Demographers study the characteristics of human population. Sounds simple,
right? Hold on to your hat. Just as every one of us is different, there are
many ways demographers examine and classify the data they collect.
It all boils down to who is going to use the information that demographers
Federal and state authorities rely on this information to distribute funds
to the right projects. They also keep track of where the voters are. Often,
electoral boundaries are changed to reflect a shift in population, such as
when people move to the city to work.
When money is involved, economists are very interested in what demographers
have to say. Governments and businesses look to the data to get an idea about
where people earn and spend their money. Advertising and marketing departments
use demographers to help tell them what their customers like to buy.
Richard Evans is a demographer and consultant for Proctor and Gamble. When
disposable diapers were first introduced, he did the initial product surveys.
Later, he did similar work with Clorox bleach when the company found a steady
decline in its sales.
Medical and health professionals also look to demographers to help them
understand what is happening with our health.
Demographers may work for large public or private organizations, like the
federal government or the Gallup Organization. They may also work on their
own and contract out their services.
However, the gigantic scope of demographers' work almost always makes them
part of a larger project. Travel is becoming a thing of the past as the Internet
allows them to work from their desks.
Hours are usually 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. But big projects can easily
push the total week's hours to 60 or more.
Demographers spend a lot of time at a desk. Nearly every position has a
strong computer component. So eye, wrist and back strain may be an issue for
some. People with physical challenges should be able to do this job.