This chapter describes the demographic characteristics of the Sagnarigu District as captured in the 2010 Population and Housing Census. The main focus of this chapter includes population size and distribution, the age-sex structure, fertility, dependency ratios, place of residence (rural-urban), mortality, birthplace and migration.


Population Size and Distribution

Table 2.1, shows the population distribution of the Sagnarigu District as recorded in the 2010 PHC. The total population of the District is 148,099 with males constituting 50.6 percent (74,886) and females 49.4 percent (73,213). Again, the table shows a very young population where 48.8 percent of the population falls between ages 0-19 years. The aged (65+), constitute only 4.1 percent of the total population in the municipality. The age group 0-4 has the highest proportion of 14.1 percent with those 95+ recording the lowest proportion of 0.1 percent.

The sex ratio, which represents the number of males to a 100 females for the district is 102.3. It can be seen from Table 2.1 that the male population in the District is greater than that of the female population from 0 – 24 years and from age 25years and above females outnumber males. This shows that at birth, there are more males than females and as the population grows older, there are more females than males.


Table 2.1 further looks at the distribution of the population by locality of residence. From the table, about six in ten people (63.2%) live in urban areas in the District. The District has an age dependency ratio of 71.3, which means there are more people in the working age group than there are in the dependent population. This is good since the welfare of dependences can be well taken care of. The age dependency ratio varies only slightly between the males (71.9) and females (70.5), but it is much higher in the rural (75.2) than urban (69.0%) areas in the District.

 Age-Sex Structure (Population Pyramid)

The age structure of the district bears similarity with the regional and national pattern, where the youthful structure of the population is quite visible as is depicted in Figure 2.1.

Figure 2.1 shows that the district’s population structure is broad with more youthful persons at the base and generally narrows as age increases. The number of people in the age groups then gradually decreases as age increases except for the age groups 15-19 and 60-64 years which register higher numbers than that recorded in the age immediately before them. A similar increase is also recorded in the age group 70-74 years. The district’s population is therefore more youthful in nature and has the potential to increase the productive work force with time.

Migration, Fertility, and Mortality

Records on fertility, mortality and migration are indispensable as far as socio-economic planning and policy formulations are concerned. Moreover, in a developing country such as Ghana, where data on these indicators are not readily available, census data become very important in providing data on fertility, mortality and migration.


Fertility is dependent on a number of factors including social, cultural, economic, health, and other environmental conditions. The actual reproductive performance of a couple or a population is referred to as Total Fertility Rate. TFR is, however, different from General Fertility Rate which is the number of live births per 1,000 women of age 15-49 years in a given year.

Table 2.2 shows the Total Fertility Rate, General Fertility Rate and Crude Death Rate by district in the Northern Region. Of the 2,479,461 people living in the region, 582,897 are women within ages 15-49 years. The region recorded a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 3.5, General Fertility Rate (GFR) of 101.9 and a Crude Birth Rate (CBR) of 24.0.

Out of the total number of 582,897 women recorded within the 15-49 age group in the Northern Region, 38,548 are in the Sagnarigu District and the number of live births in the last 12 months preceding the census is 3,579.

The TFR is the average number of children that would be born to a woman by the time she ended childbearing if she were to pass through all her childbearing years conforming to the age-specific fertility rates of a given year. Table 2.2 indicates that the district recorded a TFR of 3.3 which is two children lower than the highest recorded TFR of 5.3 in the region for North Gonja.

Table 2.2 further indicates that the district’s GFR of 92.8 is far higher than the 65.2 recorded for Zabzugu District as the least in the Northern Region. This is, however, lower than the regional average of 102. This implies that there were about 93 births per 1,000 women 15-49 years in the district in 2010.

Birth rate is the number of live births per 1,000 people in a given year. CBR is, however, calculated for the whole population. The Sagnarigu District has a CBR of 24.2 which is about the same as the regional average of 24 as shown in Table 2.2.

Children ever born, children surviving and sex

Table 2.3 shows the female population 12 years and older by age, children ever born and children surviving. The total number of females in this category is 50,568 with 115,931 children ever born, recording a survival rate of 84.0 percent.

Children ever born is highest for the age group 30-34 (14,615), followed by the age groups 40-44 and 35-39 (15,497 and 15,417 respectively). On the contrary, the number of children ever born is lowest for the age group 12-14 (22). Table 2.3 further shows that there are more male children ever born (59,983) than female children (55,948).

Relative to children surviving, Table 2.3 indicates that the survival rate for male children ever born is 83.2 percent compared to 84.9 percent for their female counterparts. The survival rate for male and female in the age category 30-34 is 87.1 percent and 90.7 percent respectively. This is in contrast with the survival rate of 76.9 percent and 77.8 percent respectively for the males and females within the age group 12-14 years.

Table 2.3 further shows that the survival rate of children in the district increases by age of mother steadily from the age group 12-14 (77.3%) and peaks at age group 30-34 (88.8%) and thereafter decreases to reach 75.6% at the age group 60+.


Mortality plays an important role in determining the rate of population growth especially by age, sex, occupation and social class. Mortality by extension could also be a reflection of the socio-economic status of a people as well as their healthcare delivery system.

Death rate (also called the crude death rate) is defined as the number of deaths per 1,000 people in a given year. Table 2.4 indicates that Sagnarigu District has a total population of 148,009 and out of it 847 deaths were recorded in the households during the 2010 Population and Housing Census, giving the crude death rate of the district as 5.7. The CDR for the district is lower than the average for the region which is 5.9.

Age-Specific Death Rate

Death rates are usually calculated for specific age groups in order to compare mortality rates of different ages. This could also be calculated to evaluate differences in death rates of the same age over time. The age-specific death rate is computed as a ratio of the number of deaths of people in a specific age group. For example, deaths among the age group 10-14 years to the population in that age group multiplied by 1,000.

The age-specific death rate of the district is presented in Figure 2.2. The data presented in the figure show that death rates among females are relatively lower than males for the infant age group of 0-4, but between the age group 10-14 and 40-44, female death rates are higher compared to males.

The figure also shows that age-specific death rates are lower in age group 5-9 years compared to age group 0-4 years for either males or females. Age-specific death rates for both males and females steadily increase from age group 20-24 until age group 40-44. However, beyond the age group 40-44 years, the variation between the males and females is very visible with the males showing much higher age-specific death rates than females in these older ages.

Causes of deaths in households

Table 2.5 indicates that total number of reported deaths in the district is 847 and, of this figure, 7.3 percent (representing 62 deaths) are attributed to accident/violence/homicide/ suicide and the remaining 92.7 percent attributed to ‘all other causes’. In comparison, the proportion of deaths resulting from accidents in the Sagnarigu District is relatively lower than that recorded for the whole of the Northern Region (9.7%) and Ghana (11.6%).



Migration is the movement of people from one place to another as a result of one or a combination of factors including political, economic, religious, environmental, civil conflicts, marriage and education. Table 2.6 shows that the total population of migrants in the district is 35,663. Of this number, people born elsewhere in the region is 20,926. Those born in other regions outside the Northern Region are largely from the Upper East Region while the Western Region has the least number.

The table further shows that migrants resident in Sagnarigu District who are born outside the country numbered 692 and represented almost 11 percent of the total population enumerated in the district. Table 2.6 also has information on the duration of residence of migrants in the district which suggests that migrants who have stayed for 1-4 years in the district represent 31.1 percent while 18.5 percent of them have lived in the district for 10-19 years.

At the same time, 11.9 percent of the migrants have been resident in the district for less than one year prior to the 2010 PHC. Duration of residence in the district among the migrants varies across the regions of origin. It, however, appears that migrants from the Central Region recorded the highest proportion to have lived in the district the longest period of 20 or more years (24.7%) compared to their counterparts from the other regions.



Date Created : 11/21/2017 5:20:53 AM