Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Africa media review
Title Demographic patterns and sustainable development in Ghana
Volume 9
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1995
Page numbers 96
URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12290510
There is a growing recognition that the present demographic patterns in sub-Saharan Africa, including Ghana, do not augur well for the achievement of sustainable development. Ghana is characterized by a youthful population, rapid population growth, uneven population distribution, high fertility, and rural-urban migration which has brought human numbers into collision with resources to sustain them. It is submitted that the issues discussed are equally applicable to the subregion as well. The estimated population in 1993 was about 16.4 million. The population of Ghana increased from 1970 to 1984 at a rate of growth of 2.6% per annum. The proliferation of small settlements has serious implications for sustainable development. Urban centers comprised about 12.9% of the total population in 1948, 23% in 1960, 28.3% in 1970, and 31.3% in 1984. The average woman in Ghana still has more than six children. The 1988 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) indicated that the median age at first marriage for women was 16.5 years. Contraceptive use is low in sub-Sahara Africa. Currently married women (15-49) currently using any modern method ranged from 1% in Burundi (1987) and Mali (1987) to 36% in Zimbabwe (1988/89). The rapid population growth in Ghana, coupled with the concentration of infrastructural facilities and job opportunities in the urban centers, has resulted in a massive rural-urban migration. Basic social facilities like health, water, housing, and electricity have been stretched to their breakpoints. The Government of Ghana initiated a major effort to put environmental issues on the priority agenda in March 1988. This led to the preparation of an Environmental Action Plan (EAP) in 1991 to address issues relating to the protection of the environment, but the need is still urgent to adopt relevant population policies as a basic strategy in sustainable development.

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