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Hon. Antwi Boasieko Sekyere
Hon. Mavis Ama Frimpong

Economic Characteristics
The region has a total of 927,699 persons (75.5%) who are economically active and 299,913 persons (24.5%) not economically active. For the economically active population, (87.0%) worked during the 7 days before the census, while 4.6 per cent had a job but did not work and 8.4 per cent were unemployed. There are no major differences between the males (87.8%) and females (86.2%) who worked during the period.

The percentages unemployed are (8.1%) for males and (8.7%) for females. The not economically active population is made up largely of students (35.6%) and homemakers (24.8%). The proportion of male students is larger than that of female students, while the proportion of female homemakers is higher than male homemakers.

The proportion of the aged and the retired/pensioners is higher for females (19.3%) than for males (14.2%). This pattern of economic activity is the same for all the 17 districts with little variations from district to district. There is very little difference between the male physically challenged persons, (3.8%) and the females (3.7%).

Occupation

The main occupations of the economically active population in the region are Agriculture and related work (54.8%), Sales (14.3%), Production, Transport and Equipment work (14.0%) and Professional and Technical work (6.9%) with Services accounting for 5.0 per cent.

The four principal occupations for males are agriculture and related work (56.9%), Production, Transport and Equipment work (16.6%), Professional and Technical work (8.6%) and Sales work (6.5%). These occupations are similar for females, except in Sales work where females (21.8%) feature more significantly than males.

The proportions for females are: Agriculture and related work, 52.7 per cent; Production, Transport and Equipment work, 11.5 per cent; Professional and Technical, and related work 5.2 per cent and Sales work, 21.8 per cent.

Industry
There are three main industrial activities in the region, namely Agriculture including Hunting, Forestry (54.9%), Wholesale and Retail trade (13.5%) and Manufacturing (9.1%). In Agriculture and related work, males constitute 57.4 per cent, compared with 52.6 per cent of females.

However, females are predominant in Wholesale and Retail Trade (19.3%), compared with 7.4 per cent males. In the Manufacturing industry, female participation (9.5%) is higher than that of males (8.8%). Birim North District has the highest economically active population in Agriculture and related work for both males (77.6%) and females (73.9%) while in New Juaben, only 17.7 per cent of males and 14.3 per cent of females are in that industry.

In the Manufacturing sector, the highest percentage for males (15.4%) and for females (15.0%) is in New Juaben municipality, with the lowest for both males (3.2%) and female (4.4%) in the Afram Plains District. Similarly, in the Wholesale and Retail Trade, the highest proportion for males (17.4%) and for females (39.1%) is in New Juaben municipality, while the Afram Plains District has the lowest for both males (2.2%) and females (6.6%).

Employment Status And Sector
Nearly four-fifths (77.7%) of the economically active population in the region are selfemployed with no employees. The next largest category is employees (11.5%), while selfemployed with employees are 4.3 per cent of the economically active population.

Those in the categories of unpaid family workers, apprentices and domestic employees make up the remaining 6.5 per cent. Females constitute the highest proportion of self-employed without employees, mainly in the private informal sector. The private informal sector employs 80.5 per cent of workers followed by the private formal with 12.3 per cent and the public sector 6.1 per cent.

Housing Stock
The total stock of houses in the region is 283,461 with a total of 456,663 households. The number of households per house is 1.6, with an average household size of 4.6. There has been an increase of 51.4 per cent in the stock of houses over the 1984 census count. About three-fifths (58.2%) of household members own their dwelling units, 20.9 per cent rent the dwelling units, 20.2 per cent pay no rent and 0.7 per cent perch with others. In view of the housing situation in the region, future housing programmes should consider the needs for, and the affordability of, the types and categories of housing to be provided.

Types of Dwelling
Compound, separate and semi-detached houses are the three common types of dwellings occupied by households in the districts. Of these, the commonest is the compound house, occupied by 43.1 per cent of households. The New Juaben municipality has the highest percentage of households (67.1%) living in compound houses.

Construction Materials

Mud/mud brick/earth and cement/concrete blocks are the two main construction materials used by households for walls in the districts. Of the two construction materials, mud or mud brick/earth accounts for 56.2 per cent of all types of materials used for wall construction. The use of this type of material features most prominently in wall construction in Afram Plains, accounting for 87.9 per cent of all types of wall materials.

Roof
About four in every five households (82.1%) in the districts live in dwelling units roofed with corrugated metal sheets. The use of this type of roofing material features most prominently in Suhum-Kraboa-Coaltar (95.4%), the highest in the region. A significant number (12.6%) of dwelling units have thatch/palm leaf roofs.

Floor
The floor of almost three quarters (73.8%) of dwelling units in the region is made of cement or concrete. It is the commonest type of floor material used in all districts, particularly in the New Juaben municipality (85.8%).

Rooms and Sleeping Rooms for Households
A little over a third (36.1%) of households in the region have one room, with about half (48.6%) of households having a single sleeping room. Next to this are households with two sleeping rooms (23.8%). At the district level, about a half (48.0%) of households in the West Akim district have a single room while about three-fifths (59.2%) of households have a single sleeping room. The data reflect the inadequacy of rooms as well as sleeping rooms for the majority of households. It is a situation which is likely to create overcrowding.



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