Using Demographic Questions For In-depth Data Analysis

Demographic questions in surveys, help to determine factors that could influence a respondent’s choice of answers, which means that gathering this information from your survey audience is a great way for you to be able to split your respondents into certain groups and see how your groups vary with their answers.

For example, you could split your respondents into groups according to their geo-location and see how people from different locations compare to one another. This would be particularly valuable information if the goal of your survey was to determine where you might open a new store, for instance.

Here are some sample questions and how you can use them to assist in your demographic survey questions:


1. Age Questions

Demographic Questions - Age

One of the most used demographic questions asked in surveys is about age. The age of your respondents can sometimes greatly alter the way that they answer your questions. For example, if you were to ask about a recent computer game that has been released, you are likely to get very different responses from respondents over 65 years than you would from your 18 – 24 year old respondents.

If you have a few demographic questions to ask, asking for a respondents age can also be a good way to ease people into answering this somewhat personal questions as it is an easy question to answer.


2. Ethnicity Questions

Demographic Questions - Ethnicity

Ethnicity questions can provide an interesting contrast when it comes to comparing the answers of respondents from different racial or cultural backgrounds. For example, if you are asking questions regarding stereotypes in the media, you may get different opinions from a White/Caucasian person than you would from a Latino respondent.

Asking a person to identify their ethnicity in a survey can be a slightly precarious question, therefore we recommend that you always allow a respondent to choose a “prefer not to say” option for these types of questions.


3. Marital Status Questions

Demographic Questions - Marital Status

This survey question regarding the marital status of your audience can be useful as it can give you an insight into how the household is made up. For example, if you are asking about a respondent’s ideal night out, someone who is married or in a domestic partnership may have different opinions on topics than a single person.


4. Level of Education Questions

Demographic Questions - Level of Education

The level of education of a respondent may affect the answers that they give to certain questions. Someone who has had vocational training may have different opinions on topics than those who have a PHD, for example.


5. Employment Status Questions

Demographic Questions - Employment Status

Employment status can give a good contrast of opinions from differing demographic groups, especially when it comes to financial questions later on in the survey or opinions on social statuses. In this survey question, an unemployed person looking for work may have particularly differing views on job prospects than someone who is in full time employment.

It is important to remember that demographic questions are inherently personal and sensitive to certain extents, so they should be treated as such. Allow the customer to skip the questions or have the option to choose not to say to reduce the risk of your respondent abandoning your survey.

There are many other demographic questions that you can ask in your surveys to help you to group your respondents for analysis. Other demographic questions could be income, number of children, geo-location, weight and gender, to name a few.