Efficiency, Accountability and Integrity

7.3 million Ghanaians multidimensionally poor: Have deprivations in either education, health, living conditions or employment — GSS Report

June 27, 2024

Nearly one out of every four Ghanaians (over 7.31 million people) are multidimensionally poor, facing deprivations in health (not healthcare), education, employment, and living conditions (not poor living conditions), a report released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has revealed.

This means 24.3 per cent of Ghanaians (over 7.31 million people) are multidimensionally poor. Employment dimension (not unemployment) contributes the most to multidimensional poverty at 32.6 per cent, followed by living conditions (27.9 per cent), health (21.7 per cent), and education (17.8 per cent) dimensions.

About four out of 10 persons (43.8 per cent) of those who are multidimensionally poor experience severe poverty through deprivations in several dimensions simultaneously. The report highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to address poverty, including improving access to quality education, health care, and employment opportunities, particularly in rural and underserved regions. 


The Director of Social Statistics at GSS, Omar Seidu, at a dissemination workshop in Accra last Wednesday, emphasised the importance of using the findings to inform policy decisions and address poverty simultaneously across various dimensions. He explained MPI to be a non-monetary measure of poverty that reflectes the various areas in which the population may be deprived. The index was generated using 13 weighted need indicators classified under four dimensions – “living conditions, education, health and employment”.  

The living conditions dimensions cut across potable water, electricity, improved toilet and assets, living in old dilapidated homes, overcrowding in rooms as well as non-usage of liquefied petroleum gas as its indicators. 

The health dimension, he explained, included those experiencing death of a child five years or below or a pregnant mother in a household, as well a member of a household not registered for health insurance or not covered under a health insurance.  

Education dimension is denoted as “lack of education for children of school going age (four to 15 years), lack of at least nine years education for a member of a household older than 15 years, and lagging behind in education at least two more years compared to the expected age”. Meanwhile, employment dimension refers to “no member 15 years and older in the household being employed”.


Mr Seidu said the import of the report was to provide standard multidimensional indices for the country to measure the different poverty experiences and inform government and ministries, metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) policy decisions to address poverty.

“These findings provide evidence for formulating comprehensive policy responses that address various dimensions of poverty simultaneously”. “This includes improving access to quality education, health care and employment opportunities, particularly in rural and underserved regions,” he said.

“Additionally, targeted interventions to support vulnerable groups are essential for reducing poverty and promoting equitable development,” Mr Seidu added. He stressed that the report was vital in aiding policymakers and stakeholders to develop and implement policies aimed not only at reducing poverty, but also for promoting equitable growth which was essential for advancing Ghana’s development agenda and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030. 

Rural, urban disparity

Findings also revealed vast variations in the MPI among the rural and urban areas in the 261 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) and the 16 administrative regions.

The report found that while 36.7 per cent (more than a third) of persons living in rural areas are multidimensionally poor, 14.6 per cent persons in the urban areas are multidimensionally poor.

However, it added, the severity of the poor on many indicators was about same in rural areas, with 44 per cent in the rural areas and 43.4 per cent in urban areas.

Mr Seidu said nine regions had their proportions exceeding the national average of multi-dimensionally poor, with the Savannah Region recording the highest with 49.5 per cent, which was more than twice the national average of 24.3 per cent.

The Greater Accra Region recorded the least multidimensional poverty with 11.7 per cent, with eight others exceeding the national average. They include North East with 48.1 per cent; Upper East with 43 per cent; Oti with 40.8 per cent; Northern with 38.4 per cent; Upper West with 37.4 per cent, and Volta with 27.3 per cent.

The rest are Western North – 27.0 per cent; Western – 25.7 per cent, Ahafo – 24.7 per cent; Bono East – 24.2 per cent; Central – 22.5 per cent; Eastern – 21.7 per cent, Ashanti – 18.3, and Bono with 17.1.

Meanwhile in nominal terms (at constant prices), the Ashanti Region had the highest household population living in multidimensional poverty with 959,031 people and the least being Ahafo Region with 135,644 people.

Across all 261 MMDAs, however, Asokwa Municipality in the Ashanti Region recorded the least proportion of household population living in multidimensional poverty with 6.3 per cent (7,798 out of 123,680).The Nabdam District in the Upper East Region recorded the highest proportion of household population living in multidimensional poverty with 68.6 per cent (35,768 out of 52,138).


A Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGRD), Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah, in a speech delivered on his behalf by a Deputy Minister, Vincent Ekow Assafuah, commended GSS for producing the MPI report for all 261 MMDAs.

He added that it demonstrated its dedication to providing comprehensive data for effective evidence-based planning and implementation.

Mr Korsah said the report would serve as a tool for targeting beneficiaries for various programmes and projects to ensure good governance and balanced development of rural and urban areas, with the strategic baseline data it provided.

The data also helped to monitor progress of local level development and the trajectory to eliminating all forms of poverty across the country, the minister added. “Metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) and officers should take interest in studying the report to guide their developmental approaches at the local level,” Mr Korsah said.

He said doing so was crucial to achieving their mandate as highlighted in Section 12 of the Local Government Act, 2016 (Act 936). He also pledged the government’s commitment in ensuring that all MMDAs utilised the report to the fullest to guide their development processes.

Source: Graphic Online