Demographics analysis is the study of populations in a given sector. Companies often conduct demographics analysis in order to judge the relative sensitivities of a target market. This allows them to tailor their advertising and general presence to the needs of a given community. Understanding the demographics of given populations is important for government planning and funding initiatives, as well.
In many respects, demographics analysis is a form of scientific study. It involves sampling, statistics, and probability as well as traditional research. Analysis can be performed in a number of different settings and can usually be as general or as specific as the analyst wants.
The most straightforward demographics analysis concerns the populations of entire towns, communities, or countries. These populations can be broken down by age, sex, marital status, and ethnic background. From there, factors like profession, education level, and average income can also be compiled.
There are a number of reasons why demographics analysis is important. Most governments have a vested interest in understanding the makeup of their communities. Having accurate information about what certain populations need can help governments ensure that the people have adequate representation from local officials and sufficient access to emergency services, for instance. Data on current student demographics can inform decisions about where to build schools, libraries, and other government-funded school resources, just as demographics on elderly populations can help governments identify communities where more senior services may be needed.
Demographic analysis at a more localized level is typically of great importance to business owners. Marketing demographics often focus on the population details of a specific community where a product is to be sold or where a business is to be opened. Having demographic data helps businesses to target marketing to certain demographic areas. Sometimes, this involves the creation of a specific advertising campaign for a given community. Other times it involves choosing a community because it has a high percentage of target demographics — high school students, for instance, or stay-at-home moms.
Companies looking to break into a market might also use demographics analysis to assess a community’s need for its particular services. Analysis in this context is usually sector-specific. A banking company might perform a business demographics analysis of all bank customers in a certain area, for instance, in order to understand what sort of clientele they are likely to encounter. Demographic trends concerning age and socioeconomic status might also be helpful to a business when looking ahead and projecting what a community is likely to look like a number of years into the future.
Population demographics does not always concern people. In biology, scientists frequently use demographics analysis to study populations of animals in the wild. This kind of analysis provides information on birth rate, migratory patterns, and cause of death. Information gleaned from these demographic analyses are helpful in understanding humans’ impact on animals in the wild, as well as natural phenomena like disease and genetic mutation.