Ghanaians by birth and parenthood constitute 94.0 per cent of the population of the region. This is higher than the national proportion of 92.2 per cent. Naturalized Ghanaians constitute an additional 3.4 per cent, while other ECOWAS nationals make up 1.9 per cent with other Africans and non-Africans being 0.8 per cent.
The sex-composition of Ghanaians by birth indicates that there are more female Ghanaians by birth than males, while there are male non-Ghanaians than females.
Nearly 71 per cent of the population are born in the localities where they were enumerated, with a further 7.5 per cent born in another locality within the region. The rest of the population originate from outside the region, with most of them from the regions which share border with the region. Favourable climatic conditions, abunda nce of arable land and proximity may be factors that attract people from the north.
The predominant ethnic group is the Akan, (62.7%) followed by the Mole-Dagbon (15.4%) and Grusi (4.2%), as shown in Figure 1.1. Within the Akan group, the Brong (Bono, including Banda) are the largest subgroup (61.4%), followed by the Asante (13.3%) and Ahafo (9.5%). Among constituents of the Mole-Dagbon group, the Dagaaba are the largest (44%) subgroup.
Christianity has the largest following (71.0%), followed by Islam (16.1%) and traditional religion (4.6%). A significant proportion (7.8%) reported affiliation with no religion.
Catholics are the largest denomination of the Christian faith (22.6%), followed by Pentecostal/ Charismatic (20.8%) and Protestant (17.0%). More females (73.5%) than males (68.2%) profess the Christian faith. The reverse is true for Islam, traditional religion and those with no religion.
Education forms an important determinant of the quality of manpower. As such, the educational level of the population, to some extent, reflects the level of social and economic development of a country or a community. It is also well known that education constitutes one of the most important factors influencing demographic behaviour and the level of fertility of a population.
Statistics on literacy provide a measure of progress in the educational development and are necessary in planning for the promotion of adult literacy. Literacy is defined as the ability to read and write in any language and relates to those aged 15 years and older.
48.5 per cent of the population of the region, aged 15 years and older, are not literate. This picture is only better than that of the three Northern Regions where the illiteracy level is more than 70.0 per cent. Since much information is written and transmitted in English, effective literacy level is based on those literate in English and a Ghanaian language.
This means that effective literacy level for the region is 49.0 per cent, which is lower than the national average of 54.5 per cent. Information flow in terms of posters, brochures and written adverts will seriously be hampered because of the low literacy level.
The differences between male and female literacy levels. There are significant differences between the sexes in the not literate and the literate in English and Ghanaian Language groups. Among the males, 41.1 per cent are illiterates, which is far lower than that of females (56.0%).
A little over two fifths of the population (42.0%) aged six and older, have never been to school, as shown in Fig 1.4. The proportion of the population that has attained primary (22.3%) and middle/JSS (23.3%) is almost the same; only 11.2 per cent have attained a level above the middle/JSS. The education attainment is the same for males and females at the pre-school level (1.2% each) and the primary school level, (22.5% males and 22.0% females). Above these two attainment levels, male attainment is higher than that of females at each subsequent level. This low attainment level for females has implication for the economic characteristics of the population as well as fertility behaviour.
A higher percentage of females (68.5%) than males (63.9%) are currently in pre-school and primary school. The percentage of males (60.2%) is lower than that of females (64.3%) at the primary school level but the pattern changes to that of a higher percentage of males than females, at each subsequent higher level after the primary school level, (Figure 1.5). More than three fifths (62.1%) of those currently in school are in the primary school, followed by those in middle/JSS (22.4%). The proportion of the population currently at the post-secondary level (1.3%), (including training college, nursing, etc.), is the lowest.