This chapter contains the analysis of demographic data of the district. It should be noted that, differences per the district’s population are as a result of fertility, mortality and migration levels, which to a large extent, are influenced by age-sex composition. The 2010 Census, like all others, was a "de facto" count of each person present in district irrespective of nationality. This chapter has been designed to cover, population size and distributionage-sex structure; and migration, fertility, mortality among others.


Population Size and Distribution


The total population of the Tolon District is 72,990. Males constitute 36,360 and females, 36, 630 as indicated in table 2.1. The population also varies in terms of locality as the data portrays a predominantly rural population of about 88.4 percent compared to the urban population (11.6%).

Age-sex Structure


Accurate data on age-sex structure is required for efficient and effective social planning and decision-making. Data disaggregated by age and sex are crucial not only for demographic analysis of morbidity, mortality and fertility, but also for planning for the provision of infrastructure and social amenities. Policy on educational needs, labour force participation and migration, for instance, cannot serve its purpose without information on age of the population. The structure of the district’s population is depicted by figure 2.1.

Population Pyramid by Age and Sex


Figure 2.1 show that, the Tolon District’s population structure has a broad base which constitutes a large number of children and a conical top of small number of elderly persons. The data thus, indicates that the population is youthful.


Higher proportions of the population are within the ages 0-4 years, 5-9 years, 10-14 years and 15-19 years. These characteristics definitely have some implications for policy makers with respect to the provision of education and social amenities for the development of children and adolescents. There are more males in the 10-14 years and 15-19 years age groups (11.5% and 10.8%) than females (9.4% and 8.8%) in the same age category. The male population in the 20-44 years age group declines sharply as compared to the female population in the same age group. The pyramid further shows that as the population ages, the proportion in the various age groups reduces for both ages, probably due to mortality. Further investigation is required to determine why the reduction in the female population in the 10-14 years and 15-19 years age group.

In the female age groups, 20-24 years, 25-29 years and 30-34 years also needs further investigation to understand the reason behind the shape since it does not follow the normal trend of population pyramid for developing countries. There is also a sharp decline in the age groups 55-59 years and 65-69 years as shown in the pyramid.

Sex Ratio


Sex ratio is a measure of a number of males per every 100 females. Table 2.1 indicates that, the district’s sex ratio is 99.3, meaning for every 100 females, there are 99.3 males in the district. This implies the female population of the Tolon District is marginally more than the male. The relatively high sex ratios for the district could probably be due to migration, given that more males travel than females. The sex ratio however varies when it comes to the various age groups. Thus, table 2.1 shows that, eleven out of the twenty age groups had sex ratio figures above 100. This means, generally the district has more males than females, in these age groups.


Dependency Ratio


Table 2.2 shows age dependency ratio by sex, expressed as the ratio of persons in the dependent ages (persons aged less than 15 years and those above 64 years) to those in the economically productive ages (i.e. the population aged 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—even though some persons defined as “dependent” are producers and some persons in the “productive” ages are economically dependent” (Haupt & Kane, 2004:6). The age dependency ratio is 96.5 for the district. This implies that each person within this age group (15-64 years) has almost one person to take care of. The dependency ratio however, varies with sex and locality. Table 2.2 shows that, male age dependency ratio is 103.2 and this means that, the male working class has more than one person to take care of, compared to that of the female (90.2). The child dependency ratio, which is the ratio of persons under 15 years to those in the 15-64 years age group, is 85.8. The old age dependency ratio which represents the ratio of people in the 65+ year age group to those in the economically productive ages of 15-64 years is 10.6.


Migration, Fertility and Mortality


Population change is brought about by three variables, which include migration, fertility, and mortality. Migration is considered a socio-economic phenomenon which results from the complex interaction of social, psychological, economic, political and institutional determinants. It is viewed as a geographical movement involving a change from a usual place of residence over a defined territory beyond a defined period (United Nations, 2012). Fertility refers to the number of live children a woman has ever given birth to in her life time (Ghana Statistical Service, 2012). Information on migration, fertility, and mortality indicators is necessary for planning of social development programmes in the district.




The process of distribution and redistribution of a population occurs through natural growth and migration. The redistribution through migration is shaped by a variety of demographic, geographic and socio-economic factors. These include the distribution and utilisation of natural resources and infrastructural development, which results from local factors as well as policies, and programmes of government and non-government agencies.


Table 2.3 indicates birthplace by duration of residence of migrants for the district. A person’s birthplace is defined as the locality of usual residence of the mother at the time of birth (Ghana Statistical Service, 2010). The number of migrants in the district is 12,105. Out of this number, 10,293 were born elsewhere within the region. The number of people who were born in other regions was 1,647. A total of 165 persons were born outside Ghana. It was also noted that, out of the total population of those born outside the district, a majority (357) originated from Ashanti region, and the least was from Central region (61).

In terms of the duration of residence, 28.4 percent of migrants have lived in the district for 20+ years, 22.9 percent for 1-4 years and the least (12.4%) lived in the district between 5-9 years. A greater percentage (30.9%) of migrants within the Northern Region has stayed for (20+ years) whiles less than 15 percent stayed for 5-9 years. About 30 percent of migrants from outside Ghana have lived in the Tolon District for 1-4 years.



Table 2.4 shows that, there are 17,028 women in the 15-49 years age group in the District. Total Fertility Rate (TFR) for the District is 3.2. This implies the average number of children that would be born to a woman by the time she ends childbearing if she were to pass through all her childbearing years conforming to the age-specific fertility rates of a given year in the Tolon District is about 3. The General Fertility Rate (GFR) of the Tolon District indicates that the number of live births per 1,000 women aged 15-49 years in a given year is 93.1. This means that, for every 1,000 women in the population, there are about 93 births. Also the Crude Birth Rate (CBR) which provides the number of live births per 1,000 of the district’s population in a given year is 21.7



The health status and growth potential of a given population also depend on data on mortality. The table 2.5 portrays number of children ever born, children surviving, and their sexes in the district by females 12 years and older. The total female population 12 years and older was 23,009. Males and females ever born constitute 34,974 and 32,472 respectively. However, a child surviving for males is 28,060 and 26,212 for females. A closer analysis therefore indicates that the survival rate for female (80.7%) children is marginally higher than that of the male (80.2%) in the district. Thus, it can be inferred that male child mortality rate in the district is higher than the female child mortality rate.


Table 2.5 further indicates that the 60+ year age group recorded the highest number of children ever born (16,710) and children surviving (12,044). The age group which recorded the least number of children ever born (17) and children surviving (15) is 12-14 years. This is not surprising because, this age group also falls within the youthful population who are expected to be in school rather than giving birth. The number of children ever born to women in the 20-24 years age group is 3,020. Out of this number, 89.1 percent survived (males [88.6%] and females [89.7%]). About 72.1 percent of children survived out of 16,710 children ever born to women who are 60 years and older.

The figure 2.2 depicts the trend of reported age specific death rate of the Tolon District by sex. It shows that, at age group 0-4 years the male deaths are higher than the female deaths. The male and female deaths declined sharply in the 5-9 years age group and then continued gradually to 10-14 years. Between age 15-19 years, 20-24 years and 35-39 years, female deaths were higher than male deaths probably due to child birth. The death rate for both sexes fluctuates between the 25-29 years and 50-54 years age groups. The pattern then changes with the rate for male having a sharp increase from 50-54 years, with a death rate of 0.005, to age group 55-59 years with a death rate of 0.015, whilst the rate for females falls to about 0.005 within the same range.]

Table 2.6 presents the causes of deaths in households. The table shows that the total death for the period under review is 503 in the District. Out of this, a greater proportion (93.4%) is related to causes other than accident-related death (6.6%). The data is further segregated in terms of pregnancy related and non-pregnancy related causes of deaths. The non-pregnancy related causes are the highest with 98.2 percent compared to pregnancy-related cause of deaths (1.8%).

The death rate, also called the crude death rate is the number of deaths per 1,000 people in a given year. Table 2.7 shows that the Tolon District recorded a total of 502 household deaths relative to the Regional figure of 14,715. Savelugu Nanton registered the highest household deaths (1,413) followed by Tamale Metro (1,257), Yendi Municipal (737) and the lowest is Zabzugu Tatale (196).

Also, the District’s crude birth rate is (6.9) compared to the Regional value of 5.9. Savelugu Nanton leads (10.14) in the crude death rates across the Region followed by Mamprusi West (7.9) and Zabzugu Tatale having the least (3.1) rate of all districts.


Date Created : 11/21/2017 8:39:24 AM