In 2018, Ghana had an average population density of 125 residents per km2. The largest population concentration is found in the southern parts of the country, mainly in the urban areas and in the cocoa producing areas as well as in the northeastern corner of the country.
About 56 percent of the population lives in cities; however, this proportion is increasing rapidly. The largest cities were the capital Accra (2.3 million residents, 2012) and Kumasi (2 million).
According to Countryaah data, the population of Ghana consists of more than 80 ethnic groups, all of whom feed predominantly on hack agriculture. Base crops are yams, cassava, taro and bananas in the south and sorghum and corn in the north. In the south, cocoa cultivation plays an important economic role, while peanuts for sale have some economic significance in the north, where livestock management is also present.
In the south, the Akan people dominate, more than 50 percent of the country’s population, which includes the groups Ashanti (3.3 million), who during the 18th and 19th centuries carried the important Ashanti kingdom, fanti (1.7 million), abron (1 million) and anyi (298,000).
In the southeast, in and around the capital, Accra, there are ga (690,000) and adangme, together 7.5 percent of the population, and east of them there is ewe (2.6 million). These peoples traditionally feed, except on agriculture, fishing and trade along the coast; the majority are nominally Christian.
In the middle part of the country there are the Muslim guang (which disintegrates into a number of smaller groups), which in the 1600s formed a decentralized but economically significant state based on trade.
According to thesciencetutor, the northern part of the Ghana is populated by a long line of belt-talking tribal people who are sometimes collectively referred to as mole-day bans; among them are dagomba (866,000) and mamprusi (256,000), which formed traditional states, as well as concomba (596,000), kusasi (489,000), sisala (125,000), tallensi (45,000) and, farthest in the northwest, dagari (700,000), which constitute tribal communities without central political leadership. Common to the Mole-Dagbani is that they have predominantly maintained their traditional tribal religions. Since the Second World War, however, Islam has gained more influence in the north; the number of Muslims here varies between 10 and 60 percent, while Christianity plays a minor role. There are also about 365,000 yoruba in the country.
Despite the ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity, there are few contradictions between the country’s population groups. However, there are clear differences between, on the one hand, the peoples of the south, who have long been influenced by Christianity and European education and way of life, and, on the other, the peoples of the north, whose culture has not undergone dramatic changes in the context of European colonialism. The latter are often associated with people from the South with Muslim lifestyle in general. During Nkrumah’s reign, the political opposition was associated with the people of the north.
The official language is English. The native languages belong to the Gur and Kwagren of the Niger-Congo family. The most important language of the Nurs in the north. Among the Kwa languages in the south, akan and ewe dominate. Six of the indigenous languages are used in radio broadcasts.
The first Europeans to reach Ghana were Portuguese sailors and traders. These introduced the Catholic Church in the country in 1481. During the 17th century, the Portuguese were challenged by merchants from the Netherlands, England, Denmark, Sweden and Prussia – all Protestant shipping nations. In 1874 the country (then called the Gold Coast) became a British colony, which in 1957 became independent under the name Ghana.
The Catholic Church today (2010) comprises about 13% of Ghana’s population. Protestants are about twice as many, about 25%. The proportion of members in independent Christian churches is estimated at 19% and the proportion of independent Christians is estimated at 6%. Traditional domestic religion is comprised of 16%. The country also has several hundred indigenous African churches, some of which, e.g. Christ Apostolic Church, of Nigerian origin. Among Christians, Pentecostal and charismatic movements are the fastest growing. In addition, a large number of faiths and communities are represented in the country, among them a religion unique to Ghana, Zetahil, which combines elements of Islam and Christianity.
Islam has been introduced in Ghana in round; in the 15th century through Muslim traders and imams, in the 16th century through traders belonging to the Hausa people and during the early 1800s when Muslim Nigerians fled from Usman dan Fodio’s holy war in northern Nigeria. Today, the proportion of Muslims of Ghana’s population (2010) is reported to be just under 20%, most of which are Sunnis who follow the Malikite law school. Sufism is represented by the two brotherhoods Tijaniya and Qadiriya. Ahmadiya is the only non-Sunni variety of Islam.
Ghana’s constitution rests on religious grounds. Nevertheless, the country is secular, as the constitution does not allow any religious organization to become a state religion. The constitution and other laws guarantee religious freedom, something that the government also respects.
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The country has no government agency that handles religious matters. All religious organizations are independent institutions. However, like all other non-governmental organizations, the religious must also register at the Ministry of Justice’s general registration office to be formally recognized by the state. The state does not financially support any religious organization. The schools include religious education that combines Christian and Islamic perspectives to varying degrees. The state has in many ways promoted interreligious dialogue and understanding.