The 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has shown that 419,254 children between 5 and 17 years old were involved in economic activities in Ghana.
These activities include agriculture, fishing, mining, manufacturing, and services. The GSS defines economic activity as any activity that produces goods or services for sale or exchange.
The census data also indicates that children in this age group worked an average of 29.2 hours per week. The older the children were, the more hours they worked. Children aged 15 to 17 years worked 35.2 hours per week on average, while children aged 5 to 9 years worked 19.8 hours per week on average.
The GSS further reveals that paid apprentices worked the longest hours, averaging 48.4 hours per week. This was almost double the hours worked by contributing family workers, who averaged 25.0 hours per week. Children working in the service sector also worked longer hours than those working in the agricultural sector, averaging 36.8 hours and 25.6 hours per week respectively.
The census data also shows that 153,773 children aged 5 to 17 years who were engaged in economic activity had never attended school. This number includes 37,963 children aged 5 to 9 years.
Additionally, 94,748 children aged 5 to 17 years who were engaged in economic activity were also attending school at the time of the census.