Population of Ghana 2017


Current population of Ghana is 27,499,924 people (July 2017 est.).

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2017 est.)


noun: Ghanaian(s)
adjective: Ghanaian

Ethnic Groups

Akan 47.5%, Mole-Dagbon 16.6%, Ewe 13.9%, Ga-Dangme 7.4%, Gurma 5.7%, Guan 3.7%, Grusi 2.5%, Mande 1.1%, other 1.4% (2010 est.)


Asante 16%, Ewe 14%, Fante 11.6%, Boron (Brong) 4.9%, Dagomba 4.4%, Dangme 4.2%, Dagarte (Dagaba) 3.9%, Kokomba 3.5%, Akyem 3.2%, Ga 3.1%, other 31.2%

note: English is the official language (2010 est.)


Christian 71.2% (Pentecostal/Charismatic 28.3%, Protestant 18.4%, Catholic 13.1%, other 11.4%), Muslim 17.6%, traditional 5.2%, other 0.8%, none 5.2% (2010 est.)

Demographic Profile

Ghana has a young age structure, with approximately 57% of the population under the age of 25. Its total fertility rate fell significantly during the 1980s and 1990s but has stalled at around four children per woman for the last few years. Fertility remains higher in the northern region than the Greater Accra region. On average, desired fertility has remained stable for several years; urban dwellers want fewer children than rural residents. Increased life expectancy, due to better health care, nutrition, and hygiene, and reduced fertility have increased Ghana’s share of elderly persons; Ghana’s proportion of persons aged 60+ is among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. Poverty has declined in Ghana, but it remains pervasive in the northern region, which is susceptible to droughts and floods and has less access to transportation infrastructure, markets, fertile farming land, and industrial centers. The northern region also has lower school enrollment, higher illiteracy, and fewer opportunities for women.

Ghana was a country of immigration in the early years after its 1957 independence, attracting labor migrants largely from Nigeria and other neighboring countries to mine minerals and harvest cocoa – immigrants composed about 12% of Ghana’s population in 1960. In the late 1960s, worsening economic and social conditions discouraged immigration, and hundreds of thousands of immigrants, mostly Nigerians, were expelled.

During the 1970s, severe drought and an economic downturn transformed Ghana into a country of emigration; neighboring Cote d’Ivoire was the initial destination. Later, hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians migrated to Nigeria to work in its booming oil industry, but most were deported in 1983 and 1985 as oil prices plummeted. Many Ghanaians then turned to more distant destinations, including other parts of Africa, Europe, and North America, but the majority continued to migrate within West Africa. Since the 1990s, increased emigration of skilled Ghanaians, especially to the US and the UK, drained the country of its health care and education professionals. Internally, poverty and other developmental disparities continue to drive Ghanaians from the north to the south, particularly to its urban centers.

Age Structure

0-14 years: 38.01% (male 5,253,430/female 5,198,892)
15-24 years: 18.63% (male 2,548,661/female 2,575,160)
25-54 years: 34.14% (male 4,554,972/female 4,834,765)
55-64 years: 4.97% (male 664,866/female 701,277)
65 years and over: 4.25% (male 538,790/female 629,111) (2017 est.)

Dependency Ratios

total dependency ratio: 73
youth dependency ratio: 67.1
elderly dependency ratio: 5.9
potential support ratio: 17.1 (2015 est.)

Median Age

total: 21 years
male: 20.5 years
female: 21.5 years (2016 est.)

Population Growth Rate

2.2% (2017 est.)

Birth Rate

30.5 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Death Rate

7 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Net Migration Rate

-1.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Population Distribution

population is concentrated in the southern half of the country, with the highest concentrations being on or near the Atlantic coast


urban population: 54% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Urban Areas – Population:

Kumasi 2.599 million; ACCRA (capital) 2.277 million (2015)

Sex Ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Mother’s Mean Age at First Birth

22.6 years

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2014 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate

319 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate

total: 36.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 40.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 32.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth

total population: 66.6 years
male: 64.1 years
female: 69.1 years (2016 est.)

Total Fertility Rate

4 children born/woman (2017 est.)

Contraceptive Prevalence Rate

34.7% (2015)

Health Expenditures

3.6% of GDP (2014)

Physicians Density

0.1 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Hospital Bed Density

0.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking Water Source

urban: 92.6% of population
rural: 84% of population
total: 88.7% of population

urban: 7.4% of population
rural: 16% of population
total: 11.3% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation Facility Access

urban: 20.2% of population
rural: 8.6% of population
total: 14.9% of population

urban: 79.8% of population
rural: 91.4% of population
total: 85.1% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate

1.6% (2016 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS

290,000 (2016 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths

15,000 (2016 est.)

Major Infectious Disease

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)

Obesity – Adult Prevalence Rate

10.9% (2014)

Children Under the Age of 5 Years Underweight

11% (2014)

Education Expenditures

6.2% of GDP (2014)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 76.6%
male: 82%
female: 71.4% (2015 est.)

School Life Expectancy (Primary to Tertiary Education)

total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 12 years (2015)

Child Labor – Children Ages 5-14

total number: 1,806,750
percentage: 34% (2006 est.)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24

total: 11.2%
male: 10.2%
female: 12% (2010 est.)