Profile and determinants of the middle classes in Ghana: energy use and sustainable consumption

Senadza, Bernardin / Babette Never / Sascha Kuhn / Felix A. Asante
External Publications (2020)

in: Journal of Sustainable Development 13 (6), 11-25 (online first)


High and sustained economic growth rates of the Ghanaian economy in the past two to three decades have been accompanied by a growing urban middle class. With a rapidly growing middle class, overall consumption is not only increasing but changing too. This paper analyses the asset ownership patterns among the Ghanaian middle class, and examines the effect of household wealth, environmental concern and environmental knowledge on carbon dioxide emissions emanating from energy use and transport based on urban household survey data collected in Accra, the capital city, in 2018. We find that middle class households consume a variety of energy intensive consumer goods, and the intensity of consumption increases with household wealth. Regression results reveal statistically significant relationship between household wealth and carbon emissions from energy and transport use. We also find that environmental knowledge has a statistically negative effect on carbon emissions from transport. The policy implications are discussed.

About the authors

Never, Babette

Political Scientist


Kuhn, Sascha

Social Psychology


Further experts

Altenburg, Tilman

Economic Geography 

Banerjee, Aparajita

Environmental and Resource Sociology, Public Policy 

Gudibande, Rohan


Pegels, Anna