Regions of Ghana

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Sorin Cosoveanu provided population data from 1948 to 2010, gathered from sources [12] and [13].

Country overview: 

Short nameGHANA
ISO codeGH
LanguageEnglish (en)
Time zone0


In 1900, the coastal region of Ghana had been colonized by the United Kingdom as the Gold Coast. In 1901, Ashanti, already a British protectorate, was annexed. The Northern Territories Protectorate followed in 1902. After World War I, the Allies divided Germany's African possessions among them. The League of Nations mandated Togoland to Great Britain and France. They split it longitudinally. Britain received the smaller western strip, which became Transvolta-Togoland territory. This territory was administered from the Gold Coast until 1956-12-13, when it formally merged with the Gold Coast. The country was granted independence on 1957-03-06, and took the name Ghana.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Ghana
  2. Dutch: Ghana, Republiek Ghana (formal)
  3. English: Republic of Ghana (formal), Gold Coast (obsolete)
  4. Finnish: Ghana
  5. French: Ghana m, Côte f de l'Or m (obsolete)
  6. German: Ghana n, Gold n Küste f (obsolete)
  7. Icelandic: Gana
  8. Italian: Ghana m
  9. Norwegian: Ghana, Republikken Ghana (formal)
  10. Portuguese: Gana, República f do Gana m (formal)
  11. Russian: Золотой Берег (obsolete), Республика Гана (formal)
  12. Spanish: Ghana, República f de Ghana (formal)
  13. Swedish: Ghana
  14. Turkish: Gana Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

after an ancient West African kingdom, from Sarakolé ghana: king.

Primary subdivisions: 

Ghana is divided into ten regions.

CentralGH.CPGH042,201,8639,8263,794Cape Coast
Greater AccraGH.AAGH014,010,0542,5931,001Accra
Upper EastGH.UEGH101,046,5458,8423,414Bolgatanga
Upper WestGH.UWGH11702,11018,4777,134Wa
10 regions24,658,823238,53892,100

Further subdivisions:

See the Districts of Ghana page.

The regions are subdivided into 138 districts, of which three are metropolitan districts and eight are municipal districts. The ordinary districts have urban councils, town councils, and area councils under them. The metropolitan districts are divided into sub-metropolitan districts, which are further subdivided into town councils. The municipal districts are divided into zones. Unit committees are the lowest level of local government, subsidiary to all of the entities already mentioned. There are 16,000 of them, but no more than 8,000 are operational.

Territorial extent: 

The UN LOCODE page  for Ghana lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

  1. Accra: corruption of Bantu nkran: ants (forest dwellers likened city to an anthill)
  2. Volta: from the Volta River, from Portuguese volta: turn

Change history: 

  1. 1902: Gold Coast consisted of three regions: Ashanti, Gold Coast colony, and Northern Territories protectorate. According to source [7], in the 1948-02-01 census the population of Ashanti was 818,944; of Gold Coast, 2,050,235; and of Northern Territories, 866,503.
  2. 1922: Transvolta Togoland became affiliated with Gold Coast.
  3. 1956-12-13: Transvolta Togoland became part of Gold Coast.
  4. 1957-03-06: Gold Coast renamed Ghana at independence. Ashanti Protectorate became Ashanti region; Gold Coast colony (capital Accra) split into Eastern and Western regions; Northern Territory protectorate and northern part of Trans-Volta Togoland trust territory became Northern region; remaining part of Trans-Volta Togoland, plus Anlo and Tongu local council areas of Gold Coast colony, became Volta region. Statistics of the regions, according to source [9], were:
Trans-Volta Togoland572,85336,778Ho
Western871,80334,193Cape Coast
5 regions4,118,450237,872
  • Population: 1948-02-01 census
  1. 1959-04-04: Ashanti region split into Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions.
  2. 1960-07-01: Northern region split into Northern and Upper regions.
  3. 1970-07: Western region split into Western (capital Sekondi) and Central (capital Cape Coast).
  4. ~1971: Sekondi and Takoradi merged to form the city of Sekondi-Takoradi, the new capital of Western.
  5. 1982-07-23: Accra capital district and Ada local council area split from Eastern region to constitute Greater Accra (capital Accra).
  6. 1983: Upper region (FIPS code GH07, capital Bolgatanga) split into Upper East and Upper West regions.

Population history:

Greater Accra851,6141,431,0992,905,7264,010,054
Upper East862,723772,744920,0891,046,545
Upper West438,008576,583702,110


Note: Blank cells represent regions that had not been created as of the census date, except that 1948 data are proleptic to 1957, and 1970 data are proleptic to 1982. Volta figure for 1948 includes all of Transvolta Togoland. Upper East figure for 1970 includes all of Upper region.


  1. [1] Library of Congress country study  (retrieved 1999).
  2. [2] Report on Terms and Access of Credit . Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research.
  3. [3] Profile of Ghana . Ghana Investment Promotion Centre.
  4. [4] Profile of Ghana , Asia Africa Investment and Technology Promotion Centre.
  5. [5] Atidekate  website.
  6. [6] Report on Estimating National HIV Prevalence in Ghana . Policy Project website. (One of the figures in the table has two digits transposed.)
  7. [7] Demographic Yearbook , 7th Ed. Statistical Office of the United Nations, New York, 1955 (retrieved 2011-08-20).
  8. [8] 1979 Demographic Yearbook , 31st Ed. Statistical Office, United Nations, New York, 1980 (retrieved 2011-12-28).
  9. [9] The Statesman's Year-Book 1959, Macmillan & Co., London, 1959.
  10. [10] Road Density. Ministry of Roads and Transport, Ghana. Retrieved from (dead link) on 2004-11-02.
  11. [11] Best Areas for Fish Farming . FAO (retrieved 2004-11-02).
  12. [12] Ghana Population and Housing Census 2000 . Ghana Statistical Service (retrieved 2012-06-02).
  13. [13] 2010 Population and Housing Census . website, credited to Ghana Statistical Service (retrieved 2012-06-20).
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