Population Size And Growth Rates
The recorded population censuses of 1960, 1970 and 1984 of Offinso District were 43972, 56319 and 104,815 respectively. The 2000 Population and Housing Census yielded the District a population head count of 138,190. The declared population is an increase of 32% over the 1984 population of 104,805 and an annual growth rate of 5% for 1984-2000 period which is higher than the regions growth rate of 3.4% of inter-regional growth rate. The increase in population during this period may due to migrant farmers mostly from the North and improved health delivery system.
Spatial Distribution : Settlement Patterns
In line with national standards, rural/urban classification of localities is population based on a population size of 5000 or more being urban and less than 5000 being rural, five settlements out of the 126 settlements are urban in the district. The urban localities are New Offinso (36190) Akomadan (14018) Abofour (11,177) Nkenkaasu (10,014) and Afrancho (7,727). The high population growth rate in these localities can be attributed to high immigration.
The Population density for the district in 1960, 1970 and 1984 were 28 persons, 45 persons and 63.5 persons per square kilometre. In 2000 the population density was 110 people per square kilometre. This is higher than the national figure of 79.3 in 2000. The continuous increase in population densities signifies that there would be too much pressure on the land. There is therefore the need for population issues in the District to be seriously tackled.
Household Sizes And Characteristics
The average household size is 5.5. The composition comprises persons from the nuclear family, extended family and persons outside the nuclear and the extended families. Heads of the households are mainly male. In the other households where females are heads, it is either single or single parent household. Children constitute about 37.3% of the average household.
There are three main religious groups in the District. These are Christians (68%), Islam (15.9%) and traditional religion (8.5%). A significant percentage of (6.8%) of the population do not belong to any of the mentioned religious denomination.
The 2000 Population and Housing Census depicts a rural-urban split of 57.8: 42.2 for the district as compared to 56.2: 43.8 for the nation. However, with about 60% of the settlements in the district being rural, the 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 theoretically many of the settlements may not qualify for higher order services.
The sex ratio male, female ratio of the district, according to 2000 Population and Housing Census, was estimated at 1:1.01.
The 2000 Population and Housing Census indicated that children under 15 years accounts for about (46.6%), economically active population 15-64 years (47%) and the elderly (65 years and above) 6.4%. This implies that economic dependency ratio was higher and fewer people were working and that every worker had more than one mouth to feed.
The Agriculture sector dominates the labour force. The composition of labour force in the small-scale industries show that 40% paid labourers, and 23% are apprentices. In the medium scale, 10% are owner, workers, 15% are family workers and 65% are paid workers. While apprenticeship takes 10%.
About 64% of the labour force is engaged in agriculture depicting it as the major economic activity. This is followed by commerce 16% service 12% and industry 8%. Commercial activities in the district have increased with the establishment of major markets at Akomadan, Afrancho, Nkenkaasu, Abofour, Anyinasusu, Offinso New Town and Kokote.
Migration towards the urban centres is high causing lower densities in some rural area. It is also evident that most people commute from the district to look for jobs in Kumasi.
Implications For Development
The increasing population density over the years puts pressure on services and infrastructure. There is therefore the need to provide enough services and infrastructure to meet future growth in population so that, the existing services and infrastructure would not be overstressed.
The migration of people from the rural areas to the urban centres reduces in search of non-existing jobs reduces leads to unemployment and reduces agricultural productivity and income.
Refer to the tables below in pdf file.