A report by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has revealed about 8.2 million persons 6 years and older did not use the internet in the three months before the 2021 Census.
Out of this number, 2.3 million were youth aged 15 to 35 years.
The report, released on Thursday, April 27, also revealed that over 7 million people in the working age bracket (15 to 60 years) did not use the internet in the three months before the last census in 2021.
“One in every four persons (25.2%) 15 years and older did not use the internet in the three months preceding Census Night, a decline of almost four (3.6) times that of 2010 where nine in every 10 (91.7%) did not access the internet.
“The difference between males and females about doubled from 5.4 to 10.5 percentage points in the intercensal period.”
The report added that the percentage of persons 15 years and older that did not own mobile phones declined by more than half in all regions between 2010 and 2021.
The percentage in the Savannah Region who did not own a mobile phone in 2021 (38.7%) was higher than the percentage who did not own a mobile phone in the Greater Accra (21.3%) and Ashanti (38.0%) regions in 2010. All five regions in the northern part of the country and the Oti Region had proportions in 2021 higher than the 2010 figure for Greater Accra Region.
The report also revealed that the percentage of persons 15 years and older that did not own a mobile phone in 2010 (47.7%) was 3.6 times larger than the percentage in 2021 (13.4%).
“In both years, the percentage for females was higher than males with the difference almost halving from 11.8 percentage points in 2010 to 6.4 percentage points in 2021.”
Over five million persons in Ghana 6 years and older did not use an ICT device in the three months before Census Night. The share of females in this population increases with age, from under half for 6 to 14 years to almost three-quarters for 61 years and older.
The report added that “one in every three (34.2%) adults did not use a mobile phone for a mobile money transaction in the three months before Census Night. This was highest in the age group 61 years and older where half (50.5%) did not use.
“In all age groups, a higher percentage of females did not use mobile phones for financial transactions compared to males with the largest difference observed for 61 years and older (13.9 percentage points).”
In all regions, the percentage of females that did not use a mobile phone for a mobile money transaction was higher than that of males. The digital divide by sex is largest in the Northern (16.3 percentage points), North East (14.9 percentage points) and Upper West (14.7 percentage points) regions.
Savannah is the only region where more than half of both males and females did not use mobile phones for mobile money transactions. In all, there were five regions where more than half of females did not use a mobile phone for a mobile money transaction – Savannah (67.8%), North East (63.7%), Upper West (59.6%), Northern (58.8%) and Oti (55.1%).