Editorial: Policy Makers Must Prepare For Population Growth Projections

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has released a report outlining growth projections for the country’s population. By 2050, Ghana’s population is expected to surge by 70.36percent, reaching an estimated 52.47 million, compared to 30.83 million in 2021.The report, titled “Population Projections 2021 – 2050,” utilises data from the 2021 Population and Housing Census as well as historical sources.

It predicts a steady rise over the next decade, with the population reaching 33 million by 2024 and exceeding 44.7 million by 2040, although the projected rates of population growth suggest a decrease in the population growth rate in the next 25 years. The report indicates that Ghana’s population structure is undergoing a transformation. The proportion of children (aged 0-14) is projected to decline further, reaching 29.1% by 2050, while the population aged 60 and over is expected to rise significantly, reaching 10.8% by 2050 from 6.5% in 2021.

The trend towards urbanization is expected to continue. The urban population is projected to reach 60.7% by 2030, with Greater Accra, the most urbanized region, experiencing a population density increase of 1.3 times by 2030.

First of all, the Chronicle commends the Ghana Statistical Service for its comprehensive analysis and urges stakeholders to act decisively on the findings of the population projections. The report offers a sobering glimpse into the country demographic future. According to the projections, Ghana’s population is set to surge by 70.36% by 2050, reaching an estimated 52.47 million people.

The Chronicle agrees with the deputy Government Statistician, Faustina Frempong-Ainguah that this growth trajectory calls forcritical need for a long-term planning in investments in healthcare, education, housing and infrastructure to accommodate population growth sustainably.

Thedeputy Government Statistician rightly emphasized the importance of these projections as a tool for informed decision-making and also making government aware of the impending pressures on infrastructure and facilities due to escalating population density.

For instance, when Europe was experiencing significant demographic shift which affected EU citizens, they createdproactive policies and programs to facilitate the transition from an ageing society to one that embraces longevity. The EU embarked on a massive funding mechanism designed to mitigate the adverse impacts of this demographic change. This is obviously a society that is proactive and does not sit idle to allow future events to overcome them.

We cannot say same in our part of the world, where decision makers engage in a lot of talk with little action. The Chronicle would not be surprised that the year 2050 will come and Ghanaians will find themselves in the same situation, because governments would not do much to solve the mess and give us hope.

The Ghana Statistical Service population growth projections must rather inform the decision makers to take economic advantage of the projected increase in the working-age population, whichpresents a demographic dividend that, if harnessed effectively through skill development and job creation initiatives, could stimulate economic growth and mitigate the impact of current economic challenges. Strategic investments in education and vocational training are essential to equip the workforce with the skills needed for a rapidly evolving labor market.

As the country charts its course amidst these demographic and economic shifts, it is imperative that policymakers heed the insights provided by the population projections. By doing so we can ensure that Ghana’s future is characterised by sustainable development, equitable prosperity and enhanced quality of life for all its citizens.


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