Demographic Survey

Understand your audiences with demographic surveys.

Where do you live? What do you do? And how old are you? How healthy are you? Sorry about the personal questions, but demographic questions can give you a lot of great information about certain populations. Learn more about customers, clients and market segments with demographic surveys, and do more to meet the needs of your target audience. Whether you’re developing products, providing health services, understanding public opinion – or even selling cars – knowing more about the demographic makeup of survey respondents can tell you a lot.

Create a demographic survey

Get a head start with expert-certified templates or create your own custom demographics questionnaire. SurveyMonkey makes it easy to design surveys, collect answers and analyse results. Get started for free.

Please note that some demographics survey templates are currently only available in English.

How to Use Demographic Surveys

SurveyMonkey demographic surveys can provide users in industries across the public and private sectors with relevant information about any target audience. They can also help you segment audiences with different needs based on income, gender, location and other factors. Here are a few areas where demographic research can make a big difference:

  • Market research. Demographic and psychographic data can help you shape product and service offerings, determine promotions and pricing and sort customer groups based on needs and interests. Young, single men and women tend to have different interests and more disposable income than married men and women with young families, for example. If yours is a brick-and-mortar establishment, it’s particularly good to get to know your neighbours. If you run your business online, then other demographics will be more important, such as occupation, educational background and language proficiency.
  • Academic research. As you build research projects focused on specific populations, use demographic surveys to confirm that you’ve correctly identified your target audiences. Incorporate demographic and psychographic survey questions into your broader research, establishing “control” populations and baseline data. Use relevant demographic data in research proposals and grant applications as well.
  • Health care. Do your patients belong to an ethnic group that has common health issues? Which socio-economic factors might impact your patients’ health and well-being? Use demographic questionnaires and health surveys to understand who you are treating in the context of a broader community or environment.
  • Education. Discover the makeup of your school community with demographic questions about gender, income, race, relationship to student and more. Gain an understanding about the educational needs across your school district and ensure that school programmes and funding support all of your students.
  • Community and faith-based institutions. Use demographic surveys to better understand how your community works. Is one part of your community older, with many elderly people who may need more ambulance or in-home services? Where do most of your younger families with primary school-aged children live and do they have safe cycle paths and nearby public parks? Is your place of worship meeting the needs of the community that surrounds you? Understand their ethical attitudes versus common norms. Use demographic surveys with anonymised responses for specific neighbourhood insights.
  • Non-profit programmes. Get to know the people who can benefit from your non-profit programme the most. Demographics information can help you provide relief for people in areas affected by natural disasters, distribute resources to the underserved or run programmes for families with serious health conditions. Many non-profit programs address the needs of specific demographic populations. Do you understand yours? Is it changing? Ageing? Moving? Use demographic surveys from time to time to ensure that your programmes reflect the evolving needs of those you serve.

Sample Demographic Survey Templates

Use surveys as a tool for learning more about your customers, clients, employees or citizens. Start with our survey templates or create your own. Professional survey methodologists write all of our templates, so you can use them as is. You can also customise templates to suit your needs or create your own using the certified questions available in our Question Bank.

Here are a few expert-designed demographic survey templates:

  • U.S. Demographics, Snapshot Template. This seven-question template asks respondents about gender, age, education, employment, household income and race.
  • U.S. Demographics, Full Template. In addition to the six questions posed in the Snapshot Template, this 12-question template asks about geographical location, housing, marital status, ethnicity, business or farm ownership and personal income.
  • Employment Template. With two quick questions, learn about respondents’ employment status, the type of work they do and the industry they work in.
  • Education Demographics Template. Discover the makeup of your academic community with 16 basic demographic questions about gender, income, race, relationship to student and more.
  • Firmographics Template. Learn more about your B2B customers or clients with this 10-question survey that asks when the company was founded, where it’s headquartered, the number of employees and locations and the job and title of the individual who’s responding.
  • Target Market Demographics Template and Typical Customer Demographics Template. These B2B, nine-question survey templates help your business customers understand their end customers. Demographic questions include age, gender, education level, employment status, annual household income, marital and family status, housing, business and farm ownership.

How to distribute demographic surveys

Online surveys are a great way to reach a broad audience. You can post demographic questionnaires to your website, send them via email or ask for responses via Facebook and other social media channels.

3 quick tips to improve survey response rates

We provide guides about how to write good survey questions, as well as how to create and conduct surveys. Check them out! And in the meantime, try these tips to encourage respondents to complete your surveys.

  1. Make responses anonymous. Many people are sensitive about offering demographic information that they consider private, such as income level, employment status and race or ethnicity. If you’re surveying for broad demographic patterns or trends, consider making responses anonymous – and ensure that you let your respondents know that this is the case.
  2. Explain the purpose of your survey. Explain the purpose of your survey in a brief introduction. Tell your respondents how you’ll use the information. For example: “We want to know more about our customers and what they want. This information will help us put together the right mix of products and services to ensure your delight and satisfaction!”
  3. Be brief. Shorter surveys are easier for respondents to complete. Make sure that you indicate how long yours will take.

3 quick tips to improve survey response rates

Here are some ideas to ensure that respondents will answer your surveys.

1. Be quick

If your survey is short and sweet, there's a greater chance that more respondents will complete it.

2. Offer incentives

Little incentives like small discount or an entry into a drawing can help ensure respondents complete your survey.

3. Buy a targeted audience

With SurveyMonkey Audience, you can purchase access to an audience who meets specific demographic criteria for your survey. It's a great way to get targeted responses from a specific group.

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