Household Composition and Well-Being of Older Persons in Ghana

George Domfe and Ellen Bortei-Doku Aryeetey


Ghana’s population is aging in line with global trends. While this has implications for household composition and well-being of older persons, discussions on it have not received much attention in the various welfare studies on Ghana. This paper examines changes in household composition and their overall correlation with well-being of the older person. The data sets of the last four rounds of Ghana Living Standard Surveys were used to analyse trends in household composition in Ghana from 1991–1992 survey period to 2012–2013 survey period. A probit regression analysis was employed to identify key household characteristics and resources that correlate with well-being of older persons. The findings suggest that higher number of economically active household members, acquisition of formal education, receipt of remittances and ownership of certain material and social resources correlate positively with the well-being of the older persons. The paper concludes that household composition and resources owned by household members can affect the well-being of the older persons in the household. Household members are therefore encouraged to remain economically active while conserving resources to improve their well-being later in life.

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