Younger Adults More Likely To Pay Bribes In Ghana – GSS Survey

urvey conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has revealed that the prevalence of bribery in Ghana varied across age groups and most prevalent among the youth aged between 25 and 34 years.

The report shows that the desire to pay bribes reduces among people above the compulsory retirement age in the country.

“Younger adults are more likely to pay bribes than the older population. In 2021, with a prevalence of bribery of 29.9%, Ghanaians aged 25 to 34 years were the age group most likely to pay bribes. The prevalence of bribery decreased steadily to 17.6% among those aged 65 and over, while bribery among the youngest adult age group 18 to 24 has a prevalence of 23.9%”.


The report also showed that the prevalence of bribery in Ghana is 26.7%, meaning one out of four people who had contact with a public official in the 12 months prior to the survey, was asked to pay a bribe by a public official, or asked to pay bribe but refused to do so.

The survey revealed that, on average, there is no difference in the prevalence of bribery in rural and urban areas of Ghana. There are, however, sizable variations across the 16 regions of the country.

On regional basis, the prevalence of bribery in the Bono East, Savannah and Volta regions, for example, were substantially lower than the national rate. The three regions recorded corruption cases of 11.8%, 14.5% and 19.1% respectively.

In the Western North, Ahafo and North East regions, the corrupt cases reported were substantially higher, at 53.4%, 47.0% and 41.9% respectively.

440px Ghana Statistical Service logo

Overall, the survey revealed that about GH¢5 billion was paid as bribe in 2021 in both the private and the public sectors.

The report dubbed ‘2021 Ghana Integrity of Public Services Survey’ indicated that 26.7% public sector officials were engaged in bribery acts, whilst 9.1% were officials from the private sector.

According to Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, corruption was prevalent within the Ghana Police Service.

The service recorded 53.2% corrupt cases, followed by the Ghana Immigration Service and the Ghana Revenue Authority with 37.4% and 33.6% respectively.

Bribery among the educated

The survey further showed that people with different levels of educational attainment experienced bribery to a different extent, and many factors may explain the differences that influence the acts of bribery.

“One relates to the type of public official with whom people interact and the type of public services sought.  It may also be common for corrupt public officials to target wealthier socioeconomic groups to a greater degree than poorer socioeconomic groups, as the former may be considered more likely to have the means to pay bribes”.


Indeed, the survey showed that the group most likely to interact with public officials and most likely to experience bribe requests is those with the highest level of educational attainment – that is bachelor’s degree or above.

Ghanaians with the highest level of tertiary education are 1.7 times more likely than people with no formal education to report that they paid a bribe, or were asked to pay a bribe but refused when in contact with a public official, according to the GSS. 

Bribery across sectors

In terms of sectors, the contact rate with private sector employees varied substantially across the regions of Ghana, with the contact rate being much higher in the Greater Accra, Western and Western North regions, at 59.1%, 50.0% and 45.0% respectively, than in regions such as the Upper West, Oti and Bono East, at 11.2%, 17.7% and 18.5% respectively.

Also, the contact rate with private sector employees was much higher in urban areas (46.9%) than in rural areas (27.6%) of the country as many more private services are more likely to be accessed in the former.

The report revealed that not only is the contact rate with private sector employees in Ghana much lower than with public officials but also, the payment of bribes to private sector employees is much less prevalent than to public officials.

The prevalence of private sector bribery in 2021 was 9.1%, whereas the prevalence of public sector bribery was 26.7%.

Compared with the public sector, where there was no notable difference in the prevalence of bribery in urban and rural areas, people are more likely to pay bribes to private sector employees in rural areas than in urban areas.

Source: The Vaultznews