More Ghanaians leaving country for employment opportunities in Europe, Americas - Report

More Ghanaians leaving country for employment opportunities in Europe, Americas - Report

There has been a marginal increase in the number of Ghanaians who travelled and settled outside Ghana in 2021.

The figure increased to 269,531 from 250,624 which was recorded in 2010 with Europe, the Americas (North, South and Carribbean) and African countries outside of ECOWAS being their most favoured destinations.


This was contained in the 2021 Population and Housing Census Thematic Report released by the Ghana Statistical Service today in Accra (Mar 9, 2023).

According to the report, more than half (53.7 per cent) of emigrants originated from the Greater Accra (26.9 per cent) and the Ashanti (26.8 per cent) regions.



According to the report, the two major reasons the respondents gave for travelling outside the country were to seek employment (73.3 per cent) and to pursue education/training (14.6 per cent). Others cited marriage/family reunification and settlement (long-term/permanent stay) as their reasons for relocation.


Conversely, the report also found that there had been a decline in the non-Ghanaian population in the country between 2010 and 2021 from 398,585 to 294,341.

According to the report, Nigerians are the majority of the non-Ghanaian population comprising 26.2 per cent of the non-Ghanaian population while Togolese are 20.5 per cent, Nigeriens are 16.1 per cent, Burkinabes are 16.0 per cent, Ivorians are 4.3 per cent and Asians comprise 3.8 per cent.

Non-Ghanaian population


The report also found that about 76.2 per cent of non-Ghanaians are concentrated in three occupations, namely; services and sales (34.0%), skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery (25.0%) and craft and related trades (17.2%).  The majority of the non-Ghanaians, 53.7 per cent were self-employed without employees while only 6.6 per cent were self-employed with employees.

"These are easy-entry jobs which call for no skills or basic skills in order for one to go into them," the report said.

Key findings of the report

  1. Ghana is currently a migrant-sending, transiting, and receiving country.
  2. Greater Accra is the leading migrants’ destination region.
  3. Ten Regions out of the sixteen lost population through migration with the Volta Region posting the highest. 
  4. Female migrants mostly move due to marriage and family reunions whereas males move for economic reasons.
  5. The two main destinations for Ghanaian emigrants are Europe and America.
  6. Migrant populations have a higher proportion of educated persons than the non-migrant population. 
  7. The non-Ghanaian population are mostly into sales and service and is also largely self-employed without employees.
  8. Child migrants are mostly engaged in Agriculture and sales and services.
  9. Migrant children aged 5-17 constitute 18 per cent of the total population. 
  10. Migrants are mostly found in rural areas than urban.
  11. Age of Emigrant population peaks at 25 to 39 years.

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