Population and Human Settlement Pattern
According to results of the Population and Housing Census (PHC) released by the Ghana Statistical Services for the 2000 census, there are 125,430 people living in 469 communities in the district. The population of the district has doubled since the last census in 1984 with annual growth rate averaging 3.0%.
The sex composition of the district shows that females constitute 51.7 % of the population while males are 48.3%. The adult population, that is, 18 years and above is 60,397, (48%) while the dependency population is 63,696, with a ratio of 1:97.
The largest household size in the Northern Region is in Karaga (11.1) while Gushegu ranks third (8.9). Considering that household sizes are larger in rural than in urban areas, the average household size for the district will be 8 persons.
The human settlement pattern of the district is skewed towards populations living below 300. Indeed about 80.4% of settlements in the district have populations less than 800. Similarly, 51% of the total district population live in settlements below 800 people. Gushegu and Karaga are the only urban settlements with populations more than 10,000. The two towns combined have a total population of 26,493, that is, 21% of the district’s population.
This type of settlement pattern as prevalent in the district has serious development implications. It makes the provision of basic social amenities very difficult, as majority of the settlements do not have the threshold population for certain amenities. If the concept of social justice will apply, it will mean equitable distribution of services. A cost-effective way is to spatially distribute projects to cluster of communities in catchment areas. This can promote intra-community interactions in the district.
Refer to tables in pdf file below.