Ghana is located on West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea and has a population of 27.41 million people. In 1957, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan country to gain independence. The 2017 Global Peace Index ranks the country number 44 in the world, placing it just below the U.K. and above France. Below are facts and figures in Ghana that are important to understanding how to improve poverty.
- Diseases and conditions in Ghana that cause the most death and disability combined are malaria, lower respiratory infections, neonatal sepsis, HIV/AIDS, neonatal preterm birth, cerebrovascular disease, neonatal encephalopathy, congenital defects, ischemic heart disease and protein-energy malnutrition.
- Malaria is the leading cause of premature death. About 1.61 percent of the adult population has HIV/AIDS.
- The fertility rate is 4.03 children born per woman. Ghana ranks number 37 in the world for highest fertility rate.
- The mean age for a mother’s first birth is 22.6 years old. The maternal mortality rate is 319 deaths per 100,000 births, ranking Ghana as number 32 in the world for highest maternal mortality rate.
- The infant mortality rate is 36.3 deaths per 1,000 live births. Ghana ranks number 56 in the world for the highest infant mortality rate. Malaria is the leading cause of death for children under five years old.
- The life expectancy at birth is 66.6 years of age.
- Ghana is a role model in Africa for free basic education.
- UNICEF measures primary school net enrollment for males at 83.9 percent and for females 84.8 percent. Secondary school net enrollment for males is 48.1 percent and for females 44.4 percent.
- UNICEF estimates primary school net attendance at 72.2 percent for males and 73.8 percent for females. Secondary school net attendance is 39.7 percent for males and 43.6 percent for females.
- Primary school survival rate is surveyed at 99.5 percent although administration data measures it at 72.2 percent. There is still room for improvement, especially regarding the quality of children’s education. In 2011, less than 60 percent of students were able to pass core subjects of the Basic Education Certification Exam. The literacy rate of people ages 15 and older is 76.6 percent.
- There is a need to improve child protection laws. UNICEF estimates that more than 90 percent of children report physical violence at home and at school. Child labor and child trafficking are also problems in Ghana.
- In 2015, about 88.7 percent of the population had access to improved drinking water. This differs from urban to rural areas. In urban areas, 92.6 percent of the population had access; in rural areas, 84 percent had access.
- The MDG for 2015 was 89 percent. In 2015, only 14.9 percent had access to improved sanitation facilities. In urban areas, 20.2 percent had access; in rural areas, 8.6 percent had access. The MDG for 2015 was 54 percent.
- Ghana’s GDP is $42,689.78 million U.S. dollars. The GDP per capita is $1,513.5 U.S. dollars. The poverty rate has decreased over the years. In 1992, 51.7 percent of the population lived in poverty. In 2006, 28.5 percent did. Income disparities, however, continue to get worse.
These facts and figures in Ghana demonstrate the incredible strides the country has made to better lives and meet MDG goals. They also reveal where the country needs to continue to make improvements to fight poverty.
– Francesca Montalto