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What Is Demography? - Definition & Significance

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  • 0:01 What Is Demography?
  • 0:30 What Is the Purpose of…
  • 1:28 Advantages & Disadvantages
  • 2:18 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Chevette Alston

Dr. Alston has taught intro psychology, child psychology, and developmental psychology at 2-year and 4-year schools.

In this lesson, we'll talk about demography and demographics and how they are used by various organizations. We'll also consider the advantages and disadvantages of using them. Then you can test yourself with a short quiz.

What Is Demography?

Demographics are characteristics about a population of people or things. It can be your hair color, the foods you eat, the car you drive, or the age group into which you are classified. Demographic information is used in marketing, governmental research, and surveys and sampling to collect information about people's age, gender, education, income, or body phenotype (appearance).

What Is the Purpose of Demographics?

Demographics are collected by a variety of venues, and they are most often used to understand a targeted audience or population. For example, in television advertising, marketers use demographics to inform them of who is watching which television programs. This information is used to advertise to the largest demographic. For example, football is often watched by men. Therefore, the advertisers who know this demographic often tailor their commercials toward this demographic or population.

Another example of demographic use is by the government or political parties. These organizations survey groups of people to determine which people will either support or vote for them. If a politician or political party finds that they're lacking in support by people between the ages of 21-30 years old, they're likely to try to discover a way to get more votes from this particular group of people.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Some advantages of demographic research are that the information can be used to address the most attentive population. Advertising money and time is not wasted on those who will not pay attention. In venues where competition is strong, a business or organization can get to know its customer or consumer a lot better by studying demographics.

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