The population of Ghana is growing so rapidly that census results are soon out of date. In 2008 estimates put the population around twenty-two million. Half of this number consists of those under sixteen years old.
The birth rate is 24 in 1000. Death rate is 11 in 1000. Infant mortality rate is 51 in 1000. Life expectancy is 56 years. The literacy rate is 80% for males, and 67% for females.
The most densely populated areas of Ghana are the cities of Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi, Tamale, and Tema.
Around fifty distinct groups can be found in modern Ghana – each has its own dialect, culture, history, and traditions. The five major groups are: Akan tribe (47% of Ghanaians). Those from this tribe speak varieties of Twi. Twi is also learned as a second language by many Ghanaians and can be considered the country’s unofficial lingua franca. The other main people groups are Ga-Adangbe people (8%), Ewe people (13%), Mole-Dagbani people (16%) and Gonja people (4%).
All tribes speak languages from the widely distributed Niger-Congo group. The official language for all is English. Despite tribal and linguistic differences, there is a strong feeling of “One Nation, One People, One Destiny”
Many Ghanaians live outside of Ghana, traveling to North America and Europe for educational and financial reasons. These people are often referred to as Ghanaians in the Diaspora, or as Diasporans.
Ghana has many famous people in the Diaspora who have made their mark in world affairs. The most celebrated is UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan. Others include numerous soccer players, 3-time world champ boxer Azumah Nelson, Super Bowl winner Joe Addai, and actors Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who) and Belinda Owusu (EastEnders).