Dr Peter Takyi Peprah, Assistant Chief Statistician and Director of Field Operations, Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), says about 57 per cent of the country’s population lives in the urban areas.
He said the 2021 Population and Housing Census showed that the urban localities were now ‘‘soaking’’ the pressures from the large population.
Dr Peprah said this during a virtual symposium on family and urbanisation organised by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the Department of Social Welfare, as part of activities to commemorate the International Day of the Family.
The United Nations General Assembly in 1993 in a resolution (A/RES/47/237) adopted the International Day of the Family to be observed on May 15, every year.
The day is commemorated to acknowledge the importance of the family and promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase the knowledge of the social, economic, and demographic processes affecting families.
This year’s celebration on the theme: ‘‘Families and Urbanisation” is aimed at raising awareness on the importance of sustainable, family-friendly urban policies.
Dr Peprah, breaking down the statistics of population increase due to migration between 2010 and 2021 in some of the regions, said Greater Accra grew by 1,000,000 followed by Ashanti Region with 200,000, and Western region welcoming 100,000.
Eastern and Ahafo regions, however, recorded negative, indicating that the number of people who migrated to both regions were less as compared to 10 years ago.
He said almost all the regions gained population increase with the majority, moving to the urban areas within those regions in the country.
According to the Census report, most of the people who moved to the urban areas were the youth with median age of 29 years, with 53.8 per cent males and 40.4 per cent females.
It said 47.3 per cent of them had never married which generally affected median age at first marriage, median age at first birth and total fertility rates of the country.
Dr Peprah described urbanisation as the process of increase in the population that was reported to live in localities classified as "urban".
He attributed the increase of migration from the rural to the urban areas to factors, including better jobs opportunities, education prospects, technology, availability of electricity, water, improved transportation system, and cultural, social and entertainment opportunities.
The Director noted that people who moved to the cities ended up living in slums and sometimes became worse off than their counterparts staying in rural areas.
Urbanisation, he said, offered breeding grounds for social vices such as prostitution, armed robbery, illegitimate children and terrorism due to economic hardships and, the creation of unsanitary environment.