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demographic characteristics

Basic Population Statistics
According to the 2000 Population and Housing Census, Sene District has a total population of 82,166, consisting of 42,637 males and 39529 females.  This gives a sex ratio of 107.9:100.  This is higher than the Regional figure of 100.8:100 and the national figure of 97.3:100.  Thus, there are more males than females in the district. 

This is attributable to the influx of male migrant workers, especially farmers, who because of their temporary stay do not bring along their family.  Some of the Public Servants (mostly males), such as Teachers and District Assembly Staff, do not bring along their families due to inadequate social service provision in the district.  This may also help explain the phenomenon.

The population of the district represents about 4.5% of total population of the Brong Ahafo Region, being the district with the lowest population in the region.  

The past Population Census of Ghana for 1960, 1970 and 1984 indicated that the district has population of 24,435, 31,122 and 61,856 respectively.  The district’s population in 2006 is estimated to be 91,537 with a growth rate of 1.8% per annum.  Table (1.2) shows census and estimated population of the district.

The growth rate between 1984 and 2000 is 1.8% dropping from 5.0% for inter-consul period between 1970 and 1984.  The current growth rate is lower than the regional average of 2.6% and a national average of 2.5% per annum.  The lower population growth rate could be due to out-migration of the youth from the district in pursuit of higher education and employment opportunities.  Inadequate non-farm employment opportunities may also help explain the low population growth rate in the district. 

Historically, though, the district showed a relatively high population growth rate.  For instance, between 1960 and 1970, the population of the district grew at an average rate of 2.7% per annum.

Between 1970 and 1984, the population of the district grew at an average rate of about 5%.  This higher rate is attributed to the influx of farmers and fishermen to the district to take advantage of the perceived opportunities in the district.  These opportunities could not be sustained mainly due to accessibility problems in the district.  Thus, improved access or transportation seems to hold the key to the future development of the district.

Population Density
This is the total population of the district divided by the total land size of the district.  Sene District current population density is estimated to be 10.66 persons per square kilometers.  The district population density is lower than the regional 2006 estimated figure of 51.6 persons per square kilometer.  There is therefore not much pressure on land, even though there has been a gradual increase in population density over the years, from 2.85/sq km (1960), 3.62/sq km (1970), 7.20/sq km (1984) and 9.57 sq. km to 10.66/sq km in 2006.  
Table 3 depicts the population density of the district over the years.

Population Distribution by Settlements
Sene district generally has a linear settlement pattern with almost all the major towns and villages located along the only major road from Atebubu to Kojokrom through Kwame Danso.  The major settlements in the district, which are found along the road, are, Bantama, Kwame Danso (the district capital), Lemu, Nyankontre, and Kajeji.  Table 1.4 shows the various large settlements in the district.  

In line with the national standards, settlements with population of 5,000 or more are classified as urban.  With this definition, Kwame Danso, the district capital is the only urban settlement out of the 370 localities.  The rest are rural.

Rural – Urban Split
Sene district has the highest proportion of rural population in the Brong Ahafo Region.  It can, therefore be considered as a rural district in respect of the nature of its rural-urban split.  The district depicts a rural-urban split of 92.3:7.1 as against 62.6:37.4 for the region.  This is particularly so since the district has only one urban settlement, Kwame Danso. 

This situation poses a problem for the distribution of higher order services and functions in the district.  Services must have the required threshold population before they are provided.  The implication therefore is that many of the settlements may not qualify for higher order service.

Age-Sex Distribution
Sene district has estimated population of 91,537 (2006), made up of 47,508 males and 44,029 females.  This gives a sex ratio of 100:92.7.  This indicates that there are more males than females in the district.  The males represent 51.9% of the population and the females constitute 48.1%.  This could be attributed to the influx of male migrant workers (mostly farmers), who because of their temporary stay do not normally come along with their family.

Age-Dependency Ratio
Dependency ratio shows the relative predominance of persons in dependent ages (youth under 15 years and persons 65 years and older) and those in the productive ages (15 to 64 years).  According to the 2000 population and Housing Census, Sene has a dependency ratio of 100.9.  This figure is the highest in the region, followed by Kintampo (102.5) and Asunafo (101.5) as compared to the Regional average of 90.5.  This means that each person in the productive age had more than one person to support.  The situation may be worse if a large proportion of the population in the potential labour force is not economically active.

The situation calls for pragmatic efforts at increasing employment levels to reduce the impact of this dependency.  The high dependency ratio does not favour savings and investments especially in a district where individual incomes are generally low.  This burden could be removed, through a combined measures of job creation and productivity.

Household Characteristics
The 2000 census recorded 13,930 households in the Sene District as against 342,808 in the Brong Ahafo Region.  The number of households in the district constitutes 4.06% of the regional figure and .04 of the national average. ( 0.04%)

About a third (27.5) of the households in the district are headed by females.  This indicates that women contribute immensely to household income and sustenance.  The average household size of the district is 6.0, higher than the regional and national average of 5.3 and 5.1 respectively.

Out-migration is not prominent in the district.  The gross out-migration rate is about 140 people per 1000.  Males account for about 51% while females account for 49% of the movement.  Majority of those who migrate go to the Southern part of Ghana for employment in sectors other than agriculture and in pursuance of higher education.  In the case of the females, some of them are married out, apart from economic reasons.

The low rate of out-migration has been attributed to the fact that over 80% of the population is farmers and fishermen.  Again, there is land and water bodies are available for farming and fishing activities.

In-migration is rather very prominent in the district and males form the majority of such migrants.  The migrants move in for farming, fishing and trading activities.  For instance people from the Northern of Volta Regions of Ghana flock in for farming and fishing activities.  The rest come from the Southern part of the country, majority of whom, are Akans.  This group of people come mainly to trade in agricultural produce notably yam, maize and charcoal.

One main observation about migration pattern in the district is that whilst out-migrants move out to avoid agriculture related jobs, in-migrants cherish it.

Ethnic Composition
According to the field survey conducted for preparation of the District Medium-Term Development Plan 2006 – 2009, the predominant ethnic group in the district is the Guans (Dwans) forming 35.5% of the population.  The Akans (29.0%) and Ewes 16.1% as depicted by Table 1.5 below follow this group.

The presence of Guans in large proportion in Sene district may not be due entirely to migration.  That part of the region was formerly part of the Northern Region, inhabited by the Gonjas, one of the Guan sub-groups, before it became part of Brong Ahafo Region in 1959.  The large proportion of Ewes in Sene is due to fishing and its related activities along the region’s side of the Volta Lake.  The field survey support the figures recorded for the district in the 2000 Population and Housing Census which shows other ethnic groupings including Gurma, Ga-Dangme, Grusi, Mande and other tribes who constitute minority group in the district.

Religious Affiliation
According to the field survey, Christianity (58.8%) has the largest following, while Islam (20.6%) and Traditional Religion (19.6%) are the significant others.  One(1) percent indicated no religion.  This distribution of the population by religious affiliation in the district depicts the regional and national pattern, except traditional religion and no religion that exchange the order.  In the Sene district, traditional religion plays significant role in the social life of the people as compared to other districts in the region.

Marital Status
More than half (58%) of the Sene district population aged 15 years and older are in marital union Table 6.  Nearly one third have also never married.

The proportion of the population aged 15 years and older in marital union (58%) compared favourably to the regional figure of 57.6%.  The proportions of females who are married or in loose union in the district are more than the corresponding proportions for males.  The proportion of never married males is significantly higher by 19.2% than that of the females.  Divorce rate is generally low but significant for the population.  

This may be due to several factors, including the fact that polygamous males who divorce one wife are recorded as married and that males who are divorced or widowed are more likely than females to remarry.  It implies that single parenthood problems are more likely to fall on women than on men.

Gender Issues
According to the 2000 Population and Housing Census, Females constitute 48.1% of the Sene District population.  Although women form significant proportion of the district population, their roles have never been acknowledged on equal terms with their male counterparts.  This, among other factors, has contributed to the failure of many rural development projects in the district.

Women are often engaged for longer hours than their male counterparts in supplying most communities, which are supplementary but essential.  Yet women have invariably been discriminated against and regarded mainly as producers of children and keepers of homes.  They are often denied access to credit and find it difficult to secure the ownership of land and property.

Economic Activities of Women
The agricultural sector (farming, fishing and animal husbandry) employs majority of the District’s women population and is a labour-intensive industry.  Women in Sene District are engaged in fish processing and marketing, crop farming and trading in mainly agricultural produce.  Moreover, the poor quality of their health often reduces the productivity level of rural women in their agricultural pursuits. 

In general, women’s work is centered on the house or compound where she undertakes an activity that ensures the upkeep and well-being of the family.  The man’s tasks are more outside of the house and these activities are intended for household consumption and maintenance as well as proper regulations of community affairs.

Women in the district generally play a vital role in the maintenance and development of the communities.
  • They raise children, prepare food for their families and their general household chores such as cooking, fetching water and firewood, child care etc
  • They also trade in food crops, fish processing and trading thus, creating a link between the customers and producers
  • In addition women are engaged in a number of income generating activities and farming in both rainy and dry seasons
Children learn their roles and responsibilities in relation to their sex through the socialization process.  Mothers teach daughters their roles and how to behave in a way expected of a woman by society while men teach their sons their societal sex roles.  It is also noteworthy to mention that women in agriculture also carry farm produce on their head – a task that is overwhelmingly arduous and time consuming.

Women’s limited participation in public level decision making process affect their ability to participate in discussions with the development agencies in matters affecting project intervention and their well being since they are not members of Unit Committees and Area Councils.

The Commulative effects of these problems on the women are poverty, ignorance and low standard of living.  The Sene District is to put in place pragmatic measures in place to stem these gender inequalities in the district.  Enhanced support for rural women will further empower them, thereby increasing their own self-reliance and their right to make choices and influence greater positive change.

For tables refer to pdf file attached.

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