National Profiles > > Regions > Western Africa > Ghana
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Region: Western Africa
2012 Population1: 25,366,462
Total Area (sq. miles)1: 87,854
Life Expectancy at Birth1: 61.0
Gross National Income Per Capita (PPP 2012 US $)1: $3,540
Official Religion(s) Or Church(es) 2: None

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Largest Religious Groups (Ghana)


Government Regulation of Religion Index: Average government regulation score over ARDA researchers' coding of 2003, 2005 and 2008 U.S. Department of State's International Religious Freedom Reports (0-10, lower means less regulation) Government Favoritism of Religion Index: Average government favoritism score over ARDA researchers' coding of 2003, 2005 and 2008 U.S. Department of State's International Religious Freedom Reports (0-10, lower means less favoritism) Social Regulation of Religion Index: Average social regulation score over ARDA researchers' coding of 2003, 2005 and 2008 U.S. Department of State's International Religious Freedom Reports (0-10, lower means less regulation) Religious Persecution: Average number of people physically abused or displaced due to their religion according to U.S. Department of State's 2005 and 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports (as coded by ARDA researchers). 0 = None; 1 = 1-10; 2 = 11-20; 3 = 21-100; 4 = 101-500; 5 = 501-1000; 6 = 1001-5000; 7 = 5001-10000; 8 = 10001-50000; 9 = 50001-100000; 10 = greater than 100000.


Ghana, officially called the Republic of Ghana, is a sovereign multinational state and unitary presidential constitutional democracy, located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Ghana has a land mass of 238,535 km2, with 2,093 kilometres of international land borders. Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. The word Ghana means "Warrior King" in Mande. Ghana has a population of approximately 27 million as of 2014. Ghana's varied geography includes savannas, woodlands, forests, a coastal line, springs, cave systems, mountains, estuaries, wildlife parks, and nature reserves. The coast of Ghana stretches 560 kilometres (350 miles) and includes a rich assortment of culturally significant castles, forts, ports and harbours. Prior to colonisation by the British empire in the early-20th century, Ghana was the site of numerous kingdoms and empires; the most powerful being the Ashanti Kingdom of Ashanti. In 1957, it became the first African nation to declare independence from European colonisation. This made Ghana a symbol of black achievement and helped to inspire other African independence movements. It also had a major influence on Pan-Africanism and the Black Pride movements in the United States of America. Ghana is the 7th-best governed country, 5th-most stable country and rated thirteenth-highest HDI on continental Africa. Ghana's economy is the 6th-largest on the Africa continent by purchasing power parity and Nominal GDP and is one of the fastest growing in the world. In terms of purchasing power parity per capita income, Ghana has the highest per capita income in the subregion of western Africa and Ghana has the tenth-highest per capita income on continental Africa. Ghana is one of only five countries in Africa with a free press. Ghana has been a significant petroleum and natural gas producer since December 2010, and one of the world's largest gold and diamond producers, and is projected to be the largest producer of cocoa in the world as of 2015. Ghana is home to Lake Volta, the largest artificial lake in the world by surface area. Ghana's sweet crude oil reserves, ranks at 5th on continental Africa and 21st–25th globally and Ghana's natural gas reserves, ranks at 6th on continental Africa and 49th globally. Ghana ranks as the 61st most peaceful country in the world. Ghana is a regional power in West Africa and on continental Africa, a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement, and a member of both the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Group of 24 (G24).



Note: All country histories and flags were obtained from, 2015. (

1.  Relying on agencies from each country, as well as a synthesis of data from United Nations divisions, Eurostate Demographic statistics, the U.S. Census international database, and its own data collection, the World Bank’s Open Data site offers free and open access to data about development in countries around the globe.

2.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

3.  The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom reports. The 2003, 2005, and 2008 reports were coded by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The GRI, GFI and SRI values reported on the National Profiles are averages from the 2003, 2005, and 2008 International Religious Freedom reports, while the Religious Persecution measure is an average from the 2005 and 2008 reports. All other measures derived from the International Religious Freedom reports were coded from the reports 2008. A data file with all of the 2008 coding, as well as data files with other cross national collections are available for preview and download from the data archive on this site. Used with permission.

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