15 Demographic Questions for Surveys (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published March 11, 2022

Demographic questions may help you determine which factors can influence a consumer's buying decisions or spending power. This information may help you develop products or launch promotional campaigns that relate to a consumer's interests or needs. Reviewing examples of demographic questions for surveys can assist you in gathering data about consumers efficiently. In this article, we discuss what demographic questions for surveys are and provide 15 questions that you may include in your survey.

Related: Survey Templates and How To Use Them Effectively

What are demographic survey questions?

Demographic survey questions are a research method that companies can use to learn more about a population's characteristics. Organizations may use survey questions to learn more about a demographic to determine their interests and needs. Doing so may help them create products or promotional material that appeal to a specific demographic.

Typically, demographic surveys often collect data on consumer behaviors, like emotions or preferences that impact their buying behaviors. It's common to gather information about participants' income level, marital status, gender and location. After gathering this data, companies can make informed decisions on how to target a specific demographic according to their survey responses.

Related: How To Write a Survey That Works for You: Tips for Success

Why are demographic survey questions important?

Demographic survey questions are important because they can help you:

  • Organize information easily: You can organize the information from your surveys into groups to help you better analyze the data, which may allow you to understand data, recognize trends and maintain well-formatted information. For example, you may sort your data from all participants into a married or single category.

  • Create audience personas: You may start creating an audience persona, which involves determining the audience's key needs, expectations or preferences. Doing so may help you decide on the products or services that your audience may benefit from and which targeted messaging techniques you can use to get their attention.

  • Find the right audience for new products: When your workplace launches a new product or service, you may use demographic surveys to understand which audience may find your products most useful or appealing. Then you can begin sending promotional material to the target audience for your new launch.

  • Recognize patterns within data sets. You may recognize patterns within your data sets, which can help you understand consumer trends and behaviors. For example, if you notice that consumers in a younger demographic better understand and enjoy technological advancements, you may target technology-related advertisements and products for them.

  • Understand how to communicate. A demographic survey may help you understand how to communicate effectively with consumers since you can learn about their languages and cultural backgrounds.

Related: How To Write a Survey: Steps and Tips

15 demographic questions for surveys

Typically, demographic survey questions contain multiple-choice responses, which allows for participants to select the answer that is most relevant to them. If the information within a question may be challenging for participants to understand, you can provide explanations so that they may select the best answer. Since the information may be a sensitive topic for participants, be sure to include an option that says, "Prefer not to say" so that they have the option to skip this question. Here are 15 demographic questions for surveys:

1. What is your annual income?

Asking about a participant's income involves inquiring about the amount of money they make in a year. This may give you a better idea about their buying power. Here's an example of an income-related question for a demographic survey:

What is your annual income?

  • Less than $20,000

  • Between $20,000-$50,000

  • Between $50,000-$80,000

  • More than $80,000

  • Prefer not to say

2. What is your household income?

A household income involves the total amount of money that each individual made while living in the same house. This is useful when gathering information about family-related products or services. For example, when creating a streaming service that the entire household may use, you might use the average household income amount to determine a reasonable price for the service. You may provide an explanation to participants so that they understand what the term "household income" means, including the time period in which you want them to measure. Here's an example of a question regarding household income:

What is your annual household income, which is the total amount that each individual in your home made within the last year?

  • Less than $25,000

  • Between $25,000-$75,000

  • Between $75,000-$125,000

  • More than $125,000

  • Prefer not to say

Related: What Is the Survey Method? (With 6 Types of Surveys You Can Use)

3. What is your employment status?

You may include a survey question about a participant's employment status. Instead of including an option that refers to an unemployed participant, you can use the term "seeking employment" to help them feel more comfortable responding. Here's an example question for employment on a demographic survey:

What is your current employment status?

  • Full-time

  • Part-time

  • Seeking opportunities currently

  • Retired

  • Prefer not to say

4. How many dependents do you have?

The number of dependents involves the number of relatives that rely on a participant as their primary source of income. An individual's dependents may influence their buying habits or personal values. For example, a participant that has children may decide to shop at stores that have child-related products and services. Learning this information may help you create campaigns that appeal to adult and children audiences. Here's an example of a demographic survey question about dependents:

How many dependents do you have?

  • None

  • 1-2

  • 3-4

  • More than 4

  • Prefer not to say

5. Which languages do you speak?

Learning which language a participant speaks can help you generate promotional material or product information in their preferred language. You may also build a stronger relationship with consumers by communicating written and verbal information in the same language as them. In the multiple-choice responses, provide a variety of languages and place boxes next to each response so that they may check all that apply to them. Be sure to provide an "Other" response where they can fill in an additional language if it doesn't appear in the multiple-choice options. Here's an example of a language-related demographic survey question:

Which languages do you speak fluently? Place a check next to all that apply.

  • English

  • Portuguese

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Arabic

  • Mandarin

  • Hindi

  • Other (Please write in)

  • Prefer not to say

Related: What Are Demographics? (Definition, Examples and Uses)

6. What is your age?

Learning a participant's age can help you understand the target audience they are a part of, and which products or promotional material they may find most appealing. Depending on how specific you want the survey to be, you may include large age gaps between questions, like fifteen to twenty years, or small age gaps, like two to five years. Here's an example to show how you may include this question in your survey:

What is your age?

  • 0-10 years old

  • 11-20 years old

  • 21-30 years old

  • 31-40 years old

  • 41-50 years old

  • 51-60 years old

  • 61-70 years old

  • 71+

  • Prefer not to say

7. What is your ethnicity?

Understanding a participant's ethnicity can help you determine their cultural background and traditions that may influence their buying behaviors. Be sure to include the option that says, "More than 2 ethnicities" since individuals may come from several ethnic backgrounds, or you may ask participants to select all ethnicities that apply to them. Here's an example question about ethnicity:

Please select your ethnicity from the following list. Circle all that apply.

  • Caucasian

  • African-American

  • Asian

  • Latino or Hispanic

  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

  • Other

  • Prefer not to say

8. Where do you live?

You can ask a survey question to determine a participant's region. If sending an international survey, you may ask about the continent in which a participant lives. If sending a national survey, you may ask about the state in which they live. Here's an example:

Where do you currently reside?

  • North America

  • Europe

  • Africa

  • South America

  • Asia

  • Australia

  • Caribbean Islands

  • Pacific Islands

  • Other

  • Prefer not to say

9. Are you married?

Marital status helps you learn about a participant's personal life and values. Typically, this may influence their buying decisions. Here's an example of how you may inquire about a participant's marital status:
Are you married?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Prefer not to answer

10. What is your educational background?

Discovering a participant's educational background allows you to discover trends that may influence a participant's behaviors and interests. For example, individuals with degrees in higher education might have more interest in loan-repayment services, while individuals with a high school diploma might have an interest in financial aid services. Here's an example of a survey question about a participant's education level:

What is your highest level of education?

  • High school diploma/GED

  • Associate degree

  • Bachelor's degree

  • Trade school certification

  • Master's degree or higher education

  • Other (Please fill in)

  • Prefer not to say

11. Are you a registered voter?

Understanding a participant's voting registration status may help you understand if they are active in politics. This may help you determine if they respond to political marketing content or promotional information. Instead of asking which political party they are a part of, consider asking if they registered to vote. Here's an example of how you may ask:

Are you a registered voter?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Prefer not to say

12. Where were you born?

Asking where a participant was born may help you understand information about their culture and family background. This may affect their consumer habits, like their preferences and needs. Consider starting the question with a list of continents that they may choose from, then you can include a drop-down menu that describes specific regions within each continent. Here's an example of how you can ask about a participant's place of birth:

Please select where you were born.

  • North America

  • South America

  • Europe

  • Asia

  • Africa

  • Other

  • Prefer not to say

13. What are your hobbies?

A consumer's hobbies often influence their buying habits. You may include a survey question to understand their hobbies, which might help you categorize participants according to their interests. Be sure to include a wide range of hobbies that can appeal to all participants. Include space for them to fill in any hobbies not mentioned in the choices. Here's an example of how you may do so:

What hobbies and interests do you enjoy? Please select all that apply.

  • Biking

  • Fashion design

  • Crafts

  • Traveling

  • Camping

  • Gourmet food

  • Physical fitness

  • Music

  • Sewing

  • Art

  • Antiques

  • Reading

  • Other (Please fill in)

  • Prefer not to answer

14. Do you have any pets?

You may ask a participant if they own pets to understand more about the products they are likely to purchase. You can ask about the number of pets they own and the type of animals they have. Here are two examples of how you may ask about a participant's pets:

How many pets do you have?

  • 0 pets

  • 1 pet

  • 2 pets

  • 3 pets

  • 4 pets

  • 5+ pets

Which of the following pets do you have?

  • Dog

  • Cat

  • Fish

  • Bird

  • Reptile

  • Other (please fill in)

  • Prefer not to say

15. What is your work industry?

The industry that an individual works in may influence their purchasing habits. For example, a teacher or business professional may buy formal clothing that they can wear to work. Be sure to list several industries, and include a blank space where they may place additional industries. Here's an example of how you can inquire about a participant's work industry:

Please select your industry.

  • Agriculture

  • Utilities

  • Finance

  • Entertainment

  • Education

  • Health care

  • Information services

  • Data processing

  • Food services

  • Hotel services

  • Legal services

  • Publishing

  • Military

  • Other (Please fill in)

  • Prefer not to say

Browse more articles