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Hon. Helen Ntoso
Hon. Francis Ganyaglo


Of all heads of households, 61.0 per cent are males and 31.0 per cent, females. More females are temporary household heads than males. Female-headed households are mostly either single person households or single-parent households. The main living arrangement in the region is the household, which comprises the heads, spouses, children and other relatives. This arrangement constitutes 85.5 per cent of all household arrangements identified in the region.

Data on marital status indicate that 59.9 per cent of females and 53.6 per cent of males are currently married or in a consensual union. In all, about 13.2 per cent of persons, aged 15 years and older, were once married but were, at the time of the census, separated, divorced, or widowed. The proportion of males who have never married (38.3%) is 1.7 times that of females (22.2%).

Females in the region, who have ever been, but are no longer married, are confronted with the many burdens and consequences of a break (voluntary or involuntary) in their marital union. Apart from losing the benefits of mutual support and companionship of stable marital relations, they have to develop survival strategies to cope with a variety of burdens they face. At present, there are, regrettably no effective mitigating programme packages for these burdens which, in many cases, weigh very heavily on these separated, divorced or widowed women. Marriage itself presents challenges, but being no more in a marital union, and most often being a single parent and a household head, present greater challenges for females in the region.

The main ethnic group in the region is the Ewe, followed distantly by the Guan, the Akan and the Gurma. All other ethnic groups together constitute 7.4 per cent. This pattern of distribution runs through nine of the 12 districts.

The Nkwanta, Jasikan and Krachi Districts however have higher proportions of the Gurma and the Guan, than any other ethnic group. This variation in the ethnic group distribution and composition in the region has important socio-cultural implications that need to be taken account of in both policy formulation and implementation

About 96.0 per cent of residents in the region are Ghanaians; including 2.5 per cent naturalized Ghanaians. Of the number of Ghanaians by birth in the region, 52.1 per cent are males and 47.9 per cent females.

The non-Ghanaian population constitutes between 1.3 per cent 3.5 per cent in seven districts, between 5.4 and 6.3 per cent in the Krachi, Nkwanta, Jasikan, Hohoe, Districts, and 16.9 per cent in the Kadjebi District. Christianity is the predominant religion in the region, ahead of Traditional religion and Islam. All those who do not practise any religion constitute 5.3 per cent. The pattern of religious affiliation in the districts is about the same as the regional pattern except in the Kadjebi, Jasikan and Hohoe, Districts where a higher proportion practise Islam than Traditional religion.

The adult literacy rate in the region is 58.3 per cent overall, 68.7 per cent of males and 49.1 per cent of females. Literacy rates are low in the Kadjebi, Nkwanta and Krachi, Districts. Pre-schools, which provide child-care and learning services to children below six years of age, are assuming greater importance in all the districts. The results show that children, six years and older, have been enrolled in pre-schools in the districts, even though they should have been in the primary school. The proportion are however relatively low.

There is a sharp drop of the population from primary to JSS in all the districts. This may be due to the fact that some children drop out of school before entering JSS.

The other reason may be that there are few new infrastructure for JSS in the districts. Efforts should be geared towards aggressively building more JSS to uptake pupils from the primary schools. The free Compulsory Universal Basic Education programme (fCUBE) is probably beginning to yield results leading to higher primary school enrolment.

The large difference between JHS and SHS enrolment in the districts may be due to the high drop out rate as a result of examination failure, inability to pay for SHS education or some enrolling in Vocational, Technical or Commercial Schools.

Household Composition And Structure
There are four major components of the household structure-household heads (19.7%), spouses (8.8%), children (36.7%) and other relatives (20.9%). This pattern runs through all districts with slight variations. The fact that grandchildren (8.4%) and relatives other than the immediate family (20.9%) constitute a significant proportion of the household members appears to support the view that the traditional household structure is still very much a part of the social structure of the region.

The small proportions of parents or parents in-law, sons or daughters or daughters inlaw and non-relatives also appear to confirm the presence and extent of fostering in the living arrangements of households in the region, and in the country as a whole (Ghana Statistical Service, 2002).

The extent to which the traditional household structure has persisted is reflective of the fact that the average household in the region is composed largely of children (36.7%), other relatives (20.9%) non-relatives (2.2%) in addition to the head (including temporary head) and spouse (29.9). The observations hold for all the 12 districts in the region, with variations in percentages, but the outcome in totality and implications, are similar.

The district pattern does not deviate much from the regional pattern. Children constitute the largest component in all households, in every district, and are so distributed for both male and female-headed households. Other relatives constitute about one fourth of all households in the 12 districts.

The head, the spouse, the child and other relatives constitute about eighty per cent of all households members in the districts. There are more male household heads than female heads in all the 12 districts. The ratio however varies from as high as 4:1 (i.e., four male heads to one female head of household) in Nkwanta to as low as 1:1 in South Tongu and Keta. It is also worth noting that spouses in households headed by males outnumber spouses in households headed by females. In households where there are both adult males and females, the male is more likely than the female to be head of the household.

Marital Status
An additional 13.2 per cent have once been in a marriage but are now either divorced, widowed or separated. In terms of male-female differences, 17.9 per cent of the females compared with 8.1 per cent of the males are either divorced, separated or widowed. The percentage of the never married, at the regional level, is 29.9 per cent, made up of 38.3 per cent males and 22.2 per cent females. This suggests that males are more likely than females to postpone marriage.

There is not much variation between the districts except that Nkwanta has a higher percentage of married males (54.7%) and female (62.8%) than the other districts. The Nkwanta district also has a lower rate of the divorced, separated and widowed females (13.2%) and males (5.4%) compared with the regional average of 17.9 per cent for females and 8.1 per cent males.

Similarly, Krachi has a low rate of separated partners and divorcees. On the other hand, a higher percentage of females than males, in all districts, are married; but there are more never married males (between 1.4 and 1.7 times) than never married females in all districts. A higher percentage of females, than males, are living together in consensual unions, in all the 12 districts.

While there is a higher percentage of married females than males, in all the districts, the range is narrow, varying from 0.6 percentage points in Ho, to 8.1 percentage points in Nkwanta, with the exception of Kadjebi (11.3 percentage points).

On the other hand, the proportion of never married males is not only higher than that of never married females, but the differential is wide and varies from 13.8 percentage points in Ho to 20.9 percentage points in Kadjebi.

A higher percentage of females than males, in all the districts, are living together in consensual unions, are separated, divorced or widowed. Female widowhood is highest in the coastal districts of Ketu (11.1%), Akatsi (12.6%), Keta (15.3%) and South Tongu (16.0%). It is lowest in the northern districts of Krachi (7.2%), Nkwanta (8.1%), Kadjebi (8.1%) and Jasikan (8.9%) While the divorce rate is almost of similar pattern throughout the region, the pattern for the widowed is significantly different. In all the 12 districts, the ratio of the widowed to the widower is very large. On a regional scale, 4.1 women survive their husbands; this is highest for South

Tongu where about five women survive their husbands. The ratio is lowest for Akatsi (2.7). Females in the region, who have ever been, but are no longer married, are confronted with the many burdens and consequences of breakages (voluntary or involuntary) in their marital unions. Apart from losing the benefits of mutual support and companionship of stable marital relations, they have to develop survival strategies to cope with a variety of burdens they face for which there are, at present, no effective mitigating programme packages. Marriage itself presents challenges, but being no more in a marital union, and most often being a single parent and a household head, present greater challenges for females in the region.

Marital Status Of The Population Aged 12-14 Years
Of a total population of 118,367 aged 12-14 years, made of 61,828 males and 56,539 females, only 93 have ever been, or are still in a marital union. It is pertinent to note that no male, aged 12-14 years was recorded to have ever been in a marital union. All the 93 who have ever been, or are still, in a marital union are females. Of these, 46.2 per cent are married, 26.9 per cent in a consensual union, 10.7 per cent separated, 6.5 per cent divorced and 9.7 per cent widowed.

At the district level, Kadjebi and South Tongu recorded no marital union for the age category 12-14 years, while Jasikan (0.80%) and Keta (0.90%) recorded the lowest percentage of females in this age category, who have ever been in a marital union. North Tongu (0.16%), Ho (0.14%), Ketu (0.13%) and Kpandu (0.12%) recorded below 0.20 per cent, followed by Krachi (0.25%) and Akatsi (0.21%). Nkwanta (0.31%) and Hohoe (0.31%) recorded the highest ever-married rate for females 12-14 years old, in the region.

The proportion ever married, 0.20 per cent of females 12-14 years old only, may appear relatively low, but it is high enough for concern, especially when children of this age-group are expected to be in school.

The concern therefore is that majority of these married young girls might never have been or might not return, to school and may end their education at such a tender age. It is also pertinent to find out why no boy of this age group in the region entered a marital union while 93 girls have been or are in such a union.

Nationality
An examination of the birthplace statistics for the various districts indicates that most people counted in the region during the census are Ghanaians by birth. In nine out of the 12 districts, the proportion of Ghanaians by birth is higher than 90.0 per cent and in the remaining three districts, Kadjebi, Hohoe and Krachi, the proportions of Ghanaian by birth is between 81.9 and 90.1per cent. Kadjebi, Jasikan, Nkwanta and Krachi Districts have relatively a higher proportion of ECOWAS nationals than the other districts.

In fact, one in six people living in the Kadjebi district is from another ECOWAS country while districts with the largest number of naturalized Ghanaians are Krachi (5.6%), Hohoe (4.5%), Nkwanta (3.5%), Ketu (2.2%), Akatsi (2.2%) and Ho (2.0%). Non-African and African other than ECOWAS nationals constitute the smallest proportions of persons enumerated in the region.

Together, they account for less than 1.0 per cent of the population of each district in the region. It is worth noting that the male-female composition of the naturalized Ghanaians and other ECOWAS nationals is similar in almost all the districts.

Ethnicity
Although the region is ethnically diverse, the main ethnic groups are the Ewe, Guan, Akan and Gurma. The predominant ethnic group is the Ewe (68.5%). The other relatively large ethnic groups are the Guan (9.2%), the Akan (8.5%) and the Gurma (6.5%). The Mole-Dagbon, Grusi, Mande, Ga-Dangme and the other smaller ethnic groups constitute 7.3 per cent. This pattern runs through nine out the 12 districts; Kadjebi, Nkwanta, Jasikan and Krachi districts have larger proportions of the Gurma and the Guan.

Nkwanta has the lowest percentage of the Ewe (13.2%) and the fourth highest Akan population (11.5%) in the region. The Gurma (44.3%) are the predominant ethnic group in the Nkwanta District, while the Jasikan (40.3%) and Krachi (24.5%) Districts have the largest proportion of the Guan. In the Krachi District, the proportions are almost the same for the Ewe (22.3%), the Gurma (22.6%) and the Guan (24.5%, distantly followed by the Akan (14.9%).

Inspite of the slight variation of the pattern in the latter three districts, it can be said that not only can the Ewe be found in the entire region, but also that the proportion of Ewe in the districts decreases from southern to the northern districts, particularly from the Hohoe District. It is also worth noting that, despite the higher proportion of Ewes in Hohoe, almost a quarter of the population of the District are Guan. This is due to the indigenous Guan who inhabit areas or towns such as Akpafu, Lolobi, Santrokofi, Likpe, among others.

Religious Affiliation
Nationally, Christianity is the predominant religion (68.8%) of the population, followed by Islam (15.9%), Traditional religion (8.5%) and those who claim to have no religious affiliation (6.1%). This picture is slightly different in the Volta Region, where there are three main religious groups: Christianity, Islam and Traditional. Christians constitute 67.2 per cent of the total population, followed by Traditional Religion (21.8%) and Moslems (5.1%). An additional 5.3 per cent have no religious affiliation while 0.6 per cent belongs to other religious groupings.

Christians account for 80.0 per cent of the population in Ho, Kpandu, Hohoe and Jasikan. On the other hand, adherents of Traditional religion account for 46.7 per cent in Ketu and 41.9 per cent the in Akatsi Districts while the Kadjebi District has the largest proportion of Moslems (28.4%), followed by the Jasikan (10.3%) and the Nkwanta (9.8%) Districts.

These districts are close to areas of the Northern Region where Islam is the main religion. The districts also have significant proportions of in-migrants from Northern Ghana. On the whole, Islam is mainly practised in the northern parts of the region while Traditional religion is concentrated in parts of the southern half.

Protestants are in the majority, (22.5%), followed by the Catholics (20.1%) and the Pentecostals (18.8%). The Ho (40.1%), Kpandu (36.8%), Hohoe (33.1%) and North Tongu (27.9%) Districts have the largest concentration of Protestants.

In the Hohoe, Jasikan and Kadjebi Districts, the pattern of the share of the Christian denominations is similar: Catholics, Protestants, and Pentecostalists. Majority of the Protestants belong to two divisions of the Presbyterian Church, both of which trace their origins to the 19th Century Bremen missionaries.

At the national level, the proportion of female Christians (70.5%) is higher than that of the male Christians (67.1%), but in the Volta Region, the proportion of male (66.8%) and female (67.5%) Christians is almost the same. Male adherents of Traditional religion predominate at the national level, but in the Volta Region, females constitute the majority of adherents of Traditional religion.

Literacy
Literacy is measured by the ability to read and write a language with understanding. The 2000 Census collected information on the English Language because it is the official language of the country. Literacy in the English Language and in any one Ghanaian Language is classified together while literacy in any additional Ghanaian Language or any other Language is classified as “other”.

According to the 2000 Census, 57.9 per cent of the adult Ghanaian population is classified as literate in English only (16.4%) or in a known Ghanaian language only (2.5%) and 38.1 per cent are literate in both English and a Ghanaian Language. Other languages constitute 0.8 per cent; nearly two fifths of the population (42.1%) are not literate.

The illiteracy level of the region (41.7%) is almost the same as the national level (42.1%). The proportion of the population literate in English and a Ghanaian Language combined is 44.5 per cent, made up of 54.0 per cent of males and 36.2 per cent of females.

Although the illiteracy level of the region (41.7%) is almost the same as that at the national level (42.1%), there are very great disparities between males and females, among districts and between the sexes in the districts. Five levels of illiteracy can be identified in the districts.

  1. A relatively very low illiteracy level for both males (14.5-15.0%) and females (27.0- 29.0%), places three districts, Ho, Kpandu and Hohoe, in a special category by themselves. The illiteracy level, for both males and females, in these three districts, is very much lower than the corresponding regional and national levels.
  2. A relatively low male illiteracy level (24.9-28.5%), lower than both the regional male (31.3%) and the national male (33.6%) illiteracy levels, in three districts, South Tongu, Keta and Jasikan. In fact, the level of male illiteracy in this category is almost the same as that of female illiteracy in the preceding category.
  3. Moderate male illiteracy level (30.9-34.3%) around both the regional male (31.3%) and the national male (33.6%) illiteracy levels, in four districts, North Tongu (30.9%), Kadjebi (31.5%), Ketu (33.6%) and Akatsi (34.3%).
  4. A relatively high female illiteracy level (42.8-63.0%), higher than that of both the regional (50.9%) and the national (50.2%) female illiteracy levels in seven districts, Jasikan (42.8%), Kadjebi (55.3%), North Tongu (53.5%), South Tongu (59.4%), Akatsi (63.7%), Ketu (63.0%) and Keta (55.9%).
  5. An unacceptably very high male (60.6-63.3%) and Female (74.0-77.0%) illiteracy levels in the Krachi and the Nkwanta Districts.

The above great disparities in the illiteracy level between males and females, among males in different districts and females and males in three categories of districts, present real challenges to the District, the Regional and the National level Administrations. In addition, the unacceptably very high male and female illiteracy levels (60.0% and higher) in the Krachi and Nkwanta districts deserve a particularly focused programme action.

Serious and concerted efforts are needed to curb illiteracy at all levels, between males and females, particularly since these disparities translate into male and female differential literacy in Ghanaian languages and the English Language. For the region as a whole, the percentage of males literate in either the English Language only (9.3% of males and 7.4% of females) or both a Ghanaian language and the English Language (54.0%) of males and (36.2% of females) is higher than that of females.

Incidentally the proportion of literate males in a Ghanaian Language only (4.3%) is slightly lower than that of females (4.7%). Literacy levels in the English Language only or in a Ghanaian Language only basically follow the pattern of the level of general literacy in the region. It is however worth noting that female literacy in a Ghanaian Language only, is higher than that of males in the districts with higher literacy level, i.e., Ho, Kpandu Hohoe and Jasikan.

Current School Enrolment
Improved access to education is reflected in the high adult literacy rate (58.3%). The male literacy level (68.7%) in the region is higher than the national average of 66.4 per cent for males, whilst that of the females (49.1%) is almost the same as the national average of 49.8 per cent.

Primary school enrolment rates in the region (Total 59.0%; Males 56.7% and Females 61.6%) are slightly lower than the national average of 60.3 per cent (Males 58.6%; Females 62.3%).

Middle school enrolment in the region is higher for males (23.5%) and females (22.9%) than that at the national level for males (22.6%) and females (21.9%). Senior secondary school enrolment in the region is equally higher in the region for males (9.8%) and for females (7.9%) than at the national level for both males (8.9%) and females (7.6%).

Majority of children not attending school appear to be from rural poor households. While school enrolment in the region is higher than the national average, satisfaction with the quality of both primary and secondary school education is the lowest in the country.

The proportion of people satisfied with primary (19.0%) and secondary school (21.0%) education in the region, is low compared with 40.0 per cent for the primary school and 43.0 per cent for the secondary school, for the country. The poor conditions of the educational facilities rank highest among reasons for dissatisfaction. The main complaints are lack of books, supplies (or both), and lack of teachers‡.

Educational Level Attained
More than one in three people have attained both primary and Middle/JSS, in all districts in the region. The rates attain 40.0 per cent and higher for middle school in Ho, Kpandu, Hohoe, Jasikan Districts and for males only in Kadjebi.

This ratio is very much the same for both males and females, although the ratio is slightly higher for females than for males. An examination of the distribution of the educational attainment figures suggests that while the percentage of females tends to be higher than that of males, at the primary level and almost equal at Middle/JHS level, and in few districts slightly higher.

The percentage of males tends to be higher than that of females, particularly, at the higher levels of education. Thus for example, at the Senior High School (SHS) level, there are about 1.4 times more males than females attending school, although the gap is wider for Kadjebi, Nkwanta, Krachi and Jasikan, Districts, than it is for the other districts.

On the other hand, North Tongu, Ho, Akatsi and Kpandu Districts seem to retain nearly equal percentage of males and females, at the Secondary School level. The ratio of the male to female gap somehow widens (almost two to one) at the tertiary level in the Kpandu, Akatsi, Jasikan and Kadjebi Districts.

Another pattern worth observing is the fact that Krachi and Nkwanta Districts, which enrol larger than average number of males and females in primary schools, do not necessarily retain them at the secondary and tertiary levels. On the other hand, the Ho and Hohoe Districts, which start with lower than average enrolments into primary classes, have larger than average enrolments into secondary and tertiary institutions.

The pattern is similar for both male and female enrolments. The Akatsi District, which appears to be one of the less developed districts in terms of health and social facilities, rather appear to be a higher education achiever. This may be due to the presence of an SHS and a Teacher Training College located in the district. The Ho and Hohoe Districts appear to be higher-level achievers for both males and females.

Of all heads of households, 61.0 per cent are males, and 39.0 per cent females. A higher percentage of females (2.3 %) than males (0.6 %) are temporary household heads. Most femaleheaded households are either single person households or single parent households. Data on marital status indicate that 59.9 per cent of females and 53.6 per cent of males are currently married or are in a consensual union. In all, 13.2 per cent of persons, aged 15 years and older, were once married but are now separated, divorced or widowed. The proportion of never married males (38.3 %) is higher than that of the never married females (22.2 %).

Females in the region, who have ever been, but are no longer, married, are confronted with the many burdens and consequences of a break (voluntary or involuntary) in their marital union. Apart from losing the benefits of mutual support and companionship of a stable marital relation, they have to develop survival strategies to cope with a variety of burdens they face. At present, there are, regrettably, no effective mitigating programme packages for these burdens which, in many cases, weigh very heavily on these separated, divorced or widowed women. Marriage itself presents challenges, but being no more in a marital union, and most often being a single parent and a household head, present greater challenges for females in the region.

The predominant ethnic group in the region, the Ewe, constitutes 68.5 per cent of the total population, followed by the Guan (9.2 %), the Akan (8.5 %) and the Gurma (6.2). This pattern of distribution runs through nine of the 12 districts. In the Nkwanta District, the Gurma (44.4 %) are the predominant group while in the Jasikan and Krachi Districts, the Guan are in the majority. The variation in the ethnic group distribution and composition in the region has important socio-cultural implications that need to be taken account in both policy formulation and implementation.

About 96.0 per cent of residents in the region are Ghanaians, including 2.5 per cent naturalized Ghanaians. Of the 93.3 per cent Ghanaians by birth, 52.1 per cent are males and 47.9 per cent females. The non-Ghanaian population is very high in the Kadjebi District (16.9%). On the other hand, non Ghanaians constitute between 5.0 and 6.5 per cent of the population in four of the northern districts, Hohoe (6.3%), Jasikan (6.2%), Krachi (5.6%) and Nkwanta (5.4%). They account for between 2.5 and 3.5 per cent in three other districts and less than 2.0 per cent in four districts, Kpandu, Akatsi, South Tongu and Keta.

Christians constitute 67.2 per cent of the main religious groups in the region; adherents of Traditional religion account for 21.8 per cent and Moslems, 5.0 per cent. Those who do not practise any religion constitute 5.3 per cent while all other smaller religious groups make up 0.7 per cent. The distribution pattern of religious affiliation in the districts is about the same as the distribution in the region, except for the Kadjebi, Jasikan and Hohoe, Districts where the percentage of Moslems is higher than that of adherents of Traditional religion. The adult literacy rate in the region is 58.3per cent, made up of 68.7 per cent of males and 49.1 per cent of females. The literacy rates in the Nkwanta and Krachi Districts are low. Pre-schools, which provide child-care and learning services to children below six years of age, are becoming important in all the districts.

There is a sharp drop of the school population from primary (59.0%) to JSS (23.2%) at the regional level and higher in most districts. This may be due to the fact that some children drop out of school before entering JSS. The other reason may be that there are few new infrastructures for JSS in the districts. Efforts should be geared towards aggressively building more JSSs to uptake pupils from the primary schools. The free Compulsory Universal Basic Education programme (fCUBE) is probably beginning to yield results leading to higher primary school enrolment.

The large difference between JSS and SSS enrolment in the districts may be due to the high drop out rate, as a result of examination failure, inability to pay for SSS education, or some enrolling in Vocational, Technical or Commercial Schools. An encouraging proportion of children, especially females, are in the primary schools in the region. This raises the important issue of the extent to which a significant proportion of those now at primary schools can be sustained and retained in the educational system at higher levels. The next issue is that of the infrastructural facilities at the next higher levels, necessary to accommodate and effectively absorb substantially higher proportions of students seeking admission to the higher levels.

Children and wards in SSS, become important factors in children’s education at SSS level and beyond. It is therefore an important and necessary policy and programme concern, for the region’s development, to expand educational institutions and empower and encourage parents and guardians to send, and maintain their children and wards, in all levels in the educational system, especially SSS and beyond.

Current Enrolment in vocational/technical/commercial education remains regrettably very low for both males (2.4%) and females (1.7%) in the region. Since such schools require much investment in equipment and other infrastructure, they need not be multiplied in each district. It must however be ensured that the facilities exist in the region and are sufficiently well equipped to train the right calibre of students. In addition to this, lucrative job openings in the region must be assured to absorb, those who complete their training in these Vocational, Technical and Commercial Institutions and the Polytechnics after training. Investment in education, especially in SSS education and beyond, which is indispensable for the human resource development of the region, should therefore be a major focus of regional and district development programme planning and implementation.

 

 

 

 

 



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