Ghana Demographics

What is the population of Ghana?

Population 29,340,248
Population - note 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
Population Growth Rate 2.19%
Urban Population 51.900000
Population in Major Urban Areas ACCRA (capital) 2.573 million; Kumasi 2.019 million
Nationality Noun Ghanaian(s)
Ethnic Groups black African 98.5% (major tribes - Akan 44%, Moshi-Dagomba 16%, Ewe 13%, Ga 8%, Gurma 3%, Yoruba 1%), European and other 1.5%
Language Note The official language of Ghana is English. There are movements to make several local languages official as well. The Twi dialect of Akan is the language most commonly used on a daily basis to communicate between ethnic groups. Most Ghanaians are at least bilingual.

Ghana Learning

What is school like in Ghana?


Most school buildings in Ghana are very old buildings; some of these buildings were constructed in the periods just after the country gain independence in 1957. There are a few that were constructed before independence. In some situations lessons are held in the open – under trees, and sheds constructed with palm branches.

In the classroom, you are likely to find desks or tables and chairs supplied by the government or other NGOs. Textbooks and all other instructional material are also supplied by the government, but these are never adequate and will have to be managed in a way to make all children benefit from them. It is the duty of parents to provide writing material such as exercise books, pencils and pens. Only a few public schools in Ghana have a computer.

Although, there are staffing problems, these are not as serious as the need for infrastructure and logistics. Most schools in Ghana are in need of textbooks, furniture, and above all computers which is fast taking over all aspects of life. The need for computers is very serious because the new educational policy has made IT a compulsory subject, but most schools don’t even have a broken down computer just for use as a specimen. There is a large percentage of teachers who do not have a PC and are not even able to use one.

Education Culture

Education plays various roles in the community and in the life of the individual. For example, it is not possible to learn a trade in Ghana unless you have received some level of basic education in Ghana. The respect accorded to an individual in the community is related to a large extent on his/her level of education. It is expected that educated people enjoy higher standards of living.

Formal education plays a major role in teaching local values and customs into the lives of children. The community expects their schools to teach children local history, customs and traditions, and etiquettes.

Apart from the preschool where some of the things taught are through music and dance, music plays a minor role in education in Ghana. However, children are taught songs; and on occasions like traditional festivals, they are encouraged to join in the celebration. Children are encouraged to play traditional musical instruments such as drums and xylophones.


Lessons or classes start at 8 a.m. and go until 2 p.m. The time is divided into instructional periods of 30 minutes for those in the lower primary and 35 minutes for those in the upper classes. There are usual two breaks during which children are allowed to buy food sold by women from the community. What most of the children eat at school can only be considered as breakfast. They will have to go home to eat lunch.

On the average, a normal class is made up of about 40 children. This should be the national average because classes are very large in the urban areas – with some classes having more than 60 pupils.

Lessons are mostly taught in local languages although English is supposed to be the main language of instruction in Ghana. This is because most children speak their local languages at home. English is taught as a subject in a transitional manner. It only becomes a medium of instruction in the upper levels of primary education. (this depends on whether the children are quick in acquiring enough vocabulary and skills to support the change).

In the lower levels of primary education, the subjects taught are: English Language, Mathematics, Religious and Moral Education, Natural Science, Creative Art, Ghanaian Language and Culture, Information and Communication Technology and Physical Education. At the upper primary Natural Science is replace by Integrated Science and a new subject is added. This is Citizenship Education.

At the Junior High School, Social Studies Replaces Citizenship Education, and Basic Design and Technology is studied instead of Creative Art. French is also taught at this level if the school has a French teacher.

Entry into secondary school is very difficult in Ghana. The child must perform very well in the Basic Education Certificate Examination to be able to gain admission into secondary school. Not more than 30% of children who sit for the examination gain admission into secondary school. This is because there are not enough secondary schools to cater to the large number of candidates who sit for the examination each year. This makes admission very competitive. Due to inadequate logistics, most students don’t perform well in the Basic Education Certificate Examination. This also contributes to the low intake into secondary schools.

Discipline is handled by the teachers in every school. The headmaster is the final authority in issues concerning discipline in a school. However, in serious cases, there are various administrative officials that help in resolving disciplinary issues. But, in most cases, disciplinary issues will end in the headmaster’s office as he enjoys enough respect and authority in the community. Teachers are allowed to handle minor disciplinary issue, but they have to consult the headmaster for direction especially in serious cases.

Uniforms are very important for schools in Ghana. There are no schools in Ghana where children wear their own dresses. The uniforms are designed by the organization that has oversight responsibility over the school. Most of the schools are jointly owned by government and religious bodies. The uniform that is worn in a particular school shows the organization that owns the school. If a child goes to school without a uniform, he/she might be refused entry unless there is a tangible reason for not wearing one.

At school children are supposed to greet all teachers in English; they could be punished if they do otherwise.

Ghana Population Comparison

Ghana Health Information

What are the health conditions in Ghana?

Life Expectancy at Birth 65.320000
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 7.53
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births 39.700000
Health Expenditures - percent of GDP 4.8%
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population .09
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population .9
Major Infectious Diseases - degree of risk very high
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 92.500000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 350
Mean Age for Mother's First Birth (age 25-49) 21.8
Contraceptive Prevalence Rate - female 12-49 23.5%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 4.12
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 4.4%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 19.900000
Underweight - percent of children under five years 14.3%

Ghana Life Expectancy

How long do people live in Ghana?

Life Expectancy at Birth 65.320000
Median Age 20.700000
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 12-49 23.5%
Infant Mortality Rate 39.700000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 350
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 4.12

Ghana median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 32
Median Age 20.700000
Net Migration Rate - migrant(s)/1,000 population -2.23
Population Growth Rate 2.19%
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female 1.030000
Age Structure 38.200000
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 12-49 23.5%
Infant Mortality Rate 39.700000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 350
Mother's mean age at first birth 21.8
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 4.12

Ghana Medical Information

What are the health conditions in Ghana?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Medical facilities in Ghana are limited, particularly outside Accra, the capital. Travelers should carry adequate supplies of any needed prescription medicines, along with copies of their prescriptions, the generic name of the drugs, and a supply of preferred over-the-counter medications.

Documentation of Yellow fever vaccination is required upon arrival from all countries.

Motor vehicle accidents, drownings, and water-related accidents due to Ghana's rough surf have been reported by U.S. citizens. Muggings, and other violent attacks, as well as the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases - including HIV - are health and safety concerns that have been reported by U.S. citizens and can be at least partially mitigated by using common-sense safety precautions.

Health Expenditures - percent of GDP


Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population


Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population


Ghana Education

What is school like in Ghana?

Education Expenditures - percent of GDP 8.1%
Literacy - female 67.1%
Literacy - male 82.7%
Literacy - total population 57.9%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write
Total School Life Expectancy - (primary to tertiary) 12.000000

Ghana Literacy

Can people in Ghana read?

Literacy - female 67.1%
Literacy - male 82.7%
Literacy - total population 57.9%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write

Ghana Crime

Is Ghana a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

Pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, and various types of scams are the most common forms of crime confronting visitors. Travelers have reported these types of theft at crowded markets, beaches, parks, and tourist attractions. Incidences of violent crime, such as armed robbery, are on the rise, including reports of armed robberies in expatriate residential and shopping areas, specifically the Osu and Ablekuma/Dzorwulu neighborhoods after 10 p.m. Victims who resist attackers run a high risk of serious physical injury. Take security measures, such as traveling in groups and avoiding travel at night. Avoid travel in communal taxis. Travelers who limit their display of jewelry and handle their cash discreetly reduce their vulnerability to crime. Pay close attention to those around you or following you, particularly after exchanging money, making a purchase, or withdrawing money from an ATM. Travelers should carry limited amounts of cash and only photocopies of key documents.

Thefts of both luggage and travel documents occur at Kotoka International Airport in Accra and in hotels across Ghana. All U.S. citizens should ensure that documents are kept secure at all times (including when leaving the airport) and that baggage is never left unattended. Travelers should be wary of all offers of unsolicited assistance at the airport unless from uniformed porters or officials. All permanent staff at the airport are issued current ID cards bearing their name and photograph. ID cards without a photograph are not valid. Travelers who are met at the airport should confirm the identity of their driver, either by requesting proper identification or otherwise verifying that the driver is an official from an organization or a hotel. There have been increasing incidences of impostors who approach travelers before the main arrivals area claiming to be the traveler's driver or contact. The impostor will have obtained the traveler's name from the board displayed by the official driver in the arrivals area outside the airport. The impostor then attempts to extort money from the traveler once the traveler is in the impostor's vehicle.

Use of credit cards in Ghana should be avoided if possible, as a growing number of travelers have been victims of credit card fraud.

In recent years, U.S. citizens have reported substantial financial losses from questionable transactions involving gold and other precious metals. The Government of Ghana maintains strict regulations on these natural resources. All agents must be licensed and all transactions must be certified. (See Special Circumstances below.)

Perpetrators of business fraud often target foreigners, including U.S. citizens. Such fraud schemes are now prevalent throughout West Africa, including Ghana.

U.S. citizens frequently consult the Embassy regarding questionable business offers sent from Ghana. These are scams and typically begin with an unsolicited communication (usually by e-mail) from an unknown individual who describes a situation that promises quick financial gain, often by assisting in the transfer of a large sum of money or valuables out of the country. A series of "advance fees" must be paid in order to conclude the transaction, such as fees to open a bank account or to pay certain taxes. In fact, the final payoff does not exist; the purpose of the scam is simply to collect money from the victim. The Embassy has also received reports of fraudulent charities soliciting contributions through the Internet or direct mail. If you receive such business offers or charity requests, carefully check them out before you commit any funds, provide any goods or services, or undertake any travel. Check with the U.S. Embassy in Ghana at telephone (233)-(030)-274-1443/1449 for an assessment of the offer's credibility.

Another type of fraud is committed by persons claiming to live in Ghana or traveling to Ghana on business, and who profess friendship or romantic interest over the Internet. Once a relationship has been established, the correspondent typically asks the U.S. citizen to send money for living expenses, travel expenses, or visa costs. Sometimes a "hospital"or "doctor" telephones to say that the friend has suffered an "accident" and needs immediate financial assistance to cover medical bills. There are other variations of this scam, but the common goal is to fraudulently obtain as much money as possible from the victim. U.S. citizens have reported losing thousands of dollars through such scams. The anonymity of the Internet means that the victim cannot be sure of the real name, age, marital status, nationality, or even gender of the correspondent. In most cases reported to the Embassy, the correspondent turned out to be a fictitious persona created to lure U.S. citizens into sending money.

Visitors to Ghana should also be wary of overly-friendly locals offering tours, discounted lodging, or other services that seem too good to be true. Tourists are often targeted by touts and scam artists. Some U.S. citizens have been victims of false criminal accusations and have lost time and money as they seek to resolve these difficult situations.

Ghana Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Ghana, you are subject to its laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can be significantly different than our own and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you don't have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. In some places, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Ghana, your U.S. passport won't help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It's very important to know what's legal and what's not wherever you go.

Persons violating Ghanaian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Ghana are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. The use of illegal drugs procured in Ghana may have life-threatening consequences. There have been several deaths of U.S. citizens resulting from the use of narcotics procured locally.

While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

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