Ten per cent of illiterate population concentrated in nine districts—GSS Report 

By Paul Eduarko Richardson

Accra, Sept. 8, GNA – Nine of Ghana’s 261 districts accounts for more than a tenth (10.4%) of the 7.9 million illiterate persons aged six years and older, data from the 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) has indicated. 

According to the report by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), four of the nine districts are in the Northern Region, two in the North East Region, and one each in the Savannah, Volta, and Upper East regions.  

The districts are Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (123,455), Nanumba North Municipal (100,046), East Mamprusi Municipal (98,293), Sagnarigu Municipal (94,006), Gushegu Municipal (92,056), West Mamprusi Municipal (82,262), Central Gonja (81,261), Ketu South Municipal (76,082), and Bawku West (74,798).  

This was contained in a press statement issued by the GSS to highlight geographic variations in illiteracy as it marks International Literacy Day on September 8. 

In total, 822,259 persons aged six and older are illiterate in the nine districts, meaning they cannot read or write in any language.  

One in every five districts had at least half of the population six years and older illiterate, with the Karaga district (81.0 per cent) holding the highest percentage, followed by the Gushegu Municipal (80.7 per cent) and North East Gonja (80.3 per cent) districts. 

Six districts had more than three-quarters of the people aged six and older who were illiterate: Karaga, Gushegu Municipal, Noth East Gonja, and the Mion (77.7%), North Gonja (77.3%), and Mamprugu Moagduri (76.4%) districts. 

In nine of the 16 regions, at least one district had more than half of its population aged six and older who were illiterate. 

These were Northern (14), Upper West (10), Upper East (8), Savannah (6), North East (5), Bono East (4), Oti (4), Eastern (1), and Ashanti (1). 

There were 15 districts with less than 10.0 per cent of the population being illiterate.  

All except one of these 15 districts were in the Greater Accra Region. 

Ashanti is the only region with a district with an illiteracy rate of less than 10% (Kwadaso Municipal) and one with an illiteracy rate of more than 50% (Sekyere Afram Plains).   

Ayawaso West Municipal has the lowest illiteracy rate (5.9 per cent), followed by La Dade-Kotopon Municipal (6.1 per cent) and Tema West Municipal (6.2 per cent). 

The theme for the 2023 International Literacy Day is “Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies.”