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What are demographics?

Demographics are statistical data about the socioeconomic characteristics of a population. A demographic study researches different variables within a group of people, such as age, gender, income, education, and occupation.

Demographic studies are usually conducted by businesses in order to identify target markets. They are also conducted by governments, mostly through periodic censuses to gather data concerning the nation’s population.

How demographics can help your business

Demographic research can help businesses form a better understanding of their market and customer base, and recognize consumer spending patterns. For instance: a demographic study might show which suburb will have the most kids in two years time, and this data can in turn serve a children’s clothing store in deciding the location for their new shop.

Another example is a ride-sharing company which might decide to concentrate their marketing campaign in cities where the population is young and can’t afford their own car. Demographic data will help them to refrain from marketing their product in smaller cities with wealthier residents, who are car owners and less likely to use a ride sharing service. In this way demographics may influence the marketing strategies a business employs.


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Focus Group


Main demographic characteristics

Your marketing strategy should take into account factors like your audience’s age, income level, gender, and in some cases even religion and political alignment might play a role. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Purchasing power: The degree of disposable income within a community affects which products are bought there. A high-end luxurious product would appeal to a richer demographic, while a reliable and affordable product would appeal to a lower-income demographic.

  • Geographic regions: Where your customer lives can say a lot about them. For instance, a chain of sporting goods stores would offer more NY Yankees merchandise in the Bronx, while they’d offer more NY Mets merchandise in Queens.

  • Age range: Different age groups are more likely to purchase different items. Younger people under 35 are often the first to buy tech products like phones, tablets and video game consoles, while middle-aged people are more likely to invest in household items.

  • Family status: If there lots of families in your area, you might want to open a family friendly restaurant in the neighborhood. Maybe there’s mostly singles in your area? In this case a bar might be more popular.

Demographic data online

Detailed demographic information can be obtained online. Here are a few recommended sources:

  • The Census Bureau: The U.S. Census Bureau’s official website allows you to browse through data by category or by geographic location.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics: This website collects economic statistics in the U.S., such as employment and unemployment, consumer spending and more.

  • UNdata: Provides data by country name (in alphabetical order), on topics such as population, literacy and income.

Related Term

Target Market

Related Term


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