Knowledge of household structure is important in social and economic planning. In Ghana for instance, some social intervention programmes target household size and composition. Some of these interventions include cash transfers to the extremely poor and the vulnerable, i.e., the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty Programme (LEAP) and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in which household data provide opportunities to target beneficiaries and exempt them from payment of premium. Households are also central to the study of income, economic dependency, savings, fertility, migration and social welfare.

This chapter therefore describes household characteristics of the La Nkwantanang Madina Municipality based on the 2010 PHC results. This includes household size, composition and headship, marital status, nationality, religious affiliation, literacy and education.

 Household Composition and Structure


Household Size

Household size provides important information to policy makers and planners in allocating resources for social services such shelter, health and education. This section focuses on the analysis of data on household structure, size, and composition. As shown in Table 3.1, there are 28,870 households in the municipal with 84.1 percent located in urban areas. While the average household size for rural dwellers (3.8) are slightly higher than the district’s figure of 3.7, which is the same as that of the urban.

Household Composition and Sex

The structure and composition of households are influenced by social, economic and demographic factors while the total size of a population and its characteristics are a reflection of what pertains at the household level. Table 3.1 displays the household population by relationship to head. The total household population of the La Nkwantanang Madina Municipality in 2010 is 108, 051.More than one-third (35.3%) of household population in the Municipality are children, while household heads constitute 26.7 percent, spouse (11.1%), and other relatives (9.8%). 24


Almost the same proportion (5.0 %) is observed for grandchildren and brother/sister, with adopted/foster children (0.4%) constituting the least of all the members of household.

The household composition by sex follows a similar pattern as observed with that of both sexes. More than two-thirds of the male household population comprises household heads (36.5%) and children (sons) (35.8%).

The composition of female household population is dominated by children (daughters) (34.8%), followed by spouse (19.5%) and household heads (17.6%). Male headship is more common (19,094) than female headship (9,777) in the Municipality (Table 3.2). This is expected because within the Ghanaian cultural settings, males are heads of households not females. A female may become a head of household under the following circumstances: when she is not married or when she is widowed, divorced or separated or where her husband has migrated (Tanle, 2010).

Household structure by sex

Household structure presented in this section refers to the type of relationship (whether related or unrelated) among household members who were present on census night. Classification of households depend on whether it is a single person household, household that consists of head and spouse only, nuclear household (head, spouse(s) and their children) or nuclear extended among other combinations.

Table 3.3 shows that nuclear family households (composed of head, spouse and children) makeup one-quarter (25.3 %) of the household population, followed by about one-fifth constituting extended family households (Head, spouse(s), children and Head's relatives) (19.3%), and “Head and other composition but no spouse” (14.6%) and Single parent extended (13.3%).

A similar pattern of the distribution of household population by structure can be observed for the sexes. The proportions of population by household structure is evenly distributed among the sexes, with female population dominating in single parent (either extended, nuclear or with non-relative) and extended family (either with or without non-relatives), whereas the male population is noted to be relatively higher in proportions for the other categories.


Marital Status


Marriage may be defined as a social institution, which establishes the legitimacy of children (Gough, 1959 cited in GSS 2012 PHC National Analytical Report). It serves as a means for procreation, mutual support and companionship. Marriage in Ghana is based on legal contractual relations between a man and a woman.

The three forms of marriages in Ghana are the customary, ordinance and Islamic marriages. There are also informal co-habiting unions with no legal obligations. The 2010 PHC collected data on marital status for persons aged 12 years and older. The data is classified into ‘never married’, ‘consensual union’, ‘married’, separated’, ‘divorced’ and ‘widowed’.

 Marital status and age

Figure 3.1 present marital status of the population 12 years and older in the La Nkwantanang Madina Municipality. The Figure shows that, about half (51.2%) of the population 12 years and older are never married, 37.2 percent are formally married (customary, church or ordinance), while 11.6 percent constitute the population that are either separated (1.8%), divorced (2.7%), widowed (3.3%) or in consensual union (3.8%).

From Table 3.4, a total of 85,947 persons constitute the population who are 12 years and older with more than half (512%) belonging to the never married category while more than one-third (37.2%) are married. The pattern of the never married population declined steadily as age increased while the married population increased with age until age group 40-44 years where it turns to decrease due to deaths, divorce or separation. The age group with the highest proportion (72.7%) among those who were married was those aged between 40-44 years followed by those aged 45-49 years (71.8 %). Among the population who were never married, majority (94.9 %) were aged between 15-19 years but the percentage decreased steadily from the youngest age group of 12-14 years (94.7%) to 60-64 years (3.6%).

Among the ever married (i.e. widowed, separated and divorced), the proportions generally increased with age, especially in the case of those widowed. There was no much difference in the proportions between males (37.2%) and females (37.3%) who were married but more males (55.3% ) than females (47.4% ) were never married, particularly those aged between 15 and 19 years (96.1% ). This could be due to the fact that they were in full time education since they were within the school-going age. Again, a slightly higher proportion of males (4.0%) than females (3.7%) were in informal/consensus union/living together, especially those aged between 30-34 years (7.8%). This is expected because anecdotal evidence shows that in most cases males initiate the process of courtship in Africa.

Marital status by sex and level of education

The level of education that one attains before marriage is key to the socio-economic status of a family and to some extent influences fertility. It is assumed that, when couples are educated they tend to have well-planned families and leave together happily in the community. Table 3.5 shows that 46.6 percent of the never married population 12 years and older had attained Basic School education (Primary, Middle and JSS/JHS), while 11.1 percent had attained tertiary level education.

Table 3.5 also shows that, the proportion of female married population (12 years and older) who have never been to school is relatively higher than that of males (15.7 % against 6.2%). Similarly, the proportion of divorced population with no education is higher for females (12 years and older) (19.0%) than their male counterparts (8.0%).

Table 3.5 further reveals that the proportion of male married population had attained tertiary education is more than twice that of female married population (15.3% against 6.6%). Again, a relatively higher proportion of females than males is observed for those in informal/Consensual union/Living together who have no formal education (12.8% against 9.5%).

Marital Status and Economic Activity

Table 3.6 presents marital status of persons 12 years and older by economic activity status. The results show that about 59.4 percent of them were employed, 4.9 percent were unemployed and 35.6 percent were economically not active. With the exception of the never married and widowed population, the other categories have not less than 74 percent of its population who are employed. Particularly, the married population who are 12 years and older has the highest proportion (80.3%) belonging to the employed population.

The Table also reveals that among the various categories of the marital status, the never married population has the highest proportion that is unemployed and economically not active (6.2 % and 51.7% respectively). This may be attributed to the youthful population in full time schooling. For the male population, those in consensual union/ living together have relatively the highest proportion employed (86.7%) which is slightly higher than that of married population (83.4%).

The reverse is rather the case for female population; employed (77.3%) and economically not active (71.7%). The Table further reveals that, almost half the population who are widowed, whether for the separate sexes or both sex, are economically not active. The information presented in Table 3.5, confirm the general expectation that married males are supposed to be gainfully employed because they are traditionally considered as bread winners of their families.


Nationality is defined as the country to which a person belongs. Ghanaian nationals are classified as Ghanaian by birth, Ghanaian by dual nationality and Ghanaian by naturalization. Table 3.7 shows that 91.6 percent of the population in the Municipality are Ghanaians by birth, 4.0 percent had dual nationality, while 3.2 percent of the population was made up of foreigners.

The population of foreigners comprised a higher percentage of ECOWAS nationals (2.6%). The proportion of ECOWAS nationals who are males (3.0%) is higher compared to that of their female counterpart (2.2%). but the proportion of both male and female Africans other than ECOWAS nationals in the Municipality was the same (0.4% each).

Religious Affiliation

Religion refers to the individual’s religious affiliation as reported by the respondent irrespective of the religion of the household head or the head’s spouse or the name of the person. Table 3.8 presents population by religious affiliation and sex in the La Nkwantanang Madina Municipality. According to the Table, majority (79.2%) of the population in the Municipality are Christians with Pentecostal/Charismatic dominating with a proportion of 38.7 percent, followed by the Protestants (23.0%), Catholic (9.2%) and other Christians (16.0%). The population belonging to the Islamic religion constitute 17.5%, while Traditionalist and others makeup about one percent.

For the sexes, there are relatively higher proportions of female Christians compared with male Christians who are members of Pentecostal/Charismatic churches (39.9% against 37.5%) and Protestant churches (23.3% against 22.8 %). Similarly, there are slightly more males (10,010) than females (9,611) in the Islamic religion.



Information Communication Technologies (ICT) have become important tools in the daily activities of the people of La Nkwantanang Madina Municipality. In recent times, the Municipality, like the national level, has witnessed a rapid increase in ICT. The use of mobile phone, Internet and desktop computers by households and businesses was increasing because ICT infrastructure had improved significantly in the Municipality. Almost all the mobile phone companies, namely MTN, Vodafone, Tigo, Airtel etc werepresent in the La Nkwantanang Madina Municipality.

It is for this reason that for the first time in the country, the 2010 PHC collected data on access to and use of ICT by individuals and households. Information was sought from persons 12 years and older on access to and use of mobile phones, Internet facilities at home, in an Internet café, on mobile phones or other devices. Households with desktops/laptop computers, and access to fixed telephone lines were also determined. This chapter therefore analyses access and use of these ICT technologies/facilities by age and sex.

 Ownership of Mobile Phones

During the 2010 PHC, data on both individuals aged 12 years and older and households was collected in order to assess ownership and use of mobile phones. A total of 85,947 persons who are 12 years or older live in the Municipality (Table 5.1). Out of this total, 78.1 percent have mobile phone. Furthermore, ownership of mobile phone by sex reveals that a relatively higher proportion of the male population compared to the female population who are 12 years or older have mobile phone (82.0% against 74.4%).

Use of Internet

Persons using internet facility refers to those who had access to internet facility at home, internet café, and mobile phone or by other mobile devices. Internet access is assumed not to be only via computer but also by mobile phone, game machine and digital televisions.

From Table 5.1, about one-quarter (24.9 %) of the population 12 years or older in the La Nkwantanang Madina Municipality use Internet facilities compared to a lower percentage of 18.6 percent in the region. The proportion of the male population (32.0%) that use internet is higher than that of the female population (18.7%). This might be due to the fact that males were more economically empowered than females (GSS, 2012).

 Household Ownership of Fixed Telephone Lines

Despite the widespread use of the mobile phone, fixed line telephones remained important, particularly at workplaces and parts of the country where mobile phone network access was poor or non-existent. Table 5.2 shows that there are 28,871 households in the Municipality, of which 5.6 percent own fixed telephone lines which is relatively lower compared to the regional average (43.3%). The proportion of male-headed households (5.8%) that are connected to fixed telephone lines in the Municipality is slightly higher than their female counterparts (5.2%).


Household ownership of Desktop/Laptop computer

From Table 5.3, an average of 22.8 percent of the total number of households own at least a laptop or desktop computer in the Municipality, and this is relatively higher compared to the regional figure (17.0%). Again, male-headed households have a higher proportion (25.3 %) relative to the female-headed households (18.0 %).





Date Created : 12/5/2017 5:49:25 AM