Introduction This chapter provides information on the age and sex of household members, the population size of the districts, the sex and dependency ratios as well as the migratory pattern within the region. Population distribution by rural-urban residence is also discussed in addition to fertility and child survival.
Of the 17 districts, in the region, Kwahu South is the most populous, with a population of 217,485 which constitutes 10.3 per cent of the regional population. The least populated district is Asuogyaman, with a population of 75,920 or 3.6 per cent of the region’s population.
Age-sex structure, Sex Ratios And Population Pyramid The age structure and the sex composition of the population of the region follow the national pattern. The age structure is broad at the base and reduces gradually in the subsequent age groups until the population becomes relatively small at the top. This type of population structure is typical of developing countries where high fertility is accompanied by a high, though declining mortality. The age structure for the sexes also follows the national pattern where males predominate in the early few years but are overtaken by the female population in later years. Age-sex Structure The age structure for the region shows a relatively large proportion of children (41.7%) and a small proportion of older people 65 years and older (5.8%). The fact that a greater proportion of the people in the region are surviving to old age implies that there is an increase in the life expectancy for the region as a whole. This may be a reflection of improvement in the health status of the people in the region. The age structure for the districts follows the regional pattern with a broad base tapering gradually at older ages and this may be due to mortality and migration.
The age structure of the sexes for the 17 districts follows the same patterns as the national and regional with some differences. For example, the proportion of the male population under 15 years is highest in the Birim North district (47.3%) while that for females (under 15 years) is highest in the Afram Plains (46.5%). In all districts, except Kwaebibirem and Afram Plains, there is a greater proportion of surviving females (65 years and older) than males. The highest is in Akwapim North, with 6.3 per cent males compared with 9.8 per cent females. In the Afram Plains, the corresponding figures are 3.1 per cent males compared with 2.6 per cent females.
Sex Ratios The sex ratio is the ratio of males per 100 females. The sex ratio at birth in most countries is about 105 or 106 males per 100 females. After birth, sex ratios vary because of different patterns of mortality and migration for males and females within the population. Sex ratios that are higher than 100 indicate that there are more males than females but sex ratios under 100 indicate the reverse, i.e., more females than males. In most countries of the world, sex ratios at older ages are below 100.
A lower sex ratio of 96.8 for the region compared with the national average of 97.9, which means that there are more females than males in the region. This general pattern is not reflected at all ages and in all districts in the region as a whole. The imbalance in the sex ratio may be due to a higher male mortality and large numbers of young men seeking employment in other regions or outside the country.
Only two districts Kwaebibirem (104.4) and Afram Plains (114.9) record higher sex ratios: which indicates that there are more males than females in both districts. The reason for the high sex ratios in both districts may be mainly agricultural. The two districts are major agricultural areas which attract many people into the farming and fishing industries.
Population Pyramid As discussed, the age-sex structure of the population of the region has a broad base, graphically represented by a pyramid (Figure 2.1). Figure 2.1 shows that a large new cohort is born every year as displayed at the bottom of the pyramid (ages 0-4 years). As cohorts age, they inevitably lose members either through death or migration or both. This is shown by the narrowing of the population pyramid as it peaks. The peaking of the population accelerates after age 45 years.
Another feature of the regional population pyramid is that females in the oldest age groups form the substantial majority. The pyramid also shows that the population aged 5-9 years is slightly more than that of the 0-4 year age group. The reason is not clear but may be due to either age shifting or indications of a decline in fertility resulting in fewer births.