Ghana’s population grew rapidly over several decades, but the rate of growth has slowed in recent years. Migration to the cities is large, more than every other Ghanaian now living in urban areas. More than half the population is found within the triangle formed by the cities of Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi on the coast and Kumasi 20 km inland.
In Ghana there are between 50 and 100 people. The number varies mainly depending on where the boundary is drawn between languages and dialects. Many people and languages also go under several different names. The majority of peoples belong to one of five main groups, based on language community.
- COUNTRYAAH.COM: Key populations estimated size and data of Ghana, including population density of how many people per square mile. Also included are facts for population and language.
The largest is the acan, which makes up almost half the population. Akan includes, among other things, the fantasy people on the coast and ashanti in the forest region within the coast. If the Akan dialects are counted as their own languages, then Ashanti becomes the single largest language.
In northern Ghana, a number of different mole-day gangsters (or mossi/ mori-dagomba) live, including dagomba (who speaks dagbani), konkomba and dagari. Their languages are mainly considered different, albeit related. To the southeast of the border with Togo there is ewe. Despite several subgroups and dialects, ewe is considered a language, which then becomes the second largest in Ghana. Ga-adangbe is mainly found around Accra. Ga and adangbe are usually counted as two people, but the languages are very similar. In central Ghana there is guang.
Ghana has generally escaped more serious ethnic conflicts, although outbreaks of violence between peoples blossomed in the 1990s (see Modern History) and also in 2002. There is a cultural and economic divide between southern Ghana and the poorer and more sparsely populated northern part of the country.
About three million Ghanaians live abroad, and the money they send home is very important to the country’s economy.
English is the official language. It is used in public life and thus helps to keep the country together. Among Muslims in the north, Hausa is a common socializing language. The native languages belong to the Gur and Kwa branches of the Niger-Congo language family. Upwards of 15 of these languages are spoken by at least a quarter of a million people.
FACTS – POPULATION AND LANGUAGE
akan (including ashanti and fanti), mole-day bani, ewe, ga-adangbe
Number of residents
28 833 629 (2017)
Number of residents per square kilometer
Percentage of residents in the cities
55.4 percent (2017)
31.0 per 1000 residents (2016)
8.1 per 1000 residents (2016)
2.2 percent (2017)
4.0 number of births per woman (2016)
Percentage of women
50.2 percent (2017)
63 years (2016)
Life expectancy for women
64 years (2016)
Life expectancy for men
62 years (2016)
English is the official language; the largest indigenous languages are akan, ewe, mole-dagomba and ga
John Atta Mills of NDC becomes new president
The second and decisive round of the presidential election becomes extremely smooth. NDC candidate John Atta Mills wins with 50.2 percent of the vote over Nana Akufo-Addo from NPP who gets 49.8 percent. That means a difference of less than 60,000 votes. The parties accuse each other of electoral fraud, but the election commission finds the evidence insufficient.
The NDC becomes the largest in Parliament
In the parliamentary elections, the opposition NDC becomes the largest party with 113 seats against 109 seats for the ruling NPP. People’s National Assembly (PNC) wins 2 seats while 1 seat goes to Samia Yaba Nkrumah (daughter of country father Kwame Nkrumah) from the National People’s Party (CPP). Four mandates go to independent candidates. Observers from the EU and AU, among others, believe that the election was free and fair.
No candidate achieves 50 percent
In the first round of the presidential election, NPP candidate Nana Akufo-Addo wins with 49 percent of the vote against 48 percent for NDC’s John Atta Mills. As no candidate achieves 50 percent, a second and decisive election round between Akufo-Addo and Mills is announced later that month.
Presidential palace more expensive than expected
The opposition within the NDC criticizes President John Kufuor of NPP for the fact that a newly built presidential palace has cost more than expected.
Campaign Contribution Conflict
Ahead of the December 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections, a debate arises about how large sums of money some politicians have spent during the election movement. There is a suspicion of co-ordination between politicians and persons in organized crime who control the growing international drug trade that goes through Ghana (see Social conditions).
Local power struggle is getting tougher
Violence outbreaks and assassination fires reap several deaths in the north. The perpetrators appear to be mainly supporters of the ruling, market-liberal New Patriotic Party (NPP), while the victims support the Social Democratic Opposition Party National Democratic Congress (NDC). In the background lies a protracted dispute over a chief post.
Many dead in local power struggles
Local conflicts over chiefs disrupt the campaign for the presidential and parliamentary elections in December 2008. The contradictions lead to 13 people being killed in the city of Bawku in northern Ghana.