Beta version

Most recent data used: 31 December 2022
Publication date: 28 September 2023

In this report, we analyse the long and short terms mobility trends in Ghana:

  • Long-term mobility: Monthly population estimates (Residents) (Where do people live)
  • Long-term mobility: Relocations (Changes in where people live (origin-destination)
  • Short-term mobility: Largest movements at national level
  • Short-term mobility: Daily travels size distribution
  • Short-term mobility: Daily travels with Greater Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi, and Tamale.

First, we focus on monthly resident trends, i.e. the estimated variation in the number of people whose home location is within an area of interest, across Ghana. We look at whether a population is stable, increasing or decreasing (and whether or not this trend is fluctuating - i.e. contain months with abnormal changes compared to the usual trend) in the period 2020-2022 and for each area of interest

Then, we focus on people's relocations, i.e. the estimated number of persons relocating (i.e. changing their home location) between areas of interest. We look first at the largest relocations between regions, and then separately at relocations from and to areas of interest

In the short-term mobility section, we focus on short-term people's movements, i.e. the daily flows of people who are travelling into, out of and between areas. We first look at the relative size of those flows (i.e. proportion compared to all other flows) for the largest connections. We then measure the daily distribution of travelled distances (in kilometres) for all travellers. Finally, we look separately at flows proportions from and to areas of interest.

Read the report (PDF) (beta version)

Read on Ghana Statistical Service's website

A final report will be published soon

About the report

Authors and contributors

This report was authored by the Flowminder Foundation, working in partnership with Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and Vodafone Ghana. Since 2018, Vodafone Ghana, Flowminder and GSS have been working together in the Data for Good partnership to build a sustainable framework for integrating mobile phone data into the production of national statistics, including strengthening the capacity of GSS to routinely produce the types of analysis described in this report.

Flowminder Foundation
This report was authored by Romain Goldenberg and Veronique Lefebvre, with contributions from James Harrison, Thomas Smallwood, Sophie Delaporte, Richard Attandoh, and Cathy Riley.

Romain Goldenberg analysed, interpreted and wrote the report; Veronique Lefebvre directed the analysis; James Harrison produced the long term mobility aggregates derived from CDR data; Thomas Smallwood supported with mobility scaling and exploratory work; Sophie Delaporte supported with report writing and data visualisation; and Cathy Riley supported with report writing and project oversight. Richard Attandoh provided in-country coordination.

Ghana Statistical Service (GSS)
We are grateful to our colleagues from GSS, including David Bessah, Victor Boateng, Kwamina Issifu, Gloria Akoto-Bamfo, Selaseh Akaho, Ernest Enyan, Fuseini Jibril and Samuel Adotevi for their support and contributions that made this publication possible. We also acknowledge Omar Seidu for his efforts to support this work and Prof. Samuel Kobina Annim whose leadership continues to guide the Data for Good partnership.


This study was made possible thanks to the anonymised data provided by Vodafone Ghana.

This work has also been possible thanks to funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Vodafone Foundation.

About the data

The population and mobility estimates presented in this report are derived from Call Detail Records (a form of mobile phone usage data) and other datasets for adjustments. However, these are not traditional population and survey estimates. Readers who are unfamiliar with this data source, are encouraged to read explanatory documentation which can be found on Flowminder’s CDR data analytics Knowledge Centre (FlowGeek) or a more detailed description of indicators hosted on the Haiti Mobility Data Platform, which uses the same methods as this report.

Long term mobility estimates (estimates of residents and relocations) are produced from mature and robust methods, meaning that they have been corrected to make the indicators representative of the whole population (instead of representing only Vodafone Ghana’s subscribers) as well as to reduce the influence of varying phone usage. For this beta analysis, it is worth noting that the indicators have been scaled to be representative of the population using a gridded population counts dataset for 2020 (source here). For the final version of the report, we will instead use a recent Ghana household survey, implemented in 2022.

Shorter-term mobility estimates (daily movements/travels) are currently classified as experimental. This is because we cannot yet provide estimates of daily travellers corrected and adjusted to the general population, which affects the value of statistics and the comparison across regions and over time. Further, mobility and phone usage are conflated in these statistics, and development of further methods is required to extract short term (daily, hourly) mobility information from CDRs. As such, they should be interpreted with caution. Method development to address these issues is ongoing.

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