If you have ever completed an online survey then you may well have heard the phrase ‘survey demographics’. Survey demographics, sometimes referred to as social demographics, are a set of questions, within a survey, designed to categorise participants.
Survey demographics usually cover basic information, which can include your age, gender, education level completed, ethnicity, household composition and location. This information is then used by companies undertaking market research to help them categorise information.
An example of the use of this categorisation could be to see which gender is most likely to vote for a specific political party in an upcoming election.
When it comes to survey demographics they help provide the company conducting the market research with a lot of broad information without identifying a specific individual. This means that when you are completing surveys you can provide information on yourself while still remaining anonymous, depending on the subject. This may allow a company to ask people about potentially sensitive information relating to health, sexual preference or other sometimes taboo subjects, without the individual worrying about their privacy.
Here are some examples of survey demographic questions that you may come across when completing online surveys:
You may be asked your age, date of birth or just to select a more broad tickbox (16-25, 26-34 etc).
You will usually just be asked if you are male or female. Sometimes you may see other boxes, where you can fill in information such as transgender etc. On occasion there are cutesy photographs of men or women to choose from too.
Education Level Completed
You will usually find a good 6-8 boxes for partial school completion, completed high school, A-levels, college, university etc. On occasion these can seem a little more complicated with the sections broken down into NVQ levels, which aren’t always applicable to all.
You may find just 3 or 4 ethnicity tickboxes to choose from or you may find 10s.
You may be asked questions such as how many members are there in your household or you may be asked to break it down further into different age ranges. On occasion you may be asked to provide further information on your household which can even lead to more survey opportunities with some companies.
You may be asked which region in the UK you live in or even which continent you live on.
In all survey demographics should be very straightforward to fill in, particularly if you are factual about your information when joining a website. It can be tempting to falsify information, in the hope of receiving more surveys, however, many sites now have checks built into their surveys to verify the information you provide against that provided during previous surveys or when undertaking profile survey upon joining.
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