The latest data released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) on the 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) have revealed that 553,065 persons in Ghana have had their marriages dissolved while 405,090 have separated.
These figures, as released by the GSS were obtained through interviews of people during the 2021 PHC which began on June 27 and ended on August 15, 2021.
According to fresh data by the GSS, 362,233 out of the 553,065 divorced persons were females with the remaining 190,832 being males culminating into a share of 65.5% and 34.5%, respectively.
Meanwhile, about the over 400,000 spouses who have separated, the majority were females with a corresponding figure of 252,079 persons while the remaining 153,011 were males.
The 2021 PHC statistics put the total number of persons married in Ghana at 8,366,466 out of which 6,748,622 of them have not registered their marriages, with only 1,617,844 registered.
According to the report, marital status refers to the civil status of a person aged 12 years or older as of the Census Night on Sunday, June 27, 2021.
It may be one of the following cases:
- Informal/consensual union/living together: A person living together in a marital union but without civil or traditional recognition.
- Married under civil/ordinance, customary/traditional and Islamic rites, whether registered or not.
Separated: A person who no longer has common living arrangements with the spouse but whose marriage has not been declared customarily or legally dissolved.
Divorced: A person whose marriage has been annulled or dissolved either in a court of law or by custom and has not remarried.
In a recent publication, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) revealed that one out of every four marriages registered in 2021 collapsed. It was reported that the AMA registered 345 customary marriages in 2021. And out of that number 79 were dissolved/divorced, representing 22.9 per cent.
According to the AMA, these marriages included engagement and Islamic marriages. The AMA data also indicated that the common causes of the divorce were infidelity, ill-treatment and child non-maintenance.
Head of Public Affairs of the Assembly, Gilbert Nii Ankrah, said the divorce figures for 2020 were lower as compared to that of 2021. He opined that in 2020, because of the outbreak of COVID-19, the Assembly did not record any significant number.
Mr Ankrah said in 2021, out of a total of 5,403 Ordinance Marriages registered, only 1,776 were conducted by the Assembly.
On the issue of divorce, Mr Ankrah explained that because Ordinance Marriage had to do with the Court and was legally inclined, the Assembly did not have the power to get involved in the dissolution process of those marriages.