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DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS

Introduction

Population size, composition and age-sex structures are critical in understanding the population characteristics of any country. The age-sex structure is useful for population projection. A country’s population composition, for example, greatly influences its needs and wellbeing. The objective of this chapter is to analyze the size, composition, age-sex structure, and changes in the population of the Wa West district based on the 2010 Population and Housing Census.

Population Size and Distribution

The 2010 Population and Housing Census (PHC) recorded a population size of 81,348 for the Wa West District, representing 11.6 percent of the regional population. Table 2.1 shows the population by age, sex and type of locality in the District. From the Table, it can be seen that the total population of males is 40,227 (49.5%) and female is 41,121 (50.5%). Wa West is basically a rural district with all its population living in rural localities.

Table 2.1: Population size by locality of residence by district, region and sex

Age-Sex Structure

The data in Table 2.2 showing population by sex and age indicate that the highest proportion among the age group is 16.5 percent in age group 5-9 years. In addition the data show that the 0-14 age groups have a high proportion, 45.5 percent of the population.

This implies that the District has a youthful population. The adult population 15 to 64 years constitute 48.7 percent while the aged population, those 65 years and older forms only 5.8 percent. The age structure for males and females show a pattern similar to the one described above.

The overall sex ratio in the District is 97.8 percent. This means that for every 100 females there are about 98 males. However sex ratio is much higher among the young age group. Thus age group 0-4 years has a sex ratio of 101.4, 5-9 years, 111.7, 10-14, 120.3 15-19, (130.5) and 20-24, 103.1. Sex ratio then falls sharply from (77.9) age 25-29 to 63.1 at 40-44. It then rises again from 88.4 at age 45-49 until it settles at 102.1 at age 85 years and older.

The population pyramid of Wa West district is shown in Figure 2.2. The pyramid has a broad base with each of the age groups 0-4, 5-9, 10-14 and 15-19 having population of more than 10 percent. The broad based pyramid signifies a youthful population.

From age 20 to 24, the population starts decreasing sharply more for males than females. This sharp decrease implies out-migration of more males than females. This is confirmed by the very low sex ratios from age 25-29 to 65-69 (Table 2.2). The pyramid then ends with a small apex implying a small portion of the aged.

Age Dependency Ratio

The age dependency ratio measures dependency on the basis of age only. It assumes that all persons aged 0-14 years and 65 years and older do not work or cannot work and are therefore dependent on others. It also assumes that all persons aged 15-64 years are working and therefore not dependent on others.

The Upper West regional dependency ratio of 91.28 is a little higher than the national figure. Table 2.3 shows the age dependency ratio in the District. It shows the child and old age dependency and also the total dependency.

The District has total dependency ratio of 105.6 which implies that one person in the working age group looks after one person in the dependent age group. The child dependency ratio is 93.6, which means that there are fewer children to be taken care of by the working age group.

Fertility, Mortality and Migration Fertility

Fertility refers to the number of life births per woman during her reproductive life span. Fertility is determined by a number of factors, including the physiological capacity of the woman to reproduce.

These, in turn, are affected by a variety of social, cultural, health, economic and other environmental factors. The Table also shows the number of women 15-49 years in the District is 17, 796 representing 10.7 percent of the regional population.

Furthermore, the District has a total of 1,978 numbers of births in the last 12 months preceding the census. Table 2.4 also shows the general fertility rate, crude birth rate and total fertility rate of all the Districts in the region. The crude birth rate for the Wa West District is 24.32 births per 1000 population. This is greater than the regional figure of 23.06 per 1,000 population.

Date Created : 11/18/2017 1:22:48 AM