The 1998 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) is the third survey of its kind to be carried out in Ghana, following the 1988 GDHS and the 1993 GDHS. These surveys which are part of the worldwide Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) programme have been conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service. The survey is designed to furnish policy makers, planners, researchers and programme managers with factual, reliable and up-to-date information on fertility, maternal and child health indicators, and demographic trends and differentials. The survey also provides information on the knowledge of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
In keeping with the expansion of programmes in population and health, the 1998 GDHS is more extensive in its treatment of some topics. The primary purpose of the 1998 GDHS is to furnish policy makers and planners with detailed information on fertility, family planning, infant and child mortality, maternal and child health, and nutrition. In addition, the survey collected information on knowledge of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Information from the 1998 GDHS shows that Ghana is indeed undergoing a demographic transition, with a two-child decline in the total fertility rate over the last decade. This has been accompanied by a marked decline in infant and child mortality. Nevertheless, contraceptive use has not increased much in the most recent five years. Fear of side effects is a major reason for non-use. At the same time, the percentage of pregnancies terminated is noticeably high. It is expected that the findings in this report will raise important programmatic issues for policy makers involved in family planning and service delivery.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
v2.0: Edited, anonymous dataset for public distribution.
This version (2.0), has had the original file of the dataset (which was a flat file) converted into a hierachical file.
The scope of the 1998 Demographic and Health Survey includes:
· Household: Household schedule, household characteristics, education, water and sanitation, salt iodization, housing characteristics, security of tenure and durability of housing.
· Women(15-49): Respondent background, literacy, reproduction and birth history, pregnancy and breastfeeding, antenatal and post natal care, contraception, immunization and health, marriage, fertility preferences, women's work, husband's/partner's background, HIV/AIDS and anthropometrical measurement.
The survey covered all households members, all women aged 15-49, all men aged 15 to 59 years all children under 5 years living in Ghana except residents in refugee camps.
Producers and sponsors
Ghana Statistical Service (GSS)
Office of the President
Government of Ghana
United States Agency for International Development
Ministry of Health
Provision of Vehicles and technical assistance in the training of interviewers
Macro International Inc.
Macro International Inc.
Technical Assistance in questionnqire development, sampling methodolog, training of field personnel and report writing.
The major focus of the 1998 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) was to provide updated estimates of important population and health indicators including fertility and mortality rates for the country as a whole and for urban and rural areas, separately. In addition, the sample was designed to provide estimates of key variables for the ten regions in the country (Western, Central, Greater Accra, Volta, Eastern, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper West, and Upper East). The 1998 GDHS interviewed all women age 15-49 in a selected household and all men age 15-59 in every third selected household. The survey, which covered the entire country, sampled most of the population of Ghana, excluding only those persons in nonresidential
institutions, such as hotels, hospitals, prisons, and similar establishments.
An initial sample size of 4,500 completed female interviews and 1,500 completed male interviews was chosen, taking into consideration budgetary constraints and the needs of data users. This sample size was based on the need to provide estimates of several health indicators including contraceptive rates for the 10 regions. The sample also had to take into consideration a 10 percent overall non-response rate. Furthermore, it was necessary to over-sample the sparsely populated Northern, Upper West and Upper East Regions, in order to obtain adequate numbers of households to provide reliable estimates of key demographic and health variables. Based on these considerations, a final targeted sample size of 6,375 households was deemed to yield adequate numbers of completed interviews with eligible women and men. Of these, 6,055 households
were occupied at the time of the interview. Interviews were successfully completed for 6,003 households, 4,843 eligible women and 1,546 eligible men.
Deviations from the Sample Design
There was no deviation from the sample design.
Overall, the household response rates are high by region and urban-rural residence. The Greater Accra Region, which is predominantly urban, experienced the lowest household response rates for both women (98 percent) and men (97 percent).
Response rates are relatively lower at the individual level, with rates being slightly lower for
individual men than women. The lowest rates for the individual interviews were observed in the Upper West Region. This is mostly attributed to the extended absence of eligible women and men. The survey was conducted between November and February, a time of the year when farm activity is at a low and seasonal migration in search of temporary employment is common in this region. Individual response rates in the Greater Accra Region and in urban areas are also relatively lower. This could be attributed to the longer hours urbanites spend away from home.
For more on the response rate, see Table A.1.2 of Appendix A of the Final Report attached in the external resources.
Sample weights were used to compensate for the unequal probability of selection between geographically defined strata.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Each team was composed of a supervisor, an editor, four interviewer (two male & two females) a nurse and a driver. The supervisor was the team leader who had to oversea that team members follow and apply instructions. Interviewers had to edit their own work immediately after interview even before he/she leaves the household for onwards submission to the editor. The editor then has to do thorough editing of the questionnaires before passing them on to the supervisor sample editing before questionnaires are sent to the project secretariat.
Regional Statisticians, undertake regional monitoring exercise whereas zonal coordinators also embark on field monitoring to ensure data quality.
Data Collection Notes
A three week training workshop was organised for interviewers, supervisors and editors. This was preceeded by a pilot survey to test all instruments and methodology of the survey. Interviews were conducted mainly in the local languages. On average, it took about 50 minutes to administer the women's questionnaire and about 30 minutes to administer the men's questionnaire.
Supervisors were provided with control forms to track the work done on the field. Members of the project implementing team also paid regular visits to the teams to ensure that they adhered to good data collection practices .
Ghana Statistical Service
Ofice of the President
GDHS 1998 used three questionnaires. All the questionnaires were devoloped in English and three Ghanaian Languages, namely, Akan, Ewe and Ga. The questionnaires used for the 1998 GDHS were not too different from those of the previous rounds.
Household questionnaire was administered in each household. This questionnaire collected information on household members including sex, age, relationship and salt iodisation.
Women questionnaire collected information on the respondent's educational background, birth history, pregnancy and breasteeding, marriage, use of contraception and knowledge about HIV/AIDS.
The men questionnaire also collected information on the respondent educational background, marriage, fertility, use of contraception and knowledge of HIV/AIDS.
The GSS data editing occurs at three levels:
1. Field editing by interviewers and supervisors
2. Office editing
3. Data cleaning and imputation
The data capture at GSS takes the form of Manual data entry.
Data editing of the captured data usually consists of:
1. Verification or double entry
2. Consistency checks
3. Structure edits
4. Quality Control
Estimates of Sampling Error
The estimates from a sample survey are affected by two types of errors: (1) non-sampling errors, and (2) sampling errors. Non-sampling errors are the results of shortfalls made in implementing data collection and data processing, such as failure to locate and interview the correct household, misunderstanding of the questions on the part of either the interviewer or the respondent, and data entry errors. Although numerous efforts were made during the implementation of the 1998 GDHS to minimize this type of error, non-sampling errors are impossible to avoid and difficult to evaluate statistically.
Sampling errors are analysed for the national sample and for two separate groups of estimates:
(1) means and proportions, and (2) complex demographic rates. The relative standard errors (SE/R) for the means and proportions range between 0 percent and 52.2 percent with an average of 5.9 percent; the highest relative standard errors are for estimates of very low values (e.g., currently using Norplant among currently married women is 52.2). If estimates of very low values (less than 20 percent) were removed, than the average drops to 4.9 percent. So in general, the relative standard error for most estimates for the country as a whole is small, except for estimates of very small proportions. The relative standard error for the total fertility rate is small, 2.5 percent. However, for the mortality rates, the average relative standard error is higher, 6.6 percent.
There are differentials in the relative standard error for the estimates of sub-populations. For
example, for the variable with no education, the relative standard errors as a percent of the estimated mean for the whole country, for the urban areas and for the rural areas are 3.1 percent, 7.4 percent, and 3.4 percent, respectively.
For the total sample, the value of the design effect (DEFT) averaged over all variables is 1.14, which means that due to multi-stage clustering, the sampling error is increased by a factor of 1.14 over that in an equivalent simple random sample.
For more on the sampling errors and deviations, please refer to Appendix B of the Final report attached in the external resources.
Series of data quality checks were done to ensure that the data met required standards.
Ghana Statistical Service
Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) requires all users to keep information and data strictly confidential. In this regard, before being granted access to datasets, all users have to formally agree to observe the following:
1) To make no copies of any files or portions of files to which access has been granted except with the authorization by GSS
2) Not to willfully identify any individual or household or establishment in the dataset
3) To hold in strictest confidence the identification of any individual or household or establishment that may be inadvertently revealed in any documents or discussion, or analysis. Such inadvertent identification revealed should be immediately brought to the attention of GSS.
Three levels of accessibility are considered by GSS:
1) Public use files, accessible by all
2) Licensed datasets, accessible under certain conditions
3) Datasets only accessible on location, for certain datasets
The following terms and conditions apply:
1. The data and other materials will not be redistributed or sold to other
individuals, institutions, or organizations without the written agreement of
2. The data will be used for statistical and scientific research purposes only.
They will be used solely for reporting of aggregated information, and not
for investigation of specific individuals or organizations.
3. No attempt will be made to re-identify respondents, and no use will be
made of the identity of any person or establishment discovered
inadvertently. Any such discovery would immediately be reported to the
4. No attempt will be made to produce links among datasets provided by the
GSS with other datasets that could identify individuals or organizations.
5. Any books, articles, conference papers, theses, dissertations, reports, or
other publications that employ data obtained from the GSS would cite the source of data in accordance with the Citation statement provided with the dataset
6. An electronic copy of all reports and publications based on the requested
data will be sent to the GSS.
Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and Macro International Inc. (MI), Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS)-1998,v2.0
Office of the President
Dr. Grace Bediako
Ghana Statistical Service
Disclaimer and copyrights
The original collector of the data, GSS and any producers or sponsors cited in this document bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.