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Contemporary female migration in Ghana: analyses of the 2000 and 2010 censuses

Lattof, Samantha R., Coast, Ernestina ORCID: 0000-0002-8703-307X, Leone, Tiziana ORCID: 0000-0001-9671-5382 and Nyarko, Philomena (2018) Contemporary female migration in Ghana: analyses of the 2000 and 2010 censuses. Demographic Research, 39 (44). pp. 1181-1226. ISSN 1435-9871

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Identification Number: 10.4054/DemRes.2018.39.44


BACKGROUND Knowledge of female migration patterns is scant despite increased recognition and reporting of the feminization of migration. Recent data on female internal migration in Ghana challenge historical assumptions that underestimated female migration. OBJECTIVE This study presents the first detailed comparative analyses of female migration using microdata from Ghana’s censuses (2000-2010) and exploits these national data to understand gendered dimensions of migration in Ghana. METHODS Secondary analyses use direct and indirect methods to describe the scale, type, and demographic structure of contemporary female migration; assess the distribution of female migrants across age and geography; and estimate net internal female migration. RESULTS Approximately 40-50% of internal migrants captured by the census are excluded from other national migration data sources. Excluding international migrants, census microdata identify 31.1% of females and 30.4% of males as internal migrants in 2000. By 2010, the proportion of internal migrants had risen to 37.4% of females and 35.7% of males. Working-age migration is particularly pronounced in 2010, reinforcing economic opportunity as a likely driver of migration for both sexes. Female migrants are significantly more likely than female non-migrants to reside in urban areas and work for pay, profit, or family gain. CONTRIBUTION Our analyses expand the evidence base on contemporary female migration and refute the out-dated stereotype that girls and women do not participate in migration. Productive female labour losses may negatively impact development efforts and local economies in Ghana’s rural regions, requiring interventions to reduce poverty and develop greater economic opportunities for rural girls and women.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors
Divisions: International Development
Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2018 10:17
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 23:07

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