A new data by the World Bank indicates that extreme and overall poverty rates continue to decline in urban areas but are going up in rural areas.
According to the Social Protection Programme Spending and Household Welfare in Ghana Report, extreme poverty was highly concentrated among households without formal education.
The urban areas were the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions, while the rural areas the Volta, Northern and Upper East regions.
“This pattern, the report, said may be explained by the fact that 2017 was an El Niño year, which tends to produce droughts in the northern parts of the country.
“Even though extreme and overall poverty rates remained roughly constant across the country as a whole between 2012/13 and 2016/17, the rates in urban areas continued to decline apace, while those in rural areas increased. These patterns are especially notable in the regions with large urban populations (Greater Accra and Ashanti) and some that are predominantly rural (Volta, Northern, and Upper East).”
Nationally, economic growth contributed to a 2.3 percentage-point decline in the overall poverty rate, but this was offset by increasing inequality, which led to a 1.4 percentage-point increase in the overall poverty rate.
Therefore, overall consumption grew at a healthy pace, but the growth was uneven, favoring the rich population, “Thus, overall consumption grew at a healthy pace over these four years, but the growth was uneven, favoring the non-poor population”.
The last actual measurement of poverty in Ghana was in 2016 and 2017, based on the Ghana Living Standards Survey.
The estimated poverty rate for that year was 12.7 percent, based on the international poverty line of one dollar 90 cents per day in 2011.
Meanwhile, poverty rates were low among those with strong education attainment.