The 2000 Population and Housing Census put the population of the East Gonja District at 174,500 (Special Reports) and it is currently estimated at 197,932 using an annual rate of growth 2.1% per annum. Salaga, is the administrative capital. The District was established by Legislative Instrument (L.I) 1938.
The district’s share of the total population of the Northern Region is 9.67%, second after the Tamale Municipality. The total population of the Northern Region stood at 1,820,806 (as at 2000). The district’s population growth rate is 2.1% (1984-2000), lower than both the regional and national averages of 2.9% and 2.5% respectively. The growth rate for the 1970-1984 Censual periods was 3.9%, which indicates a significant decline in the growth rate of the population 2.1%. This relatively low population growth rate could be explained by increased out-migration from the District combined with modest success of population control and education measures of the Ministry of Health. This lower population growth rate in East Gonja District is an asset to be maintained and reinforced through conscious policy, promotional and educational measures.
The population of the district according to 2010 population and housing census stands at 135,450 with 69,721 males and 65,729 females.