Basic Population Statistics
The District had a population of 53,066 people in 1970, 95,988 people in 1984 and 107,787 people in 2000. The current population growth rate in the District is 2.2 % which is higher than the corresponding regional growth rate of 1.8% but less than the national growth rate of 2.6%. This calls for a serious concern in running population control programmes as large family sizes often are counterproductive to economic growth and development efforts. The relatively high population growth rate is attributed to the fertile soil which support crops like oil palm, cocoa, plantain, cassava and others, which has resulted in many settler/migrant farmers living in District.
The age-sex structure of the District depicts a situation where males outnumbered females until the trend was reversed during the 2000 population census. The high level of male emigration for jobs elsewhere explains this. The sex composition may be measured by sex ratio, which is the number of males per 100 females. The sex rations for 1970, 1984 and 2000 population census counts were 109:100, 100:100 and 99:100 respectively. The declining proportion of males is a reflection of increasing male out-migration since 1970.
Age Dependency Ratio (ADR) is the ratio of the youth (10-20 years) and the elderly (age 65 and above) to the adult working population (21-64 years). In 1970, the ADR for the District was 109% and the corresponding figure for the region was 108.8%. The ratio for 1984 was 98.6%. A sample survey study carried out by JEAVCO Associates Limited in October 2000 indicates that the District’s ADR is 75%. This means that in reality fewer people were working and every worker has nearly two or more mouths to feed. In 1984, the Economic Dependency Ratio (EDR) for the district and the region were 14.0% and 20.8% respectively.
The EDR is the ratio of economically inactive to active population. This underscores the high level of economic burden shouldered by the economically active working population. Increased job opportunities and improved productivity can reduce the economic burden. This economic dependency ratio is slightly on the higher side considering the fact that the average income in the district for 1994 was 031,499 per month, which was below the poverty line of approximately 040,000.00 per month for the country for 1993 (ISSER) 1993:6).
Population by Settlements
The district is a typical Rural District. There are 1,510 settlements in the District. Only two of them namely, Twifo Praso and Hemang currently are (11,853 and 8,240 respectively) statistically urban. The urban population constitutes only 14% of the District’s Population. With population aside, these two settlements perform typically agricultural functions with very limited urban functions and formal employment avenues. Other larger Community are: Jukwa, Mampong, Wawase, Krobo, Nyenase, Ayaase Mfuom Apenkro Wamaso Ntafriwaso and Nuamakrom. Most of the rest are farmsteads, usually with populations below 300 people. All the major settlements are located along the main Cape Coast - Twifo Praso - Dunkwa trunk road.
A sample survey conducted in 1994 by Department of Planning, KNUST shows that as much as 51 per cent of the labour force is engaged in agriculture indicating that the district is an agricultural oriented one. This is followed by service, which employs 28 per cent of the working population. Commerce comes third with 16 per cent and, finally, industry with 5 per cent.
Recent sample survey conducted in 2000 by JEAVCO Associates Limited confirms the earlier study results that indicated that most of the people are engaged in agriculture and services. For a sustained development of the District, there is the need to improve the industrial sector by establishing small-scale industries to process the numerous agricultural raw materials that abound in the district such as oil palm, ginger, cassava and timber.
The Population density for the District (which covers an area of 1199 km2) has been increasing steadily over the years. In 1970, it was 44 persons per square km. This figure increased to 80 persons per square km in 1984 and reached 89 persons per square km in 2000. However compared to the regional population density figures of 91 person per square km in 1970, 116 people’s square km in 1984 and 162 persons per square km in 2000, the District figures have been quite low. Again, population densities are relatively high along the main Cape Coast -Twifo Praso - Dunkwa road. The relatively low population density figures for the district could be attributed to unskilled youth and basic school graduates dislike for farming but prefer staying in the cities like Accra, Takroadi and Kumasi, but also to the large percentage of forest reserve in the district.
The District depicted a rural-urban split of 92.8 as against 63.1:36.9 the nation in 1984. In 2000, the district’s rural-urban ratio was 86:14. This situation poses a problem for the distribution of higher order services in the district. This is because services need some threshold populationsbefore they can be provided; implying that many of the small communities may not qualify for higher order services. Many people have settled in Twifo Praso, Hemang, Jukwa and Wawase from the surrounding villages.
The District scalogram shows the distribution of social infrastructure in the District. A close look at the District map shows Twifo Praso, Hemang and Mampong Council Area especially those on the Cape Coast - Praso main road are more endowed than those in the hinterland. Generally, the settlements along the main road right from Jukwa near Cape Coast to Agona near Dunkwa-on-Offin are better off.
Functional Hierarchy of Settlements and its implications
Having ranked the functional hierarchy of settlements in the District, it is observed that Twifo Praso has the highest number of social infrastructure and services. This is not strange because it is the capital of the District. Whereas communities such as Mampong, Hemang and Jukwa come close to Praso, communities beyond River Pra are less endowed. One basic example is that no community beyond River Pra has access to electricity. Even though Twifo Praso Secondary School is relocated beyond River Pra, one cannot say it now belongs to the communities at the area.
If this argument is accepted, then secondary or vocational institutions are needed at Wamaso or Agona Council Areas because Nyenase (4km from Praso) can take advantage of the facilities at Twifo Praso. Providing secondary/vocational education around Wamaso or Agona would develop the human resources of the area.
The same goes with Banks and Telecommunication. Future interventions should consider these areas in terms of the lacking facilities especially Twifo Ayaase. From the spatial analysis, Twifo Praso plays a dominant role in the provision of services in relation to the other settlements in the District. In physical terms, Twifo Praso has better links to other cities outside the District, for instance, Cape Coast. A strong inter-District linkage especially between the rural and urban areas is very necessary to foster development.
However, in the case of the Twifo-Ati Mokwa District the linkage is either weak or sometimes absent such that the rural areas do not benefit from developments in the centre. In most cases where the linkage occurs, the exchange relationship between the urban and rural areas helps to perpetuate the poverty and impoverishment of the rural people.
The above factors notwithstanding, the high order settlements are inadequately equipped to provide the services required by the rural settlements. The economy of space will require a strategy that can accelerate the pace of urbanization through the strengthening of the provision of urban services to rural areas through functional-spatial integration.
Refer to the tables below in pdf file