The Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS) is a nationwide survey carried out by the Government of Ghana (Ghana Statistical Service) with the support of the World Bank (Social Dimensions of Adjustment Project Unit). The objective of the survey is to provide data to the government for measuring the living standards of the population and the progress made in raising them. The survey data will permit a more effective formulation and implementation of policies designed to improve the welfare of the population.
The GLSS was launched in September 1987 and is currently planned to be undertaken over a five-year period. The five interval ensures that a steady stream of data becomes available to monitor the impact of the Government's Economic Recovery Program, including the Program of Actions to Mitigate the Social Costs of Adjustment (PAMSCAD). GLSS provides data on various aspects of the Ghanaian household economic and social activities and the interactions between these activities. Data are collected at three levels: the individual level, the household level and community level. The household questionnaire was administered to 1525 households over a six month period from september 1987 to march 1988.
Kind of data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of analysis
Producers and sponsors
Ghana Statistical Service (GSS)
The World Bank
The methodology that was used reflects the purpose of the survey. To balance the desire for a large, representative sample with the expense of a long, detailed survey instrument, a sample size of 3,200 households was selected. The households were to be chosen in such a manner that each household had an equal probability of being selected. At the same time, the logistics of locating the households and conducting all interviews within a specific time frame required that the households be grouped into "workloads" of 16 households each. A final concern was that all three of the country's ecological zones (coastal, forest and savannah), and each of urban, semi-urban and rural areas (population greater than 5000, 1500 to 5000, and less than 1500, respectively) form the same proportion in the sample as they do in the national population.
To achieve the three objectives simultaneously, a stratified selection process was used. For the 1984 Census, all of Ghana was divided into approximately 13,000 enumeration areas (EAs). From this list it was determined what proportion of the 200 GLSS workloads should be selected from each of the nine zone/urban categories. Two hundred sampling areas were then selected from the enumeration areas in the sub-divided list. For each enumeration area, the probability of being selected was proportional to the number of households contained in that area.
After the 200 sampling areas were selected, households in those areas were enumerated in 1987. Therefore it was possible to take into account changes in the number of households and preserve the self-weighting nature of the sample. The 200 workloads were assigned among the 200 sampling areas with probability equal to the number of households in that area in 1987 divided by the number of households in that area in 1984 and multiplied by the total number of households in 1984 divided by the total number of households in 1987. That is, sampling areas that had greater than average increases in size had a greater than one chance of being selected. Thus, each sampling area was assigned zero, one, two, or even three workloads of sixteen households. The households (sixteen selected and four replacement for each workload) were then chosen randomly from the household list for each sampling area. The resulting list is 3200 households and 800 replacement households in something less than 200 sampling areas (specifically 178 in 1987-88 and 170 in 1988-89). Each group of 16, 32 or 48 households within a sampling area is referred to as a cluster in the GLSS data sets and in this document.
Weights are not computed because there wasn't enough information on how the weights were imputed against the variables. This is a self-weighting sample (with equal probability of selection for each household in Ghana).
Dates of collection
Mode of data collection
Data collection supervision
The GLSS survey was conducted by ten teams. Each of the ten teams included a superviso, two interviewers, an anthropometrist, a data entry clerk stationed at the regional office, and a driver (with a landrover).
- The household survey contains modules (sections) to collect data on household demographic structure, housing conditions, schooling, health, employment, migration, expenditure and income, household non-agricultural businesses, agricultural activities, fertility and contraceptive use, savings and credit, and anthropometric (height and weight) measures.
- The community questionnaire collected data on the population of the community, a list of principal ethnic groups and religions, the length of time the community has existed and whether or not it has grown, principal economic activities, access to a motorable road, electricity, pipe-borne water, restaurant or food stall, post office, bank, daily market and public transport, employment, migration for jobs, existence of community development projects, schools and how far from the community, information is obtained on whether it is public or private, data on distance and travel time to the nearest of each of several types of health post, dispensary, pharmacy, maternity home, family planning clinic, type of crops grown in the community, how often and when they are planted and harvested, and how the harvest is generally sold.
- Price questionnaire collected information on prices from up to three vendors i.e. food, pharmaceutical and other non-food items.
The quality control of the data collection occured at three instances. First, on the field, the supervisor randormly visited 25% of the households already surveyed to verify the answers to some key questions. In addition the supervisor periodically attended interviews conducted by each interviewer. Second, in the regional office, the data entry computer package used performed consistency checks, so that inconsistencies and errors in data collected during the first round were immediately reported to the interviewers for verification during the second round. Finally, daily supervisory checks of the data entry process were performed.
Users have to contact Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) for Data access.
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and The World Bank. Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS) 1987-1988. Ref. GHA_1987_GLSS_v02_M. Dataset downloaded from [url] on [date].
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.