The Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) customized by implementing countries including Ghana (Ghana Living Standards Survey) is a research project that was initiated in 1980 by the Policy Research Division of the World Bank.
The Ghana Living Standards Survey , Round 4 (GLSS 4 ) is the fourth round of the GLSS surveys, previously conducted around 1987 (GLSS 1), 1988 (GLSS 2), and 1991(GLSS 3). The main objective of the GLSS is to provide benchmark data on
the living standards of the population as well as monitor andevaluate progress made by planners and policy makers in raising and sustaining thosestandards.
The GLSS 4 however, focused on labour force.
The Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS), with its focus on the household as a key social and economic unit, provides valuable insights into living conditions in Ghana. This present report gives a summary of the main findings of the fourth round survey, which was carried out by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) over a 12-month period (April 1998 to March 1999).
A representative nationwide sample of more than 5,998 households, containing over 25,000 persons, was covered in GLSS 4. Detailed information was collected on all aspects of living conditions, including health, education, employment, housing, agricultural activities, the operation of non-farm establishments, remittances, savings, and credit and assets. The special focus of GLSS 4 was on collecting detailed labour force, income and expenditure data in respect of all household members.
The key findings of the survey are as follows:
Information are given on levels of educational attainment of the adult population, current school enrolment, educational expenditure by households, adult literacy rates, and apprenticeship training. About 32 percent of all adults (representing nearly three and a half million people) have never been to school, a quarter went to school but did not obtain any qualifications; about 33 percent have the MSLC/JSS certificate as their highest qualification, while the remaining 10 percent (a million adults) have secondary or higher-level qualifications (Section 2.1).
About 8 in every ten children aged 6-15, and about half of those aged 16-18, are currently attending school or college. Attendance rates for females are lower than those for males, especially in the northern half of the country (Section 2.2). The average annual cost to a household of maintaining a person at school or college was ¢163,500 per year in March 1999 cedis (Section 2.3). The survey results indicate that 50 percent of adults in Ghana are literate in English or a local language. There are substantial differences between the sexes, and between localities, with regard to literacy. A little over 6 out of every 10 men, but fewer than 4 out of every 10 women, are literate. More than two-thirds (66%) of adults in urban areas are literate, but in rural areas only 41 percent are literate (Section 2.4).
The survey collected data on each person's health condition over the previous two weeks; on the fertility, pre-natal care and contraceptive use of women aged 15-49; on the post-natal care of children aged 5 years and under; and on the preventive health care and vaccination of children aged 7 years and under. About 26 percent of the sample reported having suffered from an illness or injury in the previous two weeks, 61 percent of whom had to stop their usual activities due to the indisposition (Section 3.2).
The survey found that 7.0 percent of women were currently pregnant, and a further 13.2 percent had been pregnant in the last 12 months. Only about 15 percent of all women aged 15-49 or their partners reported using contraceptives; about 11 percent use modern methods, and 4 percent use traditional methods, to prevent or delay pregnancy (Section 3.3). The level of breastfeeding in Ghana is very high; about 98 percent of all children under 5 have been breastfed at one time or another. About 7 percent of children below the age of 8 have never been vaccinated against any of the childhood killer diseases.
As a major focus of the survey, a wide range of estimates of economic activity, employment, unemployment, underemployment and working conditions are given in the report. The survey also has detailed information about time spent on housekeeping activities. About 77 percent of the adult population (aged 15+) is currently economically active. The activity rates for males and females differ, with the rate for women in the age group (15-64) lower than those for men, but in the younger age group (7-14) and the older age group (65+) the rates for females exceed those for males. For each age group the activity rates for males and females are higher in rural areas (apart from rural savannah) than in urban areas (Section 4.2).
The majority of the working population is employed in agricultural activities (55.0%), followed by trading (18.3%) and then manufacturing (11.7%). Whereas 27.4 percent of working females are engaged in trading, only 7.4 percent of males are traders. The highest hourly wage rates are obtained in mining and quarrying, followed by financial services and then trading. For all areas of employment, females earn lower wages than males (Section 4.3). About 8 percent of the currently active population can be classified as unemployed, but there is also a high degree of underemployment, with some people having a job but wanting to do more work (Section 4.4).
In many households, particularly in rural areas, family members (especially women) spend a great deal of their time fetching water and firewood, in addition to the time spent on other household activities such as cooking and cleaning (Section 4.5).
The report provides data on migration to create some awareness that would generate further discussions and research into the complex field of population relocation. Some 52 percent of all Ghanaians are migrants, having previously lived in a locality different from where they are living at present; a further 16 percent have moved away from their birthplace, but subsequently returned (Section 5.1).
Detailed information is presented on a variety of housing characteristics: the occupancy status of the household; household size and room density; access to drinking water, toilet facilities, source of lighting and fuel, rubbish disposal, and materials used in house construction. A little over 40 percent (24 percent in urban areas and 60 percent in rural areas) of the households own the houses they live in. About 80 percent of the households in urban areas have access to pipe-borne water, compared with only 19 percent in rural areas. More than three-quarters of urban households have electricity for lighting, compared with only 17 percent of rural households. Most urban households use charcoal for cooking, whereas most households in rural areas use firewood. Only 14 percent of urban households, and 2 percent of rural households, have access to a flush toilet (Section 6.3).
About 2.7 million households in Ghana own or operate a farm or keep livestock (Section 7.1). More than half of households, which cultivate crops hire labour for their operations. The major crops, in terms of sales, are cocoa, maize, groundnuts/peanuts, and rice (Section 7.2). About 2 and a half million households process crops or fish for sale, with the major responsibility for this activity falling on women.
Approximately 1.9 million households or 49 percent of all households in Ghana operate a non-farm business with women operating two-thirds of these businesses. About 56 percent of all businesses involve retail trade, and most of the rest cover some kind of manufacturing (for instance food, beverages, textiles or clothing) (Section 8.1).
Average annual household expenditure (both cash and imputed) relative to March 1999 prices was about ¢4,244,000. Given an average household size of 4.3, this implies annual per capita expenditure of about ¢987,000 (Section 9.1). With an exchange rate of ¢2,394 to the US dollar prevailing at March 1999, the average annual household expenditure is US$1,773 and the pre-capita expenditure is US$412. Overall, cash expenditure on food represents 45.4 percent of total household expenditure, while the imputed value of own-produced food consumed by households represents a further 10.3 percent (Section 9.2).
Relative to March 1999 prices, Ghanaian households spend on average almost ¢3,500,000 a year (at March 1999 prices), or ¢804,000 on per capita basis (Section 9.3). On national terms, just below half of total cash expenditure (46%) went to food and beverages; and alcohol and tobacco, and clothing and footwear, each accounted for about 10 percent of it. The next most important expenditure groups, in terms of amount spent, are recreation and education (7.5%), transport and communications (5.6%), housing and utility (6.4%) and household goods, operations and services (6.0%).
At the time of the survey Ghanaian households (which number about 4.2 million) were spending on average an amount of almost ¢2.4 billion (at March 1999 prices) on food (Section 9.5), with own-grown food consumed amounting to the value of almost ¢435,000 (Section 8.7). The most important food consumption subgroups, in terms of cash expenditure are roots and tubers (22%), fish (16%), cereals and cereal products (15%), vegetables (9%), and meat (5%). Prepared meals account for 11 percent by value of total food consumption.
While the pattern of consumption, in terms of food subgroups, is broadly similar in urban and rural areas, residents in rural areas consume more roots and tubers, and pulses and nuts than their counterparts in urban areas. Expenditure on alcohol and tobacco is also higher in rural areas. In contrast, the consumption of meat and prepared meal are much higher in urban areas than in rural areas, and urban residents spend much more on cereals and cereal products and poultry and poultry products than their rural counterparts (Section 9.5).
About 76 percent of all households reported having remitted money or goods in the previous 12 months to persons who were not their household members. The bulk of these remittances to non-household members went to relatives (93%), and in particular to parents or children (50%), brothers or sisters (18%), and other relatives (23%). Such income flows from the household benefited females (64%) more than their male counterparts (36%).
Whilst annual remittances to people overseas total only about ¢6 billion in March 1999 cedis, the value of remittances received from abroad is about ¢339 billion, which represents 40 percent of all remittances received.
In general, the level of ownership of most assets is much higher in urban areas than it is in rural areas. It is higher in Accra than in other urban areas, and higher in the rural coastal and rural forest than it is in the rural savannah.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
v2.0 Edited, anonymous dataset for distribution.
The scope of the Ghana Living Standards Survey 1998 includes:
1. HOUSEHOLD: Household identification, household roster, education, health, employment and time use, migration,
housing, agriculture, household expenditure , income transfer and miscelleneous, income and expenditure,
credit asset and savings. The main model of this round is the non-farm enterprise.
2. COMMUNITY: This questionnaire was administered to rural communities. It covered the following:
Demographic information, economy and infrastructure, education, health and agricuture within the communties
3. PRICE:Food prices, pharmaceutical items and Non-food prices.
The survey is nationally representative household survey that covers region , zones and urban/rural residence.
Producers and sponsors
Ghana Statistical Service (GSS)
Office of the President
Ghana Statistical Service
Office of the president
Compiling, reviewing and archiving
Government of Ghana
Financial and technical assistance
Professor W.K Assenso-Okyere
Mr. Claus Portner
Mr. John Y. Nywafon
Dr. Sudharshan Canagarajah
A two-stage sample was selected for the survey. At the first stage, 300 EAs were selected using systematic sampling with probability proportional to size method (PPS) where the size measure is the 1984 number of households in the EA. This was achieved by ordering the list of EAs with their sizes according to the strata.
The size column was then cumulated, and with a random start and a fixed interval the sample EAs were selected. At the second stage, a fixed number of 20 households was systematically selected from each selected EA to give a total of 6,000 households. Additionally 5 households were selected as reserve to replace missing households.
Deviations from the Sample Design
There was no deviation from the sampling design.
Out of the selected 6000 households 5999 were successfully interviewed. One household was further dropped during the data cleaning exercise because it had very few records for many of the sections in the questionnaire. This gave 5998 household representing 99.7% coverage.
In order to get the true contribution of each selected EA in the sample, weights were computed based on the true sizes of the EAs since 1984, using the household listing from the 2000 Population and Housing Census conducted by the GSS. Even though the survey fieldwork was completed about a year ago before the census, in practice, the results will not differ significantly.
To obtain national estimates, the sample figures have to be grossed up by the appropriate factor. The 5998 households covered in the GLSS 4 contained 25,694 individuals and an average household size of 4.3. Using the 1984 population figure of 12.1 million (mid-March 1984) and the official growth rate of 2.6 the projected March 1999 population is about 18.3
million. This gives a grossing up multiplier of 712 (18.3 million divided by 25,964). The corresponding multiplier, when the weights are applied, is 708.
Dates of Data Collection
10 cycles of 36 days each
Data Collection Mode
Eleven teams were involved in the data collection. The purpose of the eleventh team was to afford each of the 10 regular teams the opportunity to take one month off as annual leave. The leave arrangements were such that there were always 10 teams at work. The constitution of a team is shown below:
1 Data Entry Operator
The Supervisor was the team leader and was responsible for overseeing, monitoring and, where necessary, correcting the work of the interviewers and the data entry operator. The interviewers conducted daily interviews with the household. To avoid any interruption in the survey schedule, three interviewers were always at work while the fourth took some rest.
Data Collection Notes
A three week training workshop was organise for inerviewers, supervisors and editors. This was preceeded by a pilot survey to test all instruments and methodology.The questionnaires were devoloped in english. Interviews were conducted in both English and local languages. Project implementing team paid regular monthly visit.
Ghana Statistical Service
Office of the President
The GLSS 4 used the following instruments:
Household Questionnaire Part A : collected information on household composition, education, health and fertility, employment and time use, migration, and housing characteristics, and it wasalso used to identify the respondents for Part B.
Household Questionnaire Part B : covered agricultural activities, including the consumption of home produce, household expenditure, non-farm enterprises, other income and expenditure, credit, assets and savings.
Community Questionnaire: Covered details of infrastructure and other facilities available to rural communities
Price Questionnaire was used to collect information on prices in the local market.
The GSS data editing occurs at three levels:
1. Field editing by interviewers and supervisors
2. Office editing
3. Data cleaning and imputation
GLSS 4 data were entered directly onto microcomputers which had been installed in the regions.
Each data entry operator was assigned to one field team and stationed in the regional office of the GSS. The main data entry software used to capture the data was IMPS (Integrated Microcomputer Processing System). The data capture run concurrently as the data collection and lasted for 12 months.
The IMPS data was read into SAS (Statistical Analysis System), after which the analysis and generation of the statistical tables were done using SAS.
The data capture of the GLSS 4 used manual data entry system data editing of the captured data consisted of:
1. Verification or double entry
2. Consistency checks
3. Structure edits
4. Quality Control
The Government Statistician
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. Not to make 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 identity of any individual or household or establishment that may be inadvertently revealed in any documents or discussion, or analysis. Such unintended identification revealed should be immediately brought to the attention of GSS.
4. Data obtained from GSS are protected by copyright law and therefore not for re-distribution or sale
5. Prospective clients or data users may indicate in an affidavit confidentiality of data they access.
he Ghana Statistical Service as a public institution has the obligation to promote data dissemination to facilitate national development. Making data available will enable students and the academia to conduct research works, assist investors to take business decision, help the individual to evaluate and take appropriate decisions. It will also assist the government to formulate appropriate policies and programmes to facilitate national development. GSS' policy framework provides access to data through:
1. Public use files. These categories of data sets are accessible by all without any payment. They are available on-line to all interested users, for research and statistical purposes only.
2. Licensed datasets. These categories of data sets are accessible under certain conditions. Thus, prospective clients/data users may access any data based on certain conditions set by the GSS
3. Datasets only accessible on location. We consider this category as a data enclave where some data sets are only accessible at GSS head office and prospective data users and researches have to physically be available at GSS head office for further discussions before data are released. Thus, data enclave would not be linked to the outside world through our web site or other medium.
The following terms and conditions apply:
Before being granted access to the dataset, all users have to formally agree:
1. To make no copies of any files or portions of files for which access has been granted, except those authorized by GSS.
2. Not to use any technique in an attempt to identify any person, establishment, or sampling unit.
3. To hold in strictest confidence, the identification of any establishment or individual that may be inadvertently revealed in any documents or discussion, or analysis. Such inadvertent identification revealed in her/his analysis will be immediately brought to the attention of the GSS.
4. The data and other materials will not be redistributed or sold to other individuals, institutions, or organizations without the written agreement of GSS.
5. The data will be used for statistical and scientific research purposes only.
6. The data will be used solely for reporting of aggregated information, and not for investigation of specific individuals or organizations.
7. No attempt will be made to 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 GSS.
8. No attempt will be made to produce links among datasets provided by the GSS with other datasets that could identify individuals or organizations.
9. 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
10. An electronic copy of all reports and publications based on the requested data will be sent to the GSS.
Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS)-1998, version 2.0, Ghana Statistical Service
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.