Population studies play a crucial role in any planning activity. They are even more crucial in the preparation of development framework that will span over a period of time. It is in the light of this, that the demographic characteristics of the Dormaa Municipality have been analysed and its development implications identified.Population Size and Growth Rate
The population of the Dormaa Municipality as at 1960, 1970 and 1984 was 51,057, 76,650 and 107,996 respectively. The 2002 population census put Dormaa Municipality population at 150,229. The growth rate of the district population between 1960 and 1970 was 4.0 percent but this decreased to 2.4 percent between 1970 and 1984. Between 1984 and 2000, the growth rate between the censual period was 2.1 for the Municipalityand 2.5 and 2.7 for the region and nation respectively.
The decline in the growth rate between 1970 and 1984 is due mainly to the decline in the cocoa industry in the district. People from other parts of the country who migrated to then Dormaa Municipality to partake in the booming cocoa industry, this time round migrated out to other parts of the country especially the Sefwi area where the industry was booming. Others also migrated to la Cote d’Ivoire where the industry has just picked up. The massive bush fire that swept through the cocoa growing areas in the district in 1983 resulted in the out-migration of farmers to other Municipality to engage in gainful economic activities.
This mainly accounted for the decline in the growth rate between 1970 and 1984. Dormaa Municipality population, which has been increasing at a decreasing rate also manifested itself in the 2000 census.Settlement Distribution
The 1970 population census defined an urban settlement as one with population 1500 people and above. Using this definition as a yardstick to determine whether a settlement is urban or rural, then it is obvious that there are only four settlements within the Municipality, which can be classified as urban settlement. These settlements are Dormaa Ahenkro, Wamfie, Wamanafo and Nkrankwanta Settlement Pattern
The forms of settlements which are predominantly in the Municipality are nucleated and linear. Some of the nucleated settlements are Dormaa Ahenkro, Wamfie, Nkrankwanta, Wamanafo and Kyeremasu. The linear settlements include Atesikrom, Nsuhia, Asikasu, Kwakuanya and Santaso.
In all, there are 345 settlements in the Municipality and these are concentrated mostly in the northern and southern part of the Municipality with the central portion poorly populated. The northern portion of the Municipality has the highest concentration of large settlements.
The central part is sparsely populated and this is due to the fact that it constitutes a substantial part of the Mpameso Forest Reserve. The southern part of the Municipality has the highest concentration of smaller settlement . The urban population constitutes 31.3 percent of the Municipality total population. This implies that the Municipal is predominantly rural in character, with agriculture as the predominant occupation.Household Characteristics
Household according to the 2000 census is a person or group of persons who live together in the same house or compound and share the same housekeeping arrangements and are catered for as one unit. With this definition in mind, the study indicated that the average household size for the district is 4.7 which is higher than the national average of 5.1 and regional average of 5.1 and regional average of 4.7. Households in the rural areas are larger than those in the urban centres of the Municipality. The average urban household size is 4.6 persons per household as compared to 6.4 for the rural areas of the Municipality.Religious Composition of Population
The baseline study showed that Christians constitute the largest percentage of the district’s population, accounting for 72 percent of the sampled population. Islam constitutes about 19 percent of the Municipal population, whilst traditional religion forms only 3 percent. Despite the religious diversity, there is religious tolerance at the Municipality and this development auger well for peace and stability within the Municipality, which are essential ingredients to development.Age-Sex Composition
Dormaa Municipality population is generally youthful with those in age group of 15 - 64 constituting 57 percent of the sampled population. Age group 0 – 14 forms 36 percent of those sampled for the study, whilst those above 64 years constitutes 7 percent of the population. The male-female ratio is 1:1.07. This implies that for every 9 males in the Dormaa Municipality, there are 10 females to contend with.
This phenomena is not different from what is happening at the national level where females out-number males. The implication here is that any measure to reduce poverty should be targeted towards females and they should also not be left out in decisions affecting the socio-economic development of the Municipality.
Major Findings of the Municipal Demographic Characteristics
1. The district’s population is highly concentrated in the northern part of the Municipality. Also, all the major settlements are located in the north. Development, therefore is skewed towards the north to the detriment of the south.
2. The Municipality population growth rate is reducing due to the decline in the cocoa industry and the resultant migration of farmers and also improved family planning practices.
3. It is also worthy to note that the active labour force of the district is migrating out of the Municipalityin search of greener pastures and the in-active labour force are left behind. This is affecting the dependency ratio and the Municipality production levels.
4. The Municipality large labour force is a potential for would be investors.
5. The Municipality has large average household size, which is a threat and could have adverse effect on the per capita income of the Municipality.
Refer to file for tables.