Facts

Formerly occupied by several colonial powers throughout its history, present day Ghana formed from the merge of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory. In 1957, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain independence. After a series of coups and military rule, Ghana approved a new constitution and restored multiparty politics in 1992.

GOVERNMENT:

  • Type: Constitutional Democracy
  • Capital: Accra
  • Independence Day: March 6, 1957 (from the UK)
  • Chief of State/Head of government: President John Evans Atta Mills

GEOGRAPHY:

  • Area: 238,533 sq km
  • Area – comparative: slightly smaller than Oregon
  • Climate: tropical, warm and dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in north

PEOPLE:

  • Population: 24,791,073 (July 2011 estimate)
  • Life expectancy – male: 59.78 years
  • Life expectancy – female: 62.25 years
  • Religions: 68.8% Christian, 15.9% Muslim, 8.5% traditional, 6.1% none, 0.7% other
  • Languages: English (official), Asante (14.8%), Ewe (12.7%), Fante (9.9%)
  • Literacy rate (age 15 and over can read and write) – total population: 57.9%

ECONOMY

  • GDP – per capita: $1,600 (2010 est.)
  • Unemployment rate: 11% (2000 est.)
  • Population below pverty line: 28.5% (2007 est.)
  • National currency: cedis
  • Exchange rate – cedis per US dollar – 1.4 (2010 est.)