Christian Missions in Ghana, 1751-1933

The dataset contains the georeferenced Christian mission stations established in Ghana 1752–1932. Data is reported at an annual basis. For all 2,144 mission stations, the data includes station name, denomination, circuity, longitude, latitude, year of entry, exit, whether the station is a main or out-station, and whether it had a school attached. For sub-periods the data also includes information on the number of church members, attendance and seat capacity.

The data was mainly sourced from ecclesiastical returns provided by the mission societies and published in the British Blue Books of the Gold Coast 1844–1932. The source represents a comprehensive census of missions. Various other sources were consulted to extend the data base to Ghana’s first mission (1752), to include missions from German Togoland incorporated into Ghana after World War I, and to account for years, for which no Blue Books have survived. Mission stations were then georeferenced based on the place name where the mission is located. Coordinates were retrieved from NGA place name gazetteer as well as other sources.

The data can be used to study patterns in and effects of Christianization in Ghana. The geographic coordinates of the mission stations allow researchers to flexibly link the data to other spatio-temporal databases.

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When using this dataset cite: Jedwab, Remi, Felix Meier zu Selhausen and Alexander Moradi (2022). “Christianization without economic development: Evidence from missions in Ghana.” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 190: 573–596.

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