The chief industries in Sekondi-Takoradi are timber, cocoa processing, plywood, shipbuilding, its harbour and railway repair, and recently, sweet crude oil and crude oil. Sekondi-Takoradi lies on the main railway lines to Kumasi and Accra.
Sekondi, older and larger, was the site of Dutch Fort Orange (1642) and English Fort Sekondi (1682). It prospered from a railroad built in 1903 to hinterland mineral and timber resources. Takoradi was the site of Dutch Fort Witsen (1665) and has an important deepwater seaport, Ghana's first, built in 1928. During World War II, RAF Takoradi was an important staging point for British aircraft destined for Egypt. Spitfire fighter planes were shipped in crates from England to Takoradi where they were assembled then flown via Nigeria and Sudan to the war in Libya. 26 Squadron SAAF was also based in Takoradi during World War II flying anti-submarine and convoy protection patrols over the Atlantic. A number of South African airmen are buried in the Takoradi European Public cemetery. The cities combined in 1946. On 20 November 1969, the city became the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sekondi–Takoradi.
The city is currently named (although not officially) as the Oil City of Ghana due to the massive discovery of oil in the western region and has attracted massive migration from people all around the world. For example, of the 248,680 people in the Sekondi-Takoradi metro area in 2010, only 92,000, or well under half, were born in the Western Region of Ghana. 60,000 came from the central region of Ghana, centered on Cape Coast and just to the west of Sekondi-Takoradi. 20,000 from the Ashanti region centered on Kumasi, and 20,000 were born in the Greater Accra Region.
Sekondi-Takoradi's population is overwhelmingly Christian. 35% of the region are Pentecostal/Charismatic, 26% are Protestant and 14% are Catholic with the remaining 12% comprising numerous minor denominations. 9% of the population are Muslim, 3.5% identify as non religious and 0.2% practice traditional African religions.
Takoradi is also a port city and has timber, energy, and technology industries. Over the years it has attracted a good number of investors, including miners, as the city is close to the mining towns in the western part of Ghana.
Sekondi-Takoradi has plenty of beaches, however they are not a major tourist attraction. Many beaches are also found to the west of Takoradi, with small resorts such as Fanta's Folly, The Hideout, and Green Turtle Lodge with larger ones such as Busua Beach, Lou Moon Lodge and Axim Beach Resort. It also has an annual street carnival, which is popular with tourists.
Sekondi-Takoradi city has several secondary schools, colleges, and special schools, ranging from single-sex to coeducational institutions. Among the tertiary institutions are: Takoradi Polytechnic (a tertiary institution), Nurses and Midwifery Training College, Holy Child Teachers Training College (now a College of Education). The Sekondi-Takoradi city currently has several secondary schools and Special schools, ranging from single-sex to coeducational institutions. These include:
Takoradi Technical Institute houses a fab lab, equipped by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which is the first of its kind in Africa.
Takoradi has a well-equipped technical training centre (Takoradi Technical Institute, TTI, 1,400 students in two shifts) assisted by the German government through GTZ/GOPA. Apart from TTI, Takoradi has a polytechnic and other renowned secondary schools including Ghana Secondary Technical School, St. Mary Secondary School, Bompeh Secondary School, Takoradi Secondary School and many others. Sekondi-Takoradi has many internet cafés and computer training centres to encourage familiarity with computers and acquire computer skills.
The Western Regional Library was established in Sekondi in 1955.
Professional sports teams based in Sekondi-Takoradi include: