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Hon. Aquinas Tawiah Quansah
Hon. Queenster Maame Pokua Sawyerr

Ghanaians constitute 96.9 per cent of the total population in the Central Region, made up of 92.5 per cent Ghanaians by birth and 4.4 per cent naturalized Ghanaians. There are more naturalized males than females. There has not been much change in the proportion of Ghanaians and non-Africans since 1970.

The region is predominantly Akan speaking (82.0%), followed by Guan (6.1%) and Ewe (4.8%). The Fante, who are mainly along the coast, are the predominant group among the Akan (56.6% of regional but 69.1% of Akan population). A number of small ethnic groups in the region (Mole Dagbon, Grusi; Gurma and Mande- Busanga), constituting 3.4 per cent of the population of the region, originate from the northern part of Ghana.

Marital Status
Some children are given away in marriage below the age of 16 years. For this analysis however, 15 years and older is used. For the total population, majority of the people (71.1%) are either currently married or have ever been married. The corresponding proportion for females is higher, (78%) while that for males is lower (62.9%).

A look at those who had ever been married but not in any type of union at the time of the census (separated, divorced and widowed) shows that there are more females than males. While males in this category are 14.1 per cent, the corresponding proportion for females is about two times as much (29.1%).

Relationship to Head of Household
The composition of the household is central to the study of economic dependency, migration, social welfare and social adjustment. Households to a very large extent are constituted of the couple and children. As in other parts of the country, however, households in the region almost always include extended family members or non-family members. Children of household heads constitute the largest proportion of the household during the period (41.8% in 1970, 44.7% in 1984, and 39.1% in the year 2000). The proportion of grandchildren of the head declined gradually from 12.9 per cent in 1970, to 11.9 per cent in 1984 and then to 10 per cent in 2004.

The proportion of heads of households has declined slightly from 23.7 per cent in 1970 through 23.0 per cent in 1984 to 21.7 per cent in 2000, which might suggest a slowing down of the rate of increase in household formation. While the proportion of female heads has also declined from 21.4 per cent in 1970 to 16.1 per cent in 2000, that of male heads has increased from 26.4 per cent to 27.8 per cent over the period.

At the same time there has been an accompanying increase in temporary heads from 0.3 per cent in 1970 to 1.3 per cent in 2000 over the period. Female temporary headship increased from 0.5 per cent to 2.1 per cent suggesting that male heads may have been absent from their homes leaving females to assume roles and responsibilities as heads.

There is also an increase in the proportion of spouses from 5.8 to 8.8 per cent, but much of this increase was for females, which went from 10.3 to 15.4 per cent, between 1970 and 2000.

The presence of affinal relations remains insignificant in the household, increasing slightly from 1.1 per cent in 1970 to 1.3 per cent in 2000. The increase in the proportion of other relatives from 11.7 per cent in 1970 to 15.6 per cent in 2000, may be accounted for by increasing urbanization and pressure on housing accommodation particularly in the urban areas, that results in having to accommodate such relations till such time that they could secure a place of their own.

Religion is an important personal characteristic because it is also associated with a variety of differences in attitudes, statuses and behaviour. Most people (81.5%) are Christians. There is a larger proportion of female (83.3%) than male (79.4%) Christians. Among the Christians, the Pentecostal/Charismatic churches are the largest group, followed by the orthodox/Protestant churches. This is true for both males and females.

The next major religion is Islam, although only 9.2 per cent of the residents in the region profess to be Moslems. There are slightly more male (9.7%) than female Moslems (8.8%). Moslems can mostly be found in the Mfantsiman district specifically in Saltpond where many Ahmadis in the region can be found. For those who profess to have no religion, there are more males (8.8%) than females (6.1%).

In Ghana, most people acquire this skill by enrolling in the formal educational system. However, with the introduction of the non-formal education system, a number of people, especially females, have acquired this skill by attending classes organized in the evenings for those who did not go to school at all as well as those who dropped out at some point. More than half (57.1%) of the population in the region are literate, in at least one language; and those who can read and write both English and a Ghanaian language constitute 37.9 per cent of the population aged 15 years and older.

There is a larger proportion of literate males (69.8%) than females (46.3%). Consequently, among the literates there are more males than females in each of the categories with the highest difference (19.9 percentage points) being among literates in both English and Ghanaian language 48.7% males as against 28.8% females). Literacy in a Ghanaian language only has implications for cultural and cognitive development of the child. In the Central Region, 16.6 per cent (18.5% males and 15.0% of females) are literate in English only and this raises serious issues as the extent to which indigenous Ghanaian languages are taught in schools, particularly at the basic education level.

Educational Attainment
Although literacy can be achieved without formal education, the latter is important in acquiring skills needed in the work force. The educational attainment in the formal system. More than a third (35.3%) of the population in the region have never been to school, which confirms the illiteracy level of 42.9 per cent for the region.

The highest educational attainment in the region is the basic level that is primary and middle/JSS (52.8%). The proportion is higher for males (58.6%) than for females (47.6%). About 9.8 per cent of the population have post basic pre-tertiary level education. For all educational levels, there is a greater proportion of males than females, which appear to be a deviation from other region where there is a greater proportion of females than males at the primary level and in some cases even at the JSS level.

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