Ghana must increase its resources to meet the growing needs of the population
Professor Peter Quartey, director of the Institute for Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana, said Ghana must increase its resources to meet the growing needs of the population for sustainable growth.
He said population growth came with demands for the development of infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and roads to bridge the inequality gap, especially in high-growth regions.
Professor Quartey said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra on the provisional results of the 2021 Population and Housing Census, which put the country’s growth rate at 2.1%.
The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 released the country’s provisional population figure of 30.8 million, an increase of 6.1 million people from 2010 figures of 24.6 million.
The 2021 census provided an annual intercensal growth rate of 2.1% compared to 2.5% in the 2010 census.
The population change, the statement said, was driven by three processes – fertility, mortality and migration.
Prof Quartey said it was desirable for the population growth rate to be moderate as the 2.5% growth rate in 2010 meant that the country’s livelihoods had not improved much.
The population rate of 2021, he said, meant the country needed to find more resources to increase its economic resilience and this should be done strategically.
Greater Accra, according to the 2021 census, is now the most populous region in the country with 5,446,237 digits, followed by the Ashanti region with 5,432,485.
Professor Quartey said that Accra topping the regional population figures meant the government had to address the challenges of rural-urban migration, which often led to traffic jams, crimes and other social vices.
He urged the government to decentralize governance so that jobs and other resources are equitably distributed to open up regions and communities to growth.
Prof Quartey called for the generation of quarterly unemployment and gross domestic product data for short and long-term strategic planning.
The 2021 census provided important information to support the evidence-based implementation of the national development agenda, monitoring of the achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.