Top 11 Demographic Questions to Ask

SurveyPluto 04/18/2024 1696 words

Demographic questions are a major component of any survey. They help researchers and businesses better understand their target audience. By gathering information about respondents, organizations can tailor their products, services, and marketing strategies to better meet the needs and preferences of their customers. 

Some of the most essential demographic questions revolve around basic personal information. These details provide a foundation for understanding the diversity and composition of your survey respondents.

Most Common Demographic Questions

To help you create in-depth surveys, here are the top demographic questions to include.


Age is a critical factor in many aspects of life, from consumer behavior to health concerns. By asking respondents to select their age range, you can gain insights into how different generations perceive and interact with your brand.

Question Example: "What is your age group?"

Answer Examples:

● Under 18

● 18-24

● 25-34

● 35-44

● 45-54

● 55-64

● 65 or older


Gender plays a significant role in shaping individuals' experiences, preferences, and needs. When asking about gender, it's important to provide inclusive options beyond the traditional binary. 

Question Example: "Which of the following best describes your gender identity?"

Answer Examples:

● Male

● Female

● Non-binary

● Prefer to self-describe: ______

● Prefer not to say


Understanding the ethnic background of your respondents can help you identify cultural differences and tailor your offerings accordingly. 

Question Example: "Please indicate your ethnicity."

Answer Examples:

● White

● Singaporean

● Malay

● Filipino

● Chinese

● Indian

● Hispanic or Latino

● Black or African American

● Native American or American Indian

● Pacific Islander

● Others

Language Spoken at Home

Make sure to consider the language preferences of your audience, especially since the world in now increasingly globalized. Asking about the primary language spoken at home can help you determine the need for multilingual resources and support.

Question Example: "What is the primary language spoken in your household?"

Answer Examples:

● English

● Spanish

● Mandarin

● Other (please specify): ______


Location data is needed for businesses and organizations looking to understand their customer base and target specific geographic areas. By asking respondents about their country, state or province, city, and zip code, you can gain valuable insights into regional differences and preferences.

Question Example: "In which country and state/province do you currently reside?"

Answer Examples:

● Country: ______

● State/Province: ______

"What is your city and zip code?"

Answer Examples:

City: ______

Zip Code: ______


Education level is another key demographic factor that can influence individuals' attitudes, behaviors, and opportunities. By asking about respondents' highest level of education completed, you can better understand their knowledge, skills, and socioeconomic status.

Question Example: "What is the highest level of education you have completed?"

Answer Examples:

● Some high school

● High school graduate

● Some college

● Bachelor's degree

● Graduate degree


Employment status and occupation can provide valuable insights into respondents' income levels, purchasing power, and professional interests. Consider asking about current employment status and industry or job title.

Question Example: "What is your current employment status?"

Answer Examples:

● Employed full-time

● Employed part-time

● Unemployed

● Student

● Retired

Relationship Status

Relationship status can influence individuals' living arrangements, financial decisions, and family responsibilities.

Question Example: "What is your current relationship status?"

Answer Examples:

● Single

● In a relationship

● Married

● Divorced

● Widowed

Personal or Household Income

Income is a sensitive but important demographic factor that can impact purchasing behavior and financial priorities. Ask about personal or household income in ranges to maintain respondents' privacy.

Question Example: "What is your total household income before taxes?"

Answer Examples:

● Under S$25,000

● S$25,000 to S$49,999

● S$50,000 to S$74,999

● S$75,000 to S$99,999

● S$100,000 or more

Children or Dependents

The presence of children or other dependents can significantly shape individuals' lifestyles, expenses, and decision-making processes. Knowing the number and ages of dependents can provide valuable context for your research.

Question Example: "How many dependents do you have?"

Answer Examples:

● None

● 1-2

● 3-4

● 5 or more

Hobbies and Interests

Finally, asking about respondents' hobbies and interests can help you understand their passions, values, and leisure activities. This information can be particularly useful for businesses looking to develop targeted products, services, or marketing campaigns. 

Question Example: "Which of the following hobbies or interests do you regularly engage in? (Select all that apply)"

Answer Examples:

● Sports

● Reading

● Travel

● Cooking

● Technology

Tips for Asking Demographic Survey Questions

When designing demographic survey questionnaires, be mindful of how you ask questions to ensure respondents feel comfortable providing this personal information. Here are some best practices to follow.

Explain the purpose of the survey

In the survey introduction, briefly explain how demographic information will be used and why it's important for your research objectives. You might say, "The following questions will help us better understand our diverse customer base. This information will only be used to improve our products and services,” or “This survey will help us understand and improve customer satisfaction.” 

Limit the number of demographic questions

Only include demographic questions that are truly necessary for your research goals. Aim to keep demographic questions to 10% or less of your total survey length. If you have a 20-question survey, include 2-3 key demographic questions at most.

Place demographic questions at the end

Asking personal questions right away can be off-putting. Instead, place your demographic questions at the end of the survey, after respondents have had a chance to engage with your main content. This can help build trust and increase response rates.

Use inclusive language

When asking about sensitive topics like gender or ethnicity, use inclusive language that allows respondents to self-identify. Provide a range of options, including "Prefer to self-describe" and "Prefer not to say," to respect respondents' privacy and identity.

Make demographic questions optional

Although demographic data is valuable, it's important to respect respondents' boundaries. Consider making some or all demographic questions optional, allowing respondents to skip them if they feel uncomfortable. Clearly label optional questions as such.

The Bottom Line

Demographic questions are a powerful tool for businesses and researchers looking to better understand and serve their target audience. 

SurveyPluto is a comprehensive survey platform that makes it easy to create, distribute, and analyze demographic surveys. With a user-friendly interface, customizable templates, and advanced reporting features, SurveyPluto simplifies the process of gathering and leveraging demographic data to drive better business decisions. 

Whether you're a small business owner, marketer, or researcher, SurveyPluto can help you unlock valuable insights and solve problems through the power of demographic surveys.

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