The age pattern for both males and females follows closely that of the regional as a whole, with slight variations for the age group 0-4 (Table 2.13). The pattern changes to higher proportions of males at each age group, up to age group 15-19 years. From age 20 years, the proportion of females becomes increasingly higher than that of males, and at each successive age group, up to age group 35-39 years.

The pattern changes again from age group 40-44 years, to increasingly higher proportions of males, at each successive age group, till 75 years and older, with a higher proportion of males 40 years and older (4.1%) than females (3.9%).

In the absence of any history of catastrophic events, such as wars, epidemics, etc, the age structure of a population reflects past fertility and age-specific mortality trends. In a high fertility and high mortality population, the age structure, as captured by a population pyramid, is triangular in shape, with a wide base, indicating high fertility and therefore, high relative proportion of children under 15 years. 

It tapers off, with increasing age, at the apex, indicating a high death rate, resulting in a relatively small number of adults older than 64 years. Such a population age structure is described as young. By this criterion, the population of the district can be described as young, with 46.2 per cent under 15 years of age.

The population 15-19 years, which is higher teenage group, constitutes between 11.0 and 9.3 per cent of the population. This age group is sometimes treated as part of the working population, but in reality, are teenagers with all the problems and needs of the teenage and younger populations. Together with the population under 15 years, they constitute at least 54 per cent in the district.

The youthful nature of the district’s population becomes clearer when one observes that the share of the elderly population, 65 years and older, is low, 3.5 per cent. The implications of such a young population age structure for the provision of social and community facilities, in addition to basic needs for younger people, are many, particularly in view of the poor resources of the district. They also raise issues of youth mobilization and employment creation to retain the younger population in the district.

Improvements in health status of the population result in mortality decline, leading to an increase in the proportion of the elderly population, 65 years and older. The range of value for the district is 3.8 per cent. The ratio of the elderly population to the population of children (0-14 years) is a measure of the relative degree of ageing of the population. 

The ratio is directly related to the average age of the population; that is, the higher the age the higher the ratio. A ratio of 1.0 indicates equal proportions of elderly to children population. For the district as a whole, the ratio is 7.7 per cent, representing 1 elderly person for every 10 children. The overall dependency ratio for the district is 112.0 per cent, that is, more than one dependent per worker. The district therefore shows markedly high dependency. This is of particular concern, given the very low level of economic opportunities that exist in the district.

Urban and rural population distribution

The rural/urban definition of localities is based on population size. In general, urban localities offer greater economic opportunities and, therefore, attract rural migrants. However, Saboba (7.0%) is the least urbanized district in the Northern Region. Apart from Chereponi which has a population of 6,241, the rest of the district is predominantly rural in terms population.

Dependency ratio

The dependency ratio measures the relative size of the dependent to the working population. It is defined as the ratio of the sum of the population, 0-14 years and the 65 years and older, to the population between 15 and 64 years, expressed as a percentage. A figure of 100.0 per cent implies one dependent per worker; a figure greater than 100.0 implies more dependents per worker while a figure less than 100.0 indicates lower than one dependent per worker. It is worth noting that these figures are only a guide, since many in the dependent population provide for other dependents, or are provided for by more than one working person, while some in the working population depend on others, for their livelihood.

The district can be described as a typically rural and scattered. By Ghana Statistical Service 2000 PHC geographical delineation, there are twenty (20) settlements in the district. With 2000 Population and Housing Census, only Chereponi which has 6,241 people can be described as urban. With population aside, Chereponi and other five settlements perform typically agricultural functions with very limited urban functions and formal employment avenues.

Chereponi, Saboba, Sambuli, Wapuli, Wonjoga and Sangbana have populations above 1,000 people. The settlement pattern of the district is scattered and many settlements have less than 500 people, and most of the villages are located in the interior sector of the district. One reason could be attributed to their farming method, as farms are located very closed to homes. This settlement population distribution pattern does not augur well for development in the case of the distribution of socio-economic and technical infrastructure, which requires certain population threshold to make them viable.

Birthplace and migratory pattern

The place of birth of a person is defined as the locality of usual residence of the mother at the time of birth. The usual place of residence is measured in terms of the district where the enumerated person resides, and is defined as the place the person spends most of his/her days or time. The difference between the place of birth and usual place of residence is an indication of individual migration. Such migration may be from one district to another, within the same region, from a district in one region to a district in another region, and from a district to another country, altogether. The proportion currently residing in the district is 92.0 per cent.


Fertility is usually measured by the total fertility rate (TFR), defined as the number of children a woman would have , in her life time, if she were to experience the prevailing fertility schedule of specific age groups. It is calculated by summing the single year age-specific fertility rates (expressed per 1000 women), for a given calendar year. 

Information on the TFR and the mean number of children ever born, to women aged 45-49 years on the district. The mean number of children ever born to women aged 45-49, also called the completed fertility rate, is measure of the average number of children a given cohort of women, who have completed children bearing, actually gave birth to during their childbearing years. A comparison between the TFR and the mean number of children ever born is an indication o the extent and direction of fertility change.

The total fertility rate (TFR) for the region is 4.9 per woman (Table 2.18). This means that a woman, in the region, would have on the average, 4.9 children in her lifetime, if the current schedule of age specific fertility rates were to prevail into the future. The mean number of children ever born is 6.3 for the region.

The TFR at the district level shows a slightly lower variation. In the district, the current fertility is lower than the completed fertility rate suggesting that, if TFR could be maintained, it would imply a general decline over the years. General efforts should therefore be made to intensify fertility reducing programme activities, in addition to identifying and addressing fertility sustaining factors in the district.

Population Distribution by Industry

The main economic activity engaged in Saboba District is agriculture, hunting and forestry. Table 2.29 and Figure 2.4 depict the occupational distribution of the district. Agriculture, from the chart, is the main occupation for 81% of the population. About 40% of the land is used for agricultural purposes. The common crops are cereals and yams. All farmers in addition keep livestock. Production of cotton as cash crop is slowly taking over the land used for food crops

Environmental Situation

Condition of the Natural Environment

The activities of human beings have often disturbed the natural conditions of the environment. These activities have a direct effect on the soil resulting in low soil fertility and its related problems. Large portion of the land has been degraded, thus exposing the soils, vegetation is cleared and grasses burnt. This is remarkably evident around areas with high population densities.

Major human activities such as bush burning, charcoal making, road construction, winning of sand, gravel and stone, and cutting of the vegetation (savannah) for fuel wood are some of the factors that have led to environmental degradation in the district. The results of these activities are clearly manifested in the Chereponi area, which is fast becoming a desert.

Conditions of the Built Environment

Most houses (about 94.2 per cent) were found to be built with either mud or mud brick or earth or mud walls and roofed with either corrugated metal or iron sheets or thatch. The housing environment in the district is characterized by poor drains, unkempt surroundings, exposed foundations, poor ventilation and leaking roofs. Given a household size of 7.8 persons, which is above the national average of 5.0 and a room occupancy of 1.7 persons, which is well below the national norm of 2.5 persons, the housing problem in the district is qualitative rather than quantitative. Facilities in houses such as water, electricity, kitchen, and toilet are virtually non-existent.

There are four main types of dwelling units in the district; the separate isolated house or dwelling, the semi-detached house, separate room(s) within a compound usually with common cooking and toilet facilities, and several huts or buildings within a common compound. Table 2.9 presents the distribution of dwelling units in the district.

Main material for construction (wall)

A variety of building materials are used in the construction of walls in the district as depicted in Table 2.10. The major ones include mud or mud bricks, cement blocks or concrete, sandcrete or lancrete and thatch. The commonest used material for wall construction is mud or mud brick, which accounts for 82.6 per cent of all materials used for walls. The second most frequently used material is cement or concrete blocks, accounting for 10.8 per cent, while Sandcrete or landcrete accounts for 2.8 per cent.

In Saboba district, about 81.9 per cent of dwelling units are roofed with thatch/palm leaves and 15.1 per cent are roofed with corrugated metal sheet The main materials used for floor construction in the district like any districts in the Northern Region are earth or mud brick and cement or concrete.

A higher proportion of dwelling units in rural areas than urban areas in the region have mud/earthen floor. However, in Saboba (50.9%), over half of dwelling units in rural areas have cement/concrete floors. The quality of materials used for flooring residential units needs to be much improved, especially where most household sleep on the floor of rooms.

Date Created : 11/18/2017 7:43:52 AM