The composition of the population by nationality is summarised below.
More than 97 per cent of persons in the region are Ghanaians, with 94 per cent being Ghanaian by birth. The proportion of Ghanaians by birth in the districts ranges from 91 to 97 per cent, with Sunyani having the highest (96.7%). Ghanaians by naturalization constitute between 5 and 6 per cent of the total populations of Sene, Kintampo, Nkoranza, Jaman, Dormaa and Asutifi. Atebubu district has the highest proportion of other ECOWAS nationals (3.8%), while Berekum has the highest proportion of other African nationals (1.5%) and non-Africans (1.2%).
Foreign nationals deal in wood-processing activities a lot, and may account for the small but significant proportion of non-Africans in Berekum, where wood-processing is one of the main industrial activities. Berekum also has some religious organisations, mainly Catholic, and other foreign NGOs with significant expatriate personnel carrying out social work.
The high proportion of ECOWAS nationals in Atebubu (3.8%) and Sene (2.8%) is difficult to explain, since the districts do not share a border with any of the neighbouring countries. It may be due to migration from Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and Cote d’voire.
The predominant ethnic group in the region and in all the districts is Akan, except in Sene where the Guans predominate. Apart from Sene and Atebubu where the Ewes and Gurmas are the second predominant ethnic groups, the Mole-Dagbon ethnic group is the second largest in all the other districts. Three other groups of northern origin, Gurma, Grusi and Mande-Busanga are one-tenth of the region’s population. Ethnic groups of northern origin are therefore slightly more than a quarter of the region’s population.
The large proportion of Ewes in Sene is due to the fishing activities along the region’s side of the Volta Lake. The presence of the Guans in large proportion in Atebubu and Sene 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 was made part of Brong Ahafo in 1959.
More than three-fifths of the Akans in the region are Brongs. Asantes and Ahafos are two other recognisable Akan groups in the region. Dagaabas constitute the highest proportion of Mole Dagbons. Three other ethnic groups, Kusasi, Nabdom and Dagomba, constitute more than one third of the Mole Dagbons. The remaining groups from the south, Guans, Ewes and Ga-Dangme are less than one tenth of the region’s population.
The distribution of the population by the various religious denominations in the region is nearly the same as the total country, except traditional religion and no religion that exchange the order. Christianity (70.8%) has the largest following, while Islam (16.1%) and no religion (7.8%) are the significant others.
Another change of order different from the national is that Catholics (22.6%) outnumber Pentecostals (20.8%). Brong Ahafo has a strong Catholic legacy, with many Catholic institutions including 7 hospitals in 7 districts. It is therefore no surprise that the Church chose Fiapre in the Sunyani District for the establishment of the first Catholic University in the country.
Large followers of Christianity are in all districts. Over four-fifths of the population in Berekum (87.4%), Jaman (83.9%), Sunyani (80.9%) and Dormaa (80.3%) are Christians. The protestant churches (28.6%) have the largest following in Berekum, followed by the Pentecostal (28.0%). Pentecostals outnumber Catholics in eight districts, the most prominent being Sunyani where the difference is more than 10 percentage points.
Jaman has the largest proportion of Catholics, where nearly two out of every five people are Catholics. Though more than half of the population in Atebubu (50.5%), Kintampo (51.4%) and Sene (56.6%) profess to be Christians, the proportion of Christians in these districts is low compared to the other districts.
Islam is practised mainly in Kintampo (29.7%) and Atebubu (24.4%), where Moslems outnumber the two most professed Christian denominations, Catholics (21.4%) and Pentecostals (17.6%). The Moslems are mainly Mole-Dagbon who are quite a substantial group in the districts. Techiman (20.7%) and Wenchi (20.0%) also have a sizeable number of Moslems, though Catholics outnumber them. Islam (6.1%) and traditional religion (10.6%) are least practised in Berekum.
Traditional religion is most practised in Sene (18.8%), followed by Atebubu (15.7%) and Kintampo (10.0%). Sene also has the largest proportion professing no religion (13.6%). Traditional religion ranks second after Pentecostal while no religion ranks fourth after Catholic in the district. Nkoranza also has more than one tenth (11.6%) of the population professing no religion.
The proportion of females professing the Christian faith (73.5%) is higher than males (68.2%) in the region, in all districts in the region and total country. Apart from Catholics in Sunyani and Berekum where the proportion of males is higher than females, and Sene where the proportion of male Pentecostals is higher than females, the proportion female is larger than male in all three major Christian denominations in all districts. On the other hand, the proportion of males professing Islam, traditional and no religion, in all districts of the region, is higher than females.