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The present high level of Ghana's population growth results from persistent high birthrates and declining mortality rates over the years. The birthrate has stayed between 42-50 births/1000 population since 1950, but the death rate dropped from about 22 deaths/1000 population in 1950 to about 14/1000 in 1987. Consequently, the rate of natural increase of the population has been high -- just under 3% per year. At this rate, Ghana's population will double in 25 years. For a variety of social and economic reasons, large families continue to be attractive to many Ghanians. The Ghanaian woman bears about 6 children during her lifetime. The economically productive age group, those between ages 15-64, has been just under 50% of the total population. This youthful age structure has serious demographic and economic implications for Ghana. In Ghana there is roughly 1 dependent person for every economically active adult compared with about 2 adults per dependent in more developed countries like the US and the UK. Another important consequence of a young and fast growing population is the building up of population momentum, i.e., even if fertility were to drop drastically to 2 children per woman, the population would continue to grow for roughly 40 years. Charts illustrate the effect fertility change could have on Ghana's total population size with different fertility assumptions. The rapidly growing population of Ghana compounds the difficulty of realizing the goal of improving the quality of life of the population. To break the vicious cycle of rapid population growth, the government could strengthen economic productivity by means of external financial borrowing, but it then must face the attendant future debt servicing and payment - See more at: