7.3 Million People in Ghana Are Multidimensionally Poor – GSS

The latest Ghana Multidimensional Poverty Report by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) presents a grim view of poverty levels in the country, with employment and living conditions being the primary contributors.

Key Findings: Widespread Poverty

The report reveals that 7.3 million Ghanaians, or 24.3% of the household population, are multidimensionally poor. This type of poverty encompasses multiple deprivations in education, health, and living standards, with 43.8% experiencing severe poverty.

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Rural vs. Urban Disparities

Multidimensional poverty significantly affects the rural population, where 36.7% fall below the poverty threshold. The severity of poverty is almost the same in rural (44.0%) and urban (43.4%) areas.

Regional Disparities

The Savannah Region has the highest proportion of multidimensionally poor households at 49.5%, nearly double the national average. However, the Ashanti Region has the highest number of multidimensionally poor individuals, totaling 959,031.

According to Omar Seidu, Director of Social Statistics at the GSS, “The Ashanti Region tops in terms of the actual number of persons who are multidimensionally poor (18%) because it has a larger population.”

Nine regions exhibit alarming poverty levels, with over a quarter of their populations facing multiple deprivations. These regions include:

  • Savannah (49.5%)
  • North East (48.1%)
  • Upper East (43.0%)
  • Oti (40.8%)
  • Northern (38.4%)
  • Upper West (37.4%)
  • Volta (27.3%)
  • Western North (27.0%)
  • Western (25.7%)

Employment and Living Conditions

Employment and living conditions contribute significantly to multidimensional poverty, with employment accounting for 32.6% and living conditions 27.9%. Health insurance also plays a crucial role, contributing 21.5%.

Demographic Insights

Poverty is higher among female-headed households (27.0%) compared to male-headed households (23.0%). Younger household heads below 25 years and older heads above 60 years are more susceptible to poverty.

Educational Disparities

Educational attainment is a major factor in poverty levels. Four in ten multidimensionally poor individuals have never attended school. Households with heads who have only basic education face a poverty incidence of 20.0%, which is significantly higher than those with tertiary education (7.1%).

Sectoral Impact

Households headed by individuals working in agriculture experience the highest poverty rates (34.3%), compared to those in the services sector, who are 5.5 times better off, and those in the industry sector, who are 3.8 times better off.

Recommendations

To address the root causes of multidimensional poverty, the report underscores the need for targeted interventions:

  • Enhancing educational opportunities.
  • Improving living conditions.
  • Creating sustainable employment opportunities.

These measures are crucial for alleviating poverty and fostering equitable development in Ghana.

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