The proper understanding of demographic trends can help policy-makers to develop well-tailored interventions to improve the socio-economic standards of people through targeted programmes in health, education and labour enhancement (Mubila, 2012). A District’s population in terms of its numbers, age structure and sex distribution reflects on indicators such as growth rate, doubling time, labour force and dependency ratio. Changes in any population are brought about through the dynamics of fertility, mortality and migration.
The classification of localities in Ghana is based on population size while the provision of services and infrastructure are also mainly influenced by the size of the population. Changes in the size and distribution of population are therefore important in understanding the needs and demands of localities for services and infrastructure.
This chapter provides the 2010 PHC information on the population size of the District, the sex and age structure and dependency ratios as well as the migratory pattern within the District. Population distribution by rural-urban residence is also discussed.
Population Size and Distribution
Table 2.1 shows that Sene West District has a total population of 57,734 representing 2.5 percent of the Brong-Ahafo regional population of 2,310,983. The population consists of 50.7 percent males and 49.3 percent females. This is one of the few Districts in the region with more males than females (e.g. Dormaa West District). The male dominance could be due to the likely retention of the local population of males and/or inflow of male farm workers into this predominantly rural District, which is suitable for agriculture especially cocoa farming.
In terms of density with a land area of 3262.1 square kilometers and a population size of 57,734, the population density of the District is 17.7 persons per km2. Localities with population 5,000 or more are classified as urban. On the basis of this definition, almost four out of every five (74.1%) of the population in the District live in rural areas. The concentration in the rural areas can be attributed to the agrarian nature of the District. Figure 2.1 shows that, the population among urban and rural localities are 25.9 percent and 74.1 percent respectively. This shows that majority of the population in the District reside in the rural communities
Age-Sex Structure, Sex Ratio and Population Pyramid
The age structure brings to the fore the distribution of the population at various ages – an information that is vital for age specific resource allocation. The sex composition gives insight into the numerical disparity between males and females in a given geographical area i.e. a District. The population pyramid, at a glance gives a pictorial impression about the age-sex structure of a given geographical area i.e. a District.
Age and Sex Structure
Table 2.1 provides information on the age and sex composition by five years age groups for the District. The Table shows that, there is a relatively large proportion of children (15.0%) below five years. The proportion of the population below 15 years (0-14) is 43.8 percent, a little higher than that for the Brong-Ahafo region (40.4%). Youth between the ages of 15-19 comprise 11.1% of the total population. The total population 15-64 years (conventionally referred to as the potential labour force) is 52.3 percent implying a relatively large base of population available to be harnessed for productive work.
Taking the population in the 15-64 age group only, approximately half (50.5%) are below 30 years, while 22.2 percent are between the ages of 30-39 years. Almost fifteen percent (14.8%) is between 40-49 years and one in eight (12.5%) is above 50 years. About 73 percent of the population referred to as the “economically productive” are below forty years. The proportion of the entire population attributed to those who are aged 65 years and above is 4.0 percent; this proportion is lower than the regional average of 4.5 percent.
In relation to the sex structure, there are more males (51.7%) than females (48.3%) who are under 15 years in the District just as was observed for the region (males, 51.1%, females, 48.9%). A large proportion of both urban (6,029) and rural (19,244) constituting 40.4 percent and 45.0 percent respectively are under age 15 years (0-14). In terms of the population (15-64years) by urban-rural distribution, there are equally higher numbers of the population falling within that category. That is, urban 8,236 and rural 21,928.
The sex ratio is defined as the number of males per 100 females. The sex ratio at birth for most countries is about 105 or 106 males per 100 females. After birth, the sex ratio varies 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; sex ratios under 100 indicate that there are more females than males in the population. Throughout life, it is expected that at every age, mortality rates for females are lower than those of males. Hence the sex ratio of a population generally declines from one age group to the other with advancing age.
Table 2.1 shows that, Sene West Districts has an overall sex ratio of 102.8, meaning for every 100 females there are approximately 103 males. The sex ratio of the District is higher than the regional figure of 94.0. The subsequent sex ratios after the overall sex ratio of 102.8 do not follow the expected pattern of steady and gradual decline with advancing age. For example, in the early age groups (0-44years), the District has almost equal females as males but at age 5-9 years up to age 15-19 years the sex ratios indicate more males to 100 females. However from age 20-24 years up to 35-39 years, the male-female ratios decline implying more females than males. The ratio again rises between ages 40-45 years up to 65-69 years with more males than 100 females. The sex ratios then fluctuate but fall under 100, indicating that there are more females than males. The observed sex ratios thus reveal fluctuations and not the steady gradual declines with advancing age as expected.
The age-dependency ratio is the ratio of people in the dependent ages (persons under 15 years and 65 years and older) to those in the “economically productive” ages (15-64 years). The age-dependency ratio is often used as an indicator of the economic burden the productive portion of a population must carry. Countries with very high birth rates usually have the highest age-dependency ratios because of the large proportion of children in the population.
The age dependency ratio has to be seen as a theoretical construct based on age only. In reality, not everyone between 15 to 19 years is actually working and is capable of supporting another person even if that person is working. Further, there are many people aged 65 and over who are working productively and some continue to work well above the age of 70 years. In fact, an increasing trend, especially in economically-advanced countries, is the increase in retirement age for people in the public service closer to 70. Also the age at which people can receive pensions from the State in several advanced countries has been increasing closer to 70 given the fact many people continue to work at age 65 and over.
Table 2.2 shows that, the District has a dependency ratio of 91.4 meaning each person found within the potentially working population has one dependent to cater for. The dependency ratio is 81.4 for urban areas and 95.2 in the rural areas. Table 2.1 further shows variation of the age dependency ratio by sex, indicating that, for males in the Sene West District in the year 2010, there were almost 94 people in the dependent age groups for every 100 persons in the working ages whereas for females, there were 89 persons in the dependent age group for every 100 persons in the working ages.
A population pyramid is a graphical representation of the age-sex composition of a population and its shape is influenced by the levels of fertility, mortality, migration and coverage and content errors such as digit preference and exaggeration of age. The broadness of the base is determined by the level of fertility, while the shape is determined by mortality and to some extent migration. Figure 2.2 is a pyramid representing the structure of the total population by sex and age groups of the District. The population pyramid of the District has a typical broad base and narrow top. In general, the population pyramid reflects the broad-base pattern, characteristic of a developing nation with over half of its population (54.9%) being young and under 20 years of age. Children under five years constitute the second largest group (15.0%).
This type of age structure has a built-in momentum for the growth of the country’s population. When the young population eventually reaches reproductive age, the result will be a high population growth rate for some years to come. However, if the socio-economic potentials of the youth are properly harnessed and directed, they could contribute significantly to development of the District and the nation as a whole. Figure 2.1 also shows that the District has more females than males from age 0-4. This situation reverses and the male population dominates from age group 5-9 to 15-19.
Fertility, Mortality and Migration
Migration, fertility and mortality make up the components of population change. Fertility and mortality are used to determine the natural increase or decrease of a population. While fertility, mortality plus the balance of migration measures the overall population growth (increase or decrease). The 2010 PHC collected data on overall fertility which is the actual production of children and current fertility - births in the 12 month before the census. Mortality data refers to all deaths that occurred in the household during the 12 months preceding the Census. Migration on the other hand is the physical movement of individuals or groups from one area to another, sometimes over long distances. Migration of the population is measured by comparing data on the place of birth with place of enumeration and duration of stay at place of enumeratio.
Fertility is the frequency of childbearing among the population. Fertility rates measure the relative frequency with which births occur within a given population. The total fertility rate (TFR) is the average number of children that would be born to a woman by the time she completes childbearing if she were to experience the prevailing age-specific fertility rate. Other measures of fertility include Crude Birth Rate (CBR) and General Fertility Rate (GFR).
The crude birth rate (CBR) is the simplest and most frequently used measure of fertility. It is easy to calculate because it requires only the total number of births and the total population. It is crude and always expressed per 1000 population. It is crude because it includes all ages and both sexes in the denominator. There is no attempt to relate the births to the women at risk of having those births. Because of this it is not a very good measure of fertility.
The general fertility rate (GFR) expresses births relative to the number of women in the reproductive age. More data are required to calculate the GFR than the CBR because one has to know the age and sex composition of the population. The GFR is affected by age structure since there may be substantial variations between populations within the reproductive age range.
The TFR on the other hand, is a measure of fertility that is most widely used by demographers. It is calculated by adding up the age specific fertility rates (ASFR) and is always expressed as per one woman. It is a single figure measure that is independent of the age structure.
Table 2.3 shows that, out of a total of 2,310,983 persons in the Brong-Ahafo Region, 572,813 representing 24.8 percent were women within the reproductive age groups 15-49 years according to the 2010 PHC. The Table further indicates that there were 60,685 live births during the twelve months preceding the census. In the District, the total number of women in the child bearing age (15-49 years) is 13,378 representing 23.2 percent of the total District population and the number of births in the last 12 months before the census is 1,446.
The three measures of fertility, TFR, GFR and CBR, are about the same in the District as in the region. The TFR in the Sene West District for women aged 15-49 years is 3.7 births per woman compared with the regional figure of 3.6 births per woman. Also, the GFR for the Brong-Ahafo region is 105.9 and it is slightly lower than the GFR for the District of 108.1. The CBR for the Brong-Ahafo Region indicates that for every 1,000 population, there are approximately 26 live births which are about one higher than the District’s CBR of 25 live births per 1000 population.
Migration is the movement of people between geographical boundaries. The movement can be within national boundaries, that is, internal migration or across geographical boundaries or national borders, that is, external migration. A migrant is a person whose current place of residence is different from his or her place of birth or previous place of residence.
On the basis of the answer to the “place of birth” question in the 2010 census, migrants are defined as persons who were enumerated in a place different from where they were born, while non-migrants are persons who were enumerated in the place they were born.
Table 2.7 presents data on the birth place of migrants in the Sene West District and how long they have lived in the District. There are 57,734 persons enumerated during the census. Out of this number, the Table shows that, there are 11,844 migrants representing about one-fifth (20.5%) of the population. This means that the current population of Sene West District comprises about four-fifths of persons born within the District.
Among the 11,844 migrants 4,101 representing 34.6 percent are in-migrants born elsewhere in the Brong-Ahafo region, and 7,346 persons representing 62.0 percent were born elsewhere in another region in Ghana and 397 or 3.4 percent were born outside Ghana. Out of the 7,346 born in other regions of Ghana, 3,278 or 44.6 percent come from the three northern regions and 2,512 or 34.2 percent come from the Volta Region. Those from Ashanti are 753 or 10.3 percent. Migrants from the remaining four regions are only 803 or 10.9 percent of those who were born elsewhere in another region. The high inter-regional migration into the District of persons born in other regions (62.0%) and those born outside Ghana (3.4%) in the District may be as a result of the agriculture and related activity.
Date Created : 11/20/2017 2:55:49 AM