Demographic Questions: The Research Principal

Demographic questions are open, free and unlimited. These allow researchers to explore as much as possible the various information needed.

Demographic issues are important things that are always discussed in various forums. Every policy and decision taken by the government or professionals cannot be separated from the conditions of the population.

Maybe, you feel that demographic questions are private. Not infrequently, some refuse to provide actual data and information because they feel uncomfortable.

But, believe me, these questions are very valuable and become useful information for many parties.

The Importance of Demographic Questions

For the government, demographic questions can be decisive in policy-making, especially in the area of ​​population. Quality human development will never be achieved without the support of valid and accurate demographic data.

For example, if there are more women in an area than men, then the government must certainly provide special treatment. In regional conditions like this, public vehicles should be available in large quantities to facilitate mobility.

Road conditions must also be bright with lights so that women feel safe being on the trip.

Demographic data is also always a basic evaluation of applicable population policies. The government also routinely conducts population projections to monitor future demographic conditions.

For professionals, demographics determine decisions related to matters relating to their fields.

A businessman must be familiar with various types of demographic data. This information will determine the target market of the products they sell.

The more specific and detailed a demographic is, a businessman will know what type of product is right for the sale, how good the marketing strategy is, and how to treat it.

For academics, various demographic characteristics and questions are always developed to continue to answer various information needed in research.


Examples of Demographic Questions

There are many demographic questions that you can use. But, in this article, I only discuss the 8 main aspects that are often used in the questionnaire. Enjoy!

1. Respondent Characteristics

  • Name

Usually, names are not processed but are merely complementary identities. But sometimes, the name is an interesting thing to analyze. Have you seen research show the most frequent used names? This is where the data from.

  • Age

Age information is needed to get data based on age groups. This is a mandatory variable.

  • Gender

Gender information is needed to obtain data based on gender. Remember, there are only two genders in the world, male and female.

  • Ethnicity (race)

It is not only about nationality but also about tribes. Ethnicity can show people about how identity affects life.

Respodent characteristic in demograohic questions

2. Housing Characteristics

  • Type of house

You can use this question to get the type of house such as apartment, rent, private house, etc.

  • Source of water

This question is used to find out the main water source of the respondent’s use.

  • Drinking water source

It could be the same answer with the previous point, it could be not. Sometimes people have a different water source for drinking.

  • Type of toilet

One interesting question to find out the characteristics of a house is the toilet. Believe me, there are still houses that don’t have private toilets.

  • Widest type of floor

This question is used to find out the characteristics of the respondent’s largest type of floor.

  • Widest type of wall

This question is used to find out the characteristics of the respondent’s largest type of wall.

  • Widest type of roof

This question is used to find out the characteristics of the respondent’s largest type of roof.

  • Source of electricity

Electricity is our basic need. By using this question, you can information about the population based on their source of electricity.

housing characteristics

3. Educational Characteristics

  • Level of education

Asking this question is very useful for knowing population characteristics based on education level. We can know the composition of the population whether or not there are still obstacles in pursuing education.

  • Language skill

Being able to read and write well is one of the goals of this question. You can add this question to several other frequently used languages.

  • Number of books that have been read

Literacy is one aspect that is often compared to measure the success of education. This can be measured by the number of books a person has finished reading. The more books you read, the more knowledge a person has.

educational characteristics

4. Fertility Characteristics

  • First-year of childbirth

This question is used to find out what age the average population gives birth to the first child.

  • Use of contraception

I know, this is a sensitive question. But, you have to know that contraception is an issue that is one of the main focuses of the government in many countries. Its use is always monitored as a form of intervention against the birth period.

  • Number of children

Capturing the number of children is important to maintain population growth.

fertility characteristics

5. Mortality Characteristics

  • Causes of death of family members

This question is very useful to identify the cause of death.

  • Where family members die

This question is to health services received by the people.

  • Medical services of family members when they die
mortality characteristics

6. Marital Characteristics

  • Marital status

Capturing marital characteristics is another interesting part. Usually, there are 4 marital statuses used that are chosen; married, unmarried, death divorce, divorced.

  • First-year marriage

The first wedding year is a question that is used to find out the average age at which a person decides to get married.

Marital-status of demographic question

7. Information Technology Characteristics

  • Do you use a smartphone?

Please, don’t laugh. But there are people out there who do not use a smartphone. Really!

  • How long do you spend using your cellphone in a day?

The smartphone is life. It accompanies you throughout the day. The question is, how long do you spend your time for it?

  • How long do you spend on social media in a day?

Social media is addicted. It makes people forgot about their duty. Asking this question will help you to find how long people spend their time on social media.

information technology characteristics

8. Economic Characteristics

  • Employment status

There are several status jobs such as working, not working, self-employment,  and others.

  • Income

Another sensitive question, but income classification makes an interesting analysis.

  • Expenditure

If you want to analyze economic structure, expenditure is a necessity question.

economic characteristics

How to Introduce Demographic Questions in A Survey?

Sometimes, demographic questions are annoying. Who does want to tell people the detail of their life? What is the benefit for them?

I have to be honest, demographic questions can bother someone privacy. It broke the secret of personal lives.

We should have a better preparation to handle it.


1. Make sure that you master the questionnaire

Before you go to the respondent, you have to read every line of the questionnaire and know every inch of it. You have to know the question flow so you won’t make any mistake when interviewing.

2. Wear the polite and suitable clothes

If you must come to the respondent’s place, please wear good clothes. I know appearance is not important for several people. But, the first impression is very crucial to gain the respondent’s trust. Use perfume if you need.

If the respondent already trusts you, it would be easier for you to finish your job.

3. Bring your identity, do not forget to introduce yourself and what is your intention

Never leave your identity if you want to avoid trouble. Wear a badge, bring your letter of assignment, and introduce you’re self mannerly. Explain your intention in easy language so people will understand your purpose.

4. Never ask something that you have seen

Several characteristics like gender and house condition are something that you do not have to ask. You can see the answer by your self.

5. Ask for permission if you have a very-very personal question

You know, demographic questions can be annoying. It breaks someone’s privacy and secret. So, you have to ask permission if you need to know about the sensitive question. Things like fertility, mortality, and income are very sensitive, even for you.

If you have to, re-explain the purpose of the survey and make sure this is a closed question and you will guarantee the confidentiality of data from respondents.

Always be polite when introducing demographic questions in a survey


Demographic questions can be developed according to user needs. This question can reveal various interesting things that happen in life.

There are 8 demographic aspects which commonly used in research:

  • 1. Respondent Characteristics
  • 2. Housing Characteristics
  • 3. Educational Characteristics
  • 4. Fertility Characteristics
  • 5. Mortality Characteristics
  • 6. Marital Characteristics
  • 7. Information Technology Characteristics
  • 8. Economic Characteristics

You can also add other aspects to this question such as health, psychology, history, etc. You have complete freedom for creativity in compiling a list of questions.

But, you must be careful when asking demographic questions to respondents. Don’t let them be offended by your question.

Do not hesitate to leave a comment!