Demographics Examples (Plus How Your Business Can Use Them)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated May 5, 2022 | Published January 13, 2021

Updated May 5, 2022

Published January 13, 2021

Companies can use demographics such as age, marital status and employment to design a market segmentation strategy to reach their target audience. As companies acquire more information, they can make more deliberate decisions about the direction of the business. 

Some of the most useful research for companies is data about their clients. 


In this article, we discuss what demographics are, why demographics are important for business and give examples of demographics questions and answers. 

What are demographics?

Demographics are the various characteristics of a population. Demographics examples can include factors such as the race and age of a population that is being studied. The statistical information of the population's socioeconomic conditions is known as demographic data. 


Demographic categories that business owners can gather data on include:


  • Age

  • Gender

  • Race or ethnicity

  • Relationship status

  • Number of children

  • Employment status

  • Income

  • Education

  • Political affiliation

  • Religious affiliation

  • Industry


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

What can you use demographics for?

Many companies use demographics to tailor their business practices to current and potential customers. Many companies find it valuable to develop a basic buyer persona that they can refer to when making decisions. 


Having detailed demographic information can aid businesses in the following areas:

Marketing strategies and campaigns

Businesses can better tailor their marketing efforts when they know who is most likely engaging with their content. For instance, if a company learns that the majority of their clients have children under five, they can target issues related to parenting young children.


Related: 17 Marketing Strategies (With Examples)

Sales offers

Sales offers can be planned to appeal to certain demographics. For instance, if a business learns that most of its customers shop for Christmas presents during the last week of November, it can plan sales around that time to attract more customers and encourage current customers to spend more.


Related: 20 Promotional Sales Ideas To Attract Customers (With Tips)

Product development

When companies know who their customers are, they can then determine what problems those customers are likely to have. This knowledge can help businesses develop new products that meet a certain need or solve a specific problem for their target market.


Related: A Guide to the 8 Phases of Product Development

Location scouting

Learning about a community's demographics can help organizations decide where to open new locations. For instance, a new sandwich shop may want to choose a location where residents prefer to walk rather than drive to increase foot traffic in the shop.

Product pricing

Compiling financial data on clients can help businesses determine appropriate prices for their products. Consider customers in a certain zip code who generally spend $30,000 on a new car. A new car dealership will need to stay in this range to be competitive. Pricing new cars at $50,000 and higher will likely alienate the dealership from its intended market.


Related: A Complete Guide to Pricing Strategies

Examples of demographics

When collecting data on demographics, consider why you are collecting this information and whether this data is necessary for your business goals. It is important to ensure that the information you are asking for is essential and will be kept secure. Also, if it applies to your survey, consider letting respondents know why you’re asking a specific question.


Here are commonly used demographics examples and how you can phrase your survey questions: 

Age

Choose your age group: 

  • 5 and under

  • 6-11

  • 12-17

  • 18-24

  • 25-34

  • 35-44

  • 45-54

  • 55-64

  • 65-74

  • 74-85

  • 86 or older

You can also ask customers to indicate their generation. 


What generation are you a part of?

  • The Silent Generation: Born 1928-1945

  • Baby boomers: Born 1946-1964

  • Generation X: Born 1965-1980

  • Millennials: Born 1981-1996

  • Generation Z: Born 1997-2012

Gender identity

Gender identity is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a person's internal sense of being male, female, some combination of male and female, or neither male nor female.” In a September 2021 position paper, the Insights Association’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) Council suggests a three-pronged approach when asking demographic questions on gender: 


What sex were you assigned at birth, on your birth certificate?

  • Female

  • Male

  • Prefer not to answer


How do you describe yourself?

  • Male

  • Female

  • Transgender

  • None of these

  • Prefer not to answer

If none of these, what is your current gender identity? [Open-ended answer]

Here’s an example of a single question you could ask when inquiring about gender:

How do you identify?

  • Male

  • Female

  • Non-binary

  • Transgender

  • Identify on my own terms (please specify)

  • Prefer not to answer

Race or ethnicity

Race and ethnicity demographics classify individuals by certain physical and social attributes. 


Which of these best describes your racial or ethnic background?

  • Asian or South Asian

  • Black or African American

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Middle Eastern or North African

  • Native American or Alaska Native

  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander

  • White

  • Another race/ethnicity (please specify) 

  • Prefer not to answer

Read more: The 4 Primary Types of Market Segments and How To Use Them

Relationship status

Which of these best describes your relationship status?

  • Single

  • Married

  • Partnered

  • Separated

  • Divorced

  • Widowed

  • Other (please specify)

  • Prefer not to answer

Some industries, such as the wedding planning industry, may also research relationship status, such as engaged, dating for over a year or dating for less than a year.

Number of children

How many children, if any, do you have?

  • No children

  • 1-2 children

  • 3-4 children

  • 5 or more children

Employment status

What is your employment status? 

  • Student

  • Unemployed

  • Employed part-time

  • Employed full-time

  • Retired

  • Disabled

  • Other (please specify)

Income

What is your annual income?

  • Under $15,000 

  • $15,000-$24,999 

  • $25,000-$34,999 

  • $35,000-$44,999 

  • $45,000-$54,999 

  • $55,000-$64,999 

  • $65,000-$74,999 

  • $75,000-$84,999 

  • $85,000-$94,999

  • $95,000 or more

  • Prefer not to answer


You can continue to divide income categories in $10,000 increments as needed for your target market. You can also ask about total household income versus individual income. For this, you may only need broader divisions, such as:

  • Less than $35,000 per year

  • $35,000-$59,999 per year

  • $60,000-$89,999 per year

  • $90,000-$109,999 per year

  • $110,000 or more per year

Education

What is the highest level of education you have received? 

  • High school diploma or equivalent

  • Some college

  • Associate degree

  • Bachelor's degree

  • Graduate degree

Political affiliation

What political affiliation do you most identify with?

  • Democrat

  • Republican

  • Independent

  • Other

  • Not political

Religious affiliation

Here’s a few example survey questions and answers you can ask about religion: 


What religion do you belong to or identify with the most?

  • Buddhist

  • Christian

  • Hindu

  • Jewish

  • Muslim

  • None

  • Other

  • Prefer not to answer

To what level, do you consider yourself to be religious?

  • Not religious

  • Slightly religious

  • Moderately religious

  • Very religious

  • Don’t know


Some companies may choose to further divide these categories, such as identifying certain denominations within the Christian religion, like Baptist, Catholic and Methodist, or separating the different sects of Hinduism.

Industry

You may benefit from identifying the types of professions your clients are in, such as:

  • Accounting or finance

  • Arts and entertainment

  • Construction

  • Education

  • Health care

  • Information technology

  • Marketing

  • Retail

  • Service professions, such as food service, housekeepers, dog walkers, hairstylists


Browse more articles