The population of Ghana in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 20,922,000, which placed it as number 50 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 3% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 43% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 99 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is 2.17%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 26,359,000. The Ghanaian government views the high growth rate as a hindrance to development, because of the pressure put on scarce public resources, employment, and food supplies. Modifying fertility is the primary official means of decreasing population growth. The population density in 2002 was 85 per sq km (220 per sq mi). Approximately 80% of the inhabitants reside in the south or in the far northeast and northwest.
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 38% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. The capital city, Accra, had a population of 1,904,000 in that year. Other large cities were Kumasi (450,900) and Tema (206,000). According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000– 2005 was 4.2%.