Diffusing Ghana's Demographic Bomb - Insights from the Age and Sex profile of Ghana's population

Updated: Aug 9

Are we sitting on a demographic time bomb, waiting to explode? Can this explosion be prevented?

According to data from Ghana's Statistical Service Population and Housing Census 2021, about 18 million people between ages15-64 fall within Ghana's working age bracket. The rest of the population representing over 12 million (children 0-14 years and the elderly 65+ years) fall within the dependent class. This means that for every 100 people who can work in the working age bracket, 66 people depend on these 100 for their livelihood.

Apart from the above, Ghana’s population age structure is gradually transitioning from one dominated by children (0-14 years) to one dominated by young people (15-35 years) and this raises some key national issues for consideration. Are there enough jobs for these youth?

In a recently held sponsored training for 20 girls in Data Analytics with Microsoft Excel and Python, a section of the girls (Data Demystifiers), as part of their capstone project, provided some insights into this "demographic bomb". Using the shape of Ghana's Population Pyramid, the students produced and presented dashboards which gave relevant, insightful and meaningful information on the data. They also offered some solution to this problem that was revealed from their analysis. The full presentation and dashboard can be found below:


Below is a summary of some of the points they raised:

1. Ghana has a youthful population

2. More policies geared towards development of the youthful human capital of the country should be implemented.

3. “The devil finds work for the idle hands” is fast becoming a reality, as is evident in the increase in social vices reported by the media outlets on a daily basis; armed robbery, internet fraud, just to mention a few. To curb this, “legal” work must be found for the “idle hands”. Jobs must be created to employ the youth, who form a large portion of the labour force and conducive environments for doing business must also be created to encourage entrepreneurship.

To conclude, we ask again, are we sitting on a demographic time bomb waiting to explode? Or has the bomb already exploded? How can we prevent/curb this explosion? Share your thoughts!