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Country Profile of Ghana

Main statistical agency
Main statistical agency name
Ghana Statistical Service (GSS)
Web address
Position in the government
GSS is one of the public organizations which reports to the office of the President through the Statistical Service Board.
Organizational structure and finance
GSS has a unique organization structure with the statistical Service Board as the governing council. The Board promotes the effective use of statistics and stimulates research activities in all fields of application of statistics. It also advises the government on the streamlining of departments of government with responsibilities for data collection, and also determines the manner in which data may be compiled by any person or authority in Ghana.

The Government Statistician is the head of the institution and he/she sees to the day-to-day administration of the service. He/she is appointed or dismissed by the Government on the advice of the Board and has two deputies who assist in the running of the Service. For Successful administration, the service is divided into divisions with each division headed by a divisional head of the rank of principal statistician and above.

The divisions are sub-divided into sections headed by sectional heads. Staffs of a section are made up of Technical Officers (with a minimum qualification of SSSCE) and professionals (comprising statisticians, demographers, economies etc., with a minimun of a Bachelor's degree). Below is a simple monograph depicting the organizational structure.

Due to the Government's decentralization programme initiated in 1988, GSS has offices in all the ten administrative regions of the country under the headship of a Regional Statistician. There are statistical offices in some of the administrative districts of the country, and they are supervised by the regional Statisticians.
Multi-annual or annual work program
GSS has a short to long term strategic plan for data collection in order to meet the statistical needs of the country. In the short run, GSS has an annual task of price reading in order to produce monthly inflationary rates. It also has a quarterly plan to produce prevailing data on all aspects of the economy. In the medium term, it plans and organizes surveys with two to five-year intervals. In the long run, it demarcates the nation into Enumeration Areas (EAs) for the conduct of census, which happens every ten years, on the basis of which a sampling frame for the intercensal surveys is developed.
Main duties
GSS performs the following duties inter alia:

a. Advice the Government on all matters relating to statistics;

b. Collect, compile, analyze, abstract and publish statistical information relating to the commercial, industrial, agricultural, social, financial, economic and other activities and conditions of residents of Ghana;

c. Conduct statistical surveys including any census in Ghana;

d. Organize a co-ordinated scheme of economic and social statistics relating to Ghana;

e. Publish such socio-economic data on Ghana as the Board may permit;

f. Creating, maintaining and implementing standards classifications in compliance with international standards.

The main duties of the regional and district statistical offices are:

a. Collection of local statistical data (e.g. price reading, industrial statistics)

b. The implementation of statistical programmes in their respective regions and districts.

Brief history and other relevant background information
Brief history and other relevant background information
The office of the Government Statistician was established in 1948 with its authority defined by the Statistical Ordinance of 1950.

In an attempt to develop a national statistical system that will meet the growing demand for statistical data and also to make the office of the Government Statistician more autonomous and responsive, a committee was appointed in 1959 to look at the policy issues relating to statistics. After a series of consultations the committee recommended that the Central Bureau of Statistics be established. In line with that, Statistics Act (Act 37) was passed in 1961. This law defined the structure, function and powers of the department.

Subsequently, CBS expanded considerably because of the increasing demand for statistical information from the public and private sector, leading to the Statistical Service Law (PNDC Law 15) that established the GSS and its Board in 1985. This raised the status of the CBS from a Government department to that of an autonomous Statistical Agency within the Public Services of Ghana.

Legal basis
Legal basis
The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) derives its powers from the PNDC Law 135 of 1985. This Law spells out the structure and functions of the service and it makes GSS the only institution mandated to conduct Censuses in Ghana. It has the Legal power to collect data on socio-economic indicators of Ghana from any individual or institution and also has the power to prosecute defaulters. Since GSS is a public institution, it charges its account on the consolidated fund, which is managed by the Government of Ghana.

Other producers of official statistics
Other producers of official statistics
Collaborating Institutions
GSS collaborates with Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Labour Department, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade and Industries, Bank of Ghana, Ministry of Private Sector Development and Presidential Special Initiative, Customs and Excise Preventive Services, and other ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs), in its data collection exercise.

Coordination Mechanism
There is a high level of coordination between GSS and other MDAs. This is done by the building of a good rapport with the MDAs through regular consultations and the subcommittee of National Committee of Producers and Users (NACPUS) which provides for a for such interactions.

Statistical advisory bodies
Statistical advisory bodies
The Statistical Law also established the Statistical Service Board as the governing body that reports to the presidency. The Law specifically provides for a Board to be the overall governing body to determine the form and nature of statistics to be collected and reported on, promote the effective use of statistics, stimulate research activities in all fields of statistics and advise the government on all matters relating to statistics.

Apart from the Statistical Service Board, there is a standing committee (NACPUS) which advises GSS on the needs of users of statistics.

Data collection
Most recent population census
26 March 2000
Core Welfare Indicators Survey (2003)
Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (2003)
Access to administrative data
The law establishing GSS gives it the mandate to collect data from any administrative source. GSS has access to general data on enterprises, customs declaration, finance and banking, education, employment, industries and health.
Data confidentiality
GSS is generally guided by the principle of confidentiality and as such, all individual data collected are only used or published in summary tables.

Every employee of GSS is required by law to take the oath of secrecy, which compels them to treat every data with utmost confidentiality.

Again, data collected by GSS cannot be used for fiscal inspection purposes, economic repression or investigation.

Data dissemination
Main publications

Quarterly Digest of Statistics

Internal & External Trade Statistics

Ghana in figures


Population and housing Census

Industrial Census


Consumer Price Index


Ghana Living Standards Survey

Ghana Demographic and Health Survey

Core Welfare Indicators Questionnaire

Ghana Child Labour Survey


Poverty Trends


Education Impact Evaluation Survey

Languages of main publications
How are data disseminated (Paper, CD Rom, Website, online databases, databanks)?
GSS data are normally disseminated on CD-ROM, publication, brochure, leaflet and database

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