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Hon. Ephraim Avea Nsoh (Dr)
Hon. Daniel Awenyue Syme

The main occupations in the region in order of magnitude are, agriculture and related work (65.9%), production and transport equipment work (14.5%), sales work (9.5%) service work (3.9%), and professional, technical and related work 3.8 per cent. The five together make up 97.6 per cent of all occupations. The occupational structure of the region is thus not very diverse.

The substantial lack of formal sector, office based bureaucratic activities in the region is reflected in the fact that only 1.7 per cent of the economically active are engaged in administrative, managerial, clerical and related work. About two out of every three are in agriculture (66.4%).

The rank order of the five occupations is same for males and females. The proportion of females in sales work (13.3%) is twice that of males (5.8%). The proportion of males in agriculture is 71.8 per cent compared with 61.2 per cent females

The three major industrial activities at the national level are agriculture, including hunting and forestry (49.1%) wholesale and retail trade (15.2%) and manufacturing (10.9%). Significantly, these remain the three major activities for both sexes in the region.

The proportional shares of the three industry groups in the region are agriculture, including hunting and forestry (67.2%), manufacturing (11.3%) and wholesale and retail trade (9.6%). All the remaining industry groups make up about one eighth (11.9%) of activities in the region, compared with 24.8 per cent at the national level. Education (2.8% for males) and hotels and restaurants (1.8 % for females) deserve mention as the fourth major activities in the region.

Employment Status
Another important classification of the characteristics of the economically active population is by employment status. Almost three in four of the economically active are self-employed without employee (74.5%). Unpaid family workers are the next highest group with 14.0 percent.

Employees constitute only 6.5 per cent and the self-employed with employees make up 2.7 percent. Domestic employees or house helps constitute less than one per cent (0.6%). Apprentices and others make up the remaining 1.6 percent.

Employees and the self-employed with employees (who could be taxed at source) make up only 9 percent. Males and females show a similar proportional pattern except for the employee category where there are approximately two males to each female employee.

Employment Sector
The private sector, made up of the private formal (21.2%), private informal (74.0%), NGO/International Organizations, and others (0.2%) provides employment to 95.4% per cent of the working population in the region. Only 4 per cent are in the public sector and 0.2 per cent are employed by the semi public/parastatal sector.

The size of the private informal sector, made up largely of self-employed persons without employees most of whom are normally not even registered, affects the tax revenue base of the region since direct tax deduction becomes a problem.

Working Children (population aged 7-14 years)
A total of 69,094 children of school going aged 7-14 years are reported to be working full time. The majority (54.5%) of them are boys. The number of children working represents a little over one in three (34.0%) of the total population aged 7-14 years. The proportion of males of school going age who are working is 35.3 per cent and that of females is 32.7 percent.

The fact that children at these ages are already gainfully employed is a reflection of the extent of child labour in the region. Almost all of these children are engaged in agriculture (77.9%), production and transport equipment (9%), service work (8%) and sales work (4.4%).

The working children are almost entirely in the private informal sector and are either selfemployed without employees (63.1%) or are unpaid family workers (29.8%); about five per cent are employees. Contrary to the popular perception that children are used as househelp, child domestic employees make up only 3 per cent while other employees make up 1.7 percent.

Population Size, Growth Rate And Density

The region’s population of 920,089 is not evenly distributed among the six districts.

Growth And Density
Intercensal growth rates and changes in population densities between 1984 and 2000 are not available for the districts, because Ghana changed from the local authorities system of administration to the district assembly system in 1988. The country was demarcated into 138 districts out of the existing 140 local authorities. The boundaries of the districts do not necessarily conform to the boundaries of the local authorities but are coterminous with regional boundaries.

Age And Sex Structure
Age Structure

The age structure of the population of the region indicates a broad base that gradually tapers off with increasing age. This regional picture is reflected at the districts level. The age-structures of the districts are examined in broad and sometimes overlapping segments namely: children under fives years (0-4 years), children below 15 years, youth aged 15-19 years, the conventional working force age group of 15-64 years and the conventional aged dependent group of 65 years and older

In every district, about one out of every eight persons is a child below 5 years. The size of each segment has implications for the demand for social services, future population growth, youth unemployment, the overall dependency burden, as well as the total working force of the district.

The population below 15 years falls within the range of 40.6 per cent in Kassena-Nankana to 46.4 per cent in Bawku West. The data show that, in all the districts, about two out of every five persons are children who, even granted the phenomenon of working children, are dependent on others for their needs.

The youth aged 15-19 years are between 8 and 10 per cent in all the districts. When the youth are added to the population aged below 15 years, their proportions range from 50.4 per cent in Kassena-Nankana to 54.3 per cent in Bawku West.

The median age of the population is thus around 19 years. The population aged 15-64 years is about one half of the total population in each district. The population aged 65 years and above forms the smallest segment and is a reflection of the young age structure of the population of the districts. It is not more than 7 per cent in any district.

The age composition of the population aged 15-64 years shows that each district has a potentially large and youthful workforce (15-39 years), which if properly managed, can become a great economic asset for the region. The private informal sector, especially agriculture and small-scale industries, is the largest source of employment in the region.

This sector, therefore, needs to be modernized and injected with capital and technical expertise to enable it diversify its scope of activities to absorb the large numbers of potential job seekers. About two-thirds (64.4%) is young, between 15 and 39 years. In Bawku

East, the proportion is 68.2 per cent while it is 67.4 per cent in Bolgatanga and 64.2 per cent in Kassena-Nankana. The proportions in Builsa (63.5%) and Bawku West (63.8%) are about the same. It is only in Bongo that the proportion of the working force, aged less than 40 years, is lower than 60 per cent (59.4%).

Age Structure By Sex
The age structure for the sexes shows that at the regional level, there are more males than females at all ages 0-19 years, except for the age group 0-4 years. Between the ages of 20 and 69 years, however there are more females than males. For the elderly population (70 years and over) there are again more males than females.

As already indicated, the observed age-sex structure of the region follows, very closely, the pattern at the national level where there are more females than males in almost every age group upwards from age 20 years. The pattern changes for the region after age 70 years where there are more males than females.

The differences in the female/male population from age 20 to 69 are consistently high for the region. At age 70 and older, there is a preponderance of males than females. This is contrary to the observed national pattern of more females at the older ages. At the national level, females constitute 50.1 per cent of the population aged seventy years or more; in the region, the proportion is 47.2 percent.

The two adjacent regions show similar deviations from the national picture. Females form 46.6 per cent of the population aged 70 years and older in Northern and 48.1 per cent in Upper West. The fact that these regions are patriarchal and old age and male pre-eminence are greatly respected may probably encourage males to overstate their ages and females understate their ages.

At the district level, the age structures for the sexes follow the regional pattern. The age-sex structure is presented in the population pyramids in the Appendix. The other significant observation about the age-sex structure is that in the adult age group 20-44, the excess of females over males is higher in Bongo (35.8%), Bawku West (35.8%) and Bawku East (29.9%) than what is observed in the region (25.0%) as a whole. The excess of females in the 20-44 age group is lower than the regional value in three districts, Builsa (23.3%), Kassena- Nankana (22.1%) and Bolgatanga (15.2%).

Sex Composition And Sex Ratio
Sex Composition

The sex composition of the districts favours females. In each district, females form a little over one-half of the population. The proportion of females in the region is slightly higher than the national average. In the region, three districts, Bongo, Bawku West and Bawku East, have a slightly higher proportion of females than the regional average of 51.9 percent.

Sex Ratio
At the regional level age-sex ratios drop sharply from a high of about 110 males in the age group 15-19 years to below 90 males in the age group 20-24 years. The age-sex ratios remain low till age 40-44 years when the ratios pick up again. The age-sex ratios from age group 45-49 to the oldest age, pick-up gradually and in a consistent manner except for the dents at ages 50-54 and 60 - 64 years.

The observed pattern of the sex ratios reflects the effects of the sex ratio at birth, and the different patterns of migration and mortality for males and females. From age 20, ablebodied persons begin to migrate and some may return after age 64.

This is reflected in the fact that the sex ratio drops significantly between ages 15-19 and 20-24. For instance, at the national level, there is a sharp drop of 13.1 percentage points from age 15-19 (104.2%) to age 20-24 (91.1%). At the regional level, the drop is 27.9 percentage points (from 109.9% for age 15-19 to 82.0% for age 20-24).

The same pattern is observed in each district. The magnitude of the drop however, differs significantly between districts. The sharpest drop is in Bawku West (46.6 percentage points), followed by Builsa (34.7 percentage points), Bongo (32.6 percentage points) and Bawku East (32 percentage points). In Kassena-Nankana (17.6 percentage points) and Bolgatanga (20.6 percentage point), the drop is below the regional figure of 27.9 percentage points.

Age Dependency Ratios
The age dependency ratio is influenced by the birth rate. Populations with high birth rates usually have high age dependency ratios because of the large proportion of children age 0-14 in the population. With the dependency ratio of 99.2 (43.4% or the population under 15 and 6.4% aged 65 and older), it means that 100 economically active persons have responsibility for 99 dependants. The pattern for the districts is very interesting. Three districts have fairly low dependency ratios while the other three have extremely high ratios.

Bawku West (116.1), Bawku East (110.0) and Bongo (107.4) have much greater dependency burdens than the regional average while Builsa (94.3), Kassena-Nankana (87.8) and Bolgatanga (86.6) have lighter loads. These have important implications which must be taken into account for socio-economic planning.

Bawku West, with the highest age dependency ratio of 116.1 has 46.4 per cent of its population aged below 15 years and only 7.2 per cent aged 65 years and over. In Bawku East where the age dependency ratio is 110.0, the population under 15 years is 45.8 per cent and those 65 years and older is 6.9 percent. Bongo has an age dependency ratio of 107.4 and 44.8 per cent of its population below 15 years. The proportion aged 65 years or older is 6.9 percent.

In Builsa the age dependency ratio is 94.3, and the populations aged below 15 years and aged 65 years and above are 42.3 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively. Kassena-Nankana has an age dependency ratio of 87.8 and a dependent population of 40.5 per cent below 15 years and 6.1 per cent 65 years and above. Bolgatanga has the lowest age dependency ratio of 86.6. The dependent population is made up of 40.9 per cent below 15 years and 5.5 per cent aged 65 years and above.

The observed ratios imply that there is roughly one dependent person to every economically active adult in each district. The pressure on the economically active population is greatest in Bawku West, Bawku East and Bongo. These have important implications which must be taken into account for socio-economic planning.

Birthplace And Migratory Pattern

Birthplace and migratory pattern are analysed by comparing locality of birth with locality of enumeration. While some of the persons born in locality of enumeration may have returned after years of migration, it is not possible to isolate them for analysis.

Comparing locality of birth with locality of enumeration is only a crude measure of migration because a person born in a place may have migrated out for a very long time to work but found him/herself back at the birthplace on census night for one reason or the other including retirement. It cannot be said that such a person has never migrated because he/she was counted at the locality of birth.

In all the districts, the proportion born in the locality of enumeration (I.e. non migrants) ranges from 86.7 per cent in Bolgatanga to 93.6 per cent in Bawku West. In other words, migrants in the region constitute between 6 and 13 per cent of Ghanaians by birth.

Migration Pattern
The volume of migration is generally low for both migration within the region and migration from outside the region. The regional capital district (Bolgatanga) received the highest proportion of Ghanaian migrants (37.2%).

Bawku East is the second most attractive destination, accounting for about a quarter (23.9%) of the region’s migrant population followed by Kassena-Nankana with 16.0 per cent of the migrants. Bongo (10.3%), Builsa (6.5%) and Bawku West (6.1%) are the least attractive destinations of migrants. Within districts (except Bongo), more than 90 per cent of migrants are born in Ghana.

It is significant to note that Builsa has hardly any migrants from outside Ghana, Economic and social activities of the district are not the type that attract foreign labour, being almost entirely rural. On the other hand, Kassena-Nankana, Bongo and Bolgatanga which are all quite close or share a common border with Burkina Faso, and Bawku East which shares borders with Togo and Burkina Faso have significant proportions of migrants from ECOWAS countries.

Data show that proximity of the two adjacent regions (Northern and Upper West) does not appear to be a significant pull factor for migration into the districts. These two regions account for only about a fourth (22.7%) of migrants from outside the region. About seven out of ten (69.4%) migrants are from the southern sector of the country, and almost half of these are from Ashanti (32.6%). Migrants from outside Ghana make up 7.9 per cent of migrants.

Migrants from the two adjacent regions (Northern and Upper West) are concentrated in three districts namely, Bolgatanga, Bawku East and Kassena-Nankana. Migrants from Ashanti are also attracted to the same three districts. About a third (29.5%) are in Bawku East, a further 29.4 per cent in Bolgatanga and 17 per cent in Kassena- Nankana. On the whole, migrants from all the other regions in Ghana are also concentrated in the same three districts of Bolgatanga, Bawku East and Kassena-Nankana.

The reasons for the preference of these districts are not far fetched. Bolgatanga contains the regional capital where most of the white-collar jobs, wholesale and retail trade activities are concentrated. Small-scale gold mining activities “galamsey” also draw migrants into the district. Bawku East has Bawku, an ancient trading town and the main entry point into Ghana from Northern Togo and Southern Burkina Faso, as its capital.

The district is also famous for onion production and for its market outlets. Kassena-Nankana has several institutions of higher learning, a world-renowned Health Research Centre and a flourishing irrigation project (Tono) that attract migrants with the requisite technical expertise.

Sex Distribution Of Migrants
The overall distribution of migrants shows a higher proportion of females than males in the region and in each district. However, within region of birth categories, there is no consistent pattern of a higher percentage of males or of females.

Population Distribution (rural-urban composition)
The region is the least urbanised in the country. Only 15.7 per cent of the population live in urban areas.

Only 2 districts in the region (Bolgatanga and Bawku East) have levels of urbanization above the regional level; one district has a level close to that of the region (Kassena-Nankana), and (Builsa and Bongo) are entirely rural. There are only seven urban centres in the region. Out of the region’s total urban population, the largest proportion of 43.8 per cent is in Bawku East, followed by 34.1 per cent in Bolgatanga, 16.5 per cent in Kassena-Nankana and 5.6 per cent in Bawku West.

Fertility And Child Survival
Children EverBorn
The average number of children born to women at the end of the reproductive period (40-49 years) is an and indication of cumulative fertility of the woman is called completed family size. If fertility remained unchanged for the earlier 30 years or more, completed family size would be equal to total fertility rate. Completed family size however is not an indicator of current fertility because the births to these women occurred in the past at varying times in a period extending about 25 years.

Age-Sex Distribution
The age and sex distribution of a population is the result of the combined effect of fertility, mortality and migration. The age distribution however, is not much affected by changes in mortality, because mortality reduction, in general, does not relate to one or more specific age groups but affects the whole population. Thus, it is fertility that is the overriding factor in determining an age distribution. The level and pattern of fertility in the past can be inferred from the census age distribution with reasonable accuracy.

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