Assessing the relationship between socioeconomic conditions and urban environmental quality in Accra, Ghana

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2010 Jan;7(1):125-45. doi: 10.3390/ijerph7010125. Epub 2010 Jan 13.


The influence of socioeconomic status (SES) on health inequalities is widely known, but there is still poor understanding of the precise relationship between area-based socioeconomic conditions and neighborhood environmental quality. This study aimed to investigate the socioeconomic conditions which predict urban neighbourhood environmental quality. The results showed wide variation in levels of association between the socioeconomic variables and environmental conditions, with strong evidence of a real difference in environmental quality across the five socioeconomic classes with respect to total waste generation (p < 0.001), waste collection rate (p < 0.001), sewer disposal rate (p < 0.001), non-sewer disposal (p < 0.003), the proportion of households using public toilets (p = 0.005). Socioeconomic conditions are therefore important drivers of change in environmental quality and urban environmental interventions aimed at infectious disease prevention and control if they should be effective could benefit from simultaneous implementation with other social interventions.

Keywords: Accra; Ghana census data; area-based SES; socioeconomic inequalities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cities*
  • Environment*
  • Ghana
  • Socioeconomic Factors*