The Upper East Region is located in the northern part of Ghana and is the second smallest of 10 administrative regions in Ghana, occupying a total land surface of 8,842 square kilometers or 2.7 percent of the total land area of Ghana. The Upper East regional capital is Bolgatanga, sometimes referred to as Bolga. Other major towns in the region include Navrongo, Paga, Bawku, and Zebilla.
The Upper East region shares borders to Burkina Faso to the north and Togo to the east. It lies between longitude 0° and 1° West, and latitudes 10° 30’N and 11°N. The region shares boundaries with Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, Upper West Region to the west, and the Northern Region to the south. The Upper East region is divided into 15 districts, each headed by a district chief executive.
The Upper East Region historically is part of what used to be the upper Region (Upper East and Upper West), which was itself carved out of what used to be the Northern Region, on 1st July 1960. The Upper Region was later divided into Upper East and Upper West in 1983 during the regime of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC). The process actually started in 1980 when the current Upper East was administered on an experimental basis, as an autonomous Region, with Wa as the East Regional Municipal.
The center of population of the Upper East Region is located in its capital of Bolgatanga.
The population is primarily rural (79%) and scattered in dispersed settlements. The rural population was 87.1 percent in 1984 and 84.3% in 2000. There was, thus, a 2.8 percentage point reduction in the rural share of the population between 1984 and 2000 and a further 5.3 percent reduction between 2000 and 2010.
With only 21 percent of the population living in urban areas, the region is the least urbanized in Ghana. In fact, together with Upper West, they are the two regions with a less than 20 percent urban population.
Ghanaian citizens by birth, childhood or parenthood constitute 92.5 percent of the population of the Upper East region. Naturalized Ghanaian citizens constitute 5.3 percent.