. Also the least composition has 4 percent and 2 percent for 10-12 and 13-15 respectively.
The municipality has an average household size of 4 . Comparing the municipality’s average household size of 4 to the national average household size of 5.1, the average household size of the municipality is low. This means that there is low dependency as far as the number of persons per household is concerned. This may also suggest that, the extended family system is not dominant in the municipality as 71.3 percent of the households in the municipality are composed of 1-6 persons.
Given the criterion that persons aged 15 years and above who complete basic school (Primary, JSS or Middle school level) are literates, the survey revealed that about 76 percent of the population of the municipality are literates (Refer to Appendix I). The municipality can therefore be said to be highly literate when compared to the national average of 53.3 percent. This situation allows for majority of people to understand and get involved in the development process of the municipality.
The Sunyani Traditional Council is composed of 22 divisional and sub chiefs and is headed by the Omanhene. There are about 27 settlements under the jurisdiction of the Sunyani Traditional Council. The Traditional Council is the traditional authority of the people. And it is responsible for mobilizing its people for development.
Currently, the Sunyani Traditional Council has not been celebrating festivals due to its inability to generate enough funds. A committee has recently been commissioned to plan and mobilise resources to initiate a festival for Sunyani. The Sunyani traditional council abhors evoking spirits to curse hence has introduced strict punitive measures for offenders of such acts. Sunyani Traditional Council has recorded a dispute free chieftaincy system resulting in the peaceful atmosphere of the municipality. As a result, the council serves as the centre for dispute resolution and arbitration in the traditional areas. In addition to Sunyani traditional council are other sub traditional areas like Abesim, which is part of Dormaa Traditional Council and Atronie. This revelation has contributed immensely to investment attraction and opportunities in the municipality.
There are nine main identifiable ethnic groups in municipality. Akan the majority constitute 71.1 percent; Ga Dangme presents 2.1 percent whereas Ewe constitutes 3.2. In total the Northern tribes (Guan, Gurma, Mole-Dagbani, Grusi, Mande) in the municipality constitute 19.3 percent (GSS, PHC, 2000). The municipality has diverse ethnic background because its capital serves as the administrative capital for the region and as such offers certain services not existing in most districts.
Predominantly Christians, Islam, and Traditional groups form the main religious groups in the municipality. About 81 percent of the populace are Christians, 11.3 percent constitute Islam, and again 0.9 are traditional believers whereas 6.2 percent belong to no religious group (GSS, PHC, 2000).
Refer to pdf file attached for tables