Talk:Demographics

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Demographics (definition paragraph)[edit]

"Commonly-used demographics include sex, race, age, income, disabilities, mobility (in terms of travel time to work or number of vehicles available), educational attainment, home ownership, employment status, and even location. Distributions of values within a demographic variable, and across households, are both of interest, as well as trends over time. Demographics are frequently used in economic and marketing research. It is important to distinguish between demographics and psychographics."

This opening passage seems to me to be rather at odds with later definitions of demographic "cohorts"

For example (Generation X): "Key characteristics: quest for emotional security, independent, informality, entrepreneurial"

Such characteristics sound pretty psychographic (q.v.) to me.

Have we opened a semantic can of worms? It wouldn't be the first time that Business Experts have managed to confuse the rest of us. Certainly, the two fields seem to have become highly intertwined and pretty tricky to distinguish. Anyone care, for my sake, to give it a go?

I suppose it may be that psychographics have already become a subset of (or, at any rate, intersection with) demographics - rather than a distinct field as implied? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eric Colvin (talkcontribs) 12:46, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Eric —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eric Colvin (talkcontribs) 12:41, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Cohorts[edit]

, but it seems to refer to the US population, and may not apply to, say, Australia or South Africa. This should be clearly stated in the text, or the text rewritten from a more global perspective. /Filur 1 Aug. 2004.

That is a good point. Come to think of it, there are several qualifications that should be mentioned in using demographics. I will add a "criticisms and qualifications" section. mydogategodshat 18:08, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps the section that is US biased should be removed from this article and be put on the USA demographics page. It is definitely out of place here. Stonemaccas 18 Sep 2006.

There's something wrong with the first part of the article. It lacks the beginning and then it is all in bold font: "data refers to selected population characteristics as used in government, marketing or opinion research..." MrMPS 30 Sep 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by MrMPS (talkcontribs) 08:54, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Age group[edit]

Wouldn't it be interesting to also put the names of the age groups, e.g. youth = upto the age of 25 according to the UN, and then babies, kids, youth, young adults, adults, active retired, elderly, or so ?--OLPC - Sven AERTS (talk) 22:17, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Languages[edit]

If I'm writing an article about a country/region of the world, is it better to describe languages in the section about culture or demographics and why? I see it is not listed among demographic variables. --Eleassar777 10:53, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Good article nomination[edit]

This article was nominated for Good article status, but I don't think it fully meets the criteria yet. The first section title, 'Demographics is an applied art', seems somewhat strange to me, there is a large list under 'Demographic variables' which ought to be turned into prose, and a {{globalise}} tag under 'Generational cohorts' indicates problems there. Worldtraveller 10:39, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

On Demographics vs. Demography[edit]

If the term demographics is often erroneously used in place of demography, why do Wikipedia editors and contributors keep generating these "Demographics of . . . [country name]" articles? There are so many of these, and I am too unskilled to try to address this, that somebody needs to take charge and produce a renaming and a redirecting of links throughout the site.

Demographics is a media and advertising term. It is not a term that describes either a scientific field (demography or, more broadly, population studies) or the "population" (colloquially the "demography") of a given society or region.

Every one of those "demographics of . . ." articles should be changed either to "Demography of . . . " or "Population of . . . ", except for articles on the "demographics of media audiences" or something akin to that in which the jargon of that business can be recognized.

This is a plea for somebody to take charge and fix this minor but burgeoning abomination.Mack2 18:01, 7 July 2006 (UTC)


→ It's becoming an increasingly common usage of the noun. What should be done depends on whether Wikipedia should be defending historic usage or documenting current trends. See The Economist for multiple examples.[1] I think advertisers etc may have successfully marketed the term to a broader community. - 86.139.189.138

Editing hundreds of articles based on one's own interpretation of a somewhat ambiguous term seems to go against the spirit of wiki. Especially when the dictionary definition allows for the interpretation the original authors chose to take. If you were actually rewriting the articles for content, it would not be enough to simply state "that's not how I see it" or "scientists in the field say..." and simply start editorializing. Going by the dictionary definitions, the term "demographics" is a perfectly acceptable term for the selected population statistics included in the broad country study articles. In my opinion, the "Demographics of ____" heading should remain as it is within the broader country/region articles, and perhaps the heading "Demography of ____" can be used for the larger, more ambitious, population studies of the each individual states/regions. Alternatively, any debate could probably be avoided altogether by simply changing the heading to "Population Characteristics" like Encarta has done. 66.57.252.226 06:56, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

I also came here to see what wiki had to say on the meaning of 'demographics', because it was being used in geography articles as a heading. My common usage understanding of the word is that it means statistical information about something, or the study thereof. My own 1990 dictionary says demographics: data resulting from the science of demography, and demography: the scientific study of human populations, especially with relation to their size, structure and distribution. So on that basis, the articles would be correctly titled 'demographics of...', and quote lots of statistics. It would appear to me that, according to my quite large dictionary, the article is wrong in its definition of these two terms. At the least, it should explain that there is a possible different understanding of the terms.
My own interest was how broad the term demographics is, and whether when discussing a population it would include information about the land area, climate, how wet it is, all that sort of stuff which undoubtedly affects and influences the people living there, even though it might not be the sort of information collected by modern advertising executives. I suspect that a difference in understanding of the terms has crept in because such people are only interested in a subset of the total information. Sandpiper (talk) 13:29, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
I completely agree with you dictionary. However the key phrase is "the scientific study of human populations". Once human population is no longer an essential part of the study (as in climate, landmass etc. which will be the same regardless of population) it is no demography; I do agree that if climate has an effect on the population (e.g. in the arctic region people tend to protect themselves against cold) it is interesting from demography; but without such reference not. Arnoutf (talk) 18:48, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Non-families[edit]

I notice that a lot of Wikipedia articles use some sort of template putting households into four categories: "had children under the age of 18 living with them", "were married couples living together", "had a female householder with no husband present", and "non-families". These categories do not add up to 100%;, for examples see Downers Grove, Willowick, Ohio, etc etc. Any ideas about where this came from, and how it can be addressed? It seems like a category generated as part of a marketing strategy. Novickas 17:10, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Generational Cohorts[edit]

Are those born during the brief 1977-83 period generation-less?


That's exactly what I was thinking what's the deal?? I'll quote below

"Generation X cohort (born from 1965 to 1976) Memorable events: Challenger explosion, Iran-Contra, social malaise, Reaganomics, AIDS, safe sex, fall of Berlin Wall, single parent families

Key characteristics: quest for emotional security, independent, informality, entrepreneurial Generation Y cohort also called N Generation (born from 1983 to 2007) "

Seems to be years 1977 through 1982 are wandering generation lost. :)

I was recently at a business conference and they where talking about the generations and they referred to the N Generation as the milenials, or the milenial generation, those who haven't known a time before the computer

Cohorts in the United States[edit]

- The cohort limits have not been defined particularly close to consensual years - the lack of references has contributed to this I think. Generation Y (a.k.a the net generation, iGeneration, etc etc) is, in academic literature, typically assumed to be born from 1977-1994. The millenials are 1995 onwards, with Gen X finishing in 1976. The 1977-1982 gap in the article could be closed by referring to literature.

I've recently read Schuman & Scott's article "Generations and Collective Memories" and exchanged emails w/ Prof. Schuman himself. His article doesn't attribute any cultural labels to specific periods of time, such as "Generation X" or "Millenial," nor does Prof. Schuman explicitly divide the Baby Boomer era into two numbered "cohorts," as far as I know. These references are misleading and should be cleaned up, or specific citations should be provided.--Sophosmoros (talk) 17:19, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

First sentence is nonsensical[edit]

The first sentence of the article is currently: "Demographics or demographic data refers to when a goal selected population characteristics as used in government, marketing or opinion research, or the demographic profiles used in such research.". This is completely ungrammatical. In fact, it's so bad that even as a native speaker of English I can't intuit what the person who wrote it was trying to say. I would like to refrain from such blunt criticism without offering constructive advice for improvement, but I have no background in demographics whatsoever and do not know a commonly accepted or citable definition of the field to replace this gibberish with. Luke Maurits (talk) 03:44, 26 October 2008 (UTC)of what

No need to whip out the thesaurus to prove that you are a good English speaker/reader/writer. Also, it actually makes sense if you read it carefully. Though it doesn't matter now as its been reworded. If there was something to complain about, I would say that it sounds like its from a dictionary versus a verifiable source. Jcmcc450 (talk) 18:38, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Vandalism[edit]

Undid vandalism that claimed demographics is the study of underwear :). psycherhexic (talk) 23:26, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

USA centric[edit]

The list of US demographic groups is interesting but is appropriate in the article about the Demographics of the United States. Other countries have their own unique demographic groups or names associated with them. Not every country has "baby boomers" or "Generation Xers". As the globalize tags have been in the article for a while and nothing has been done, I have proceeded to remove the USA centric material, in line with WP:BIAS. Wapondaponda (talk) 20:18, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

  • It's not "biased" and it's inappropriate to simply remove large swaths of sourced material. If you want to make a section on British, French, or Nigerian demographics, feel free. But do not simply remove large swaths of sourced material. UnitAnode 20:19, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
The bias in this article is plain as daylight. I was just about to add globalize tags when I realized that someone else had added them. So this is not my own observation alone, others have made it too. There is no need to have sections on "British, French, or Nigerian demographics" because there is already a list at Demographics of present-day nations and states. The scope of this article should only cover demographics in general. There is no need for specific detail of the demographics of any one nation, except for brief examples. Wapondaponda (talk) 20:35, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
I have started a thread at the NPOV noticeboard for outside input. Wapondaponda (talk) 04:35, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
responding to the NPOV noticeboard announcement. two points:
  • there are two sections 'Cohorts in the United States' and 'U.S. Demographic birth cohorts' that are largely redundant and should be combined. I can take care of that if no one objects.
  • I think Wapondaponda (what a god-awful user name - lol) is correct that US demographics should all go to the US demographics page, and this page should link to that as the main article. My thought is that this article should have a list of national and transnational cohorts, and I expect that list will (over time) get quite long - it will be a normal content fork to farm extended discussions of each nation out to individual pages. let me know what you think about that structure. --Ludwigs2 05:53, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
  • lol. I think some of the content can be moved to the cohort article. Cohort groups are just one of several demographic groups, so once again cohorts should not dominate an article about demographics. The concept of a generational cohort is pretty much a cultural phenomenon that will have peculiarities specific to different regions of the worlds (see [:Category:Cultural generations]]). Standard demographics will simply involve the age structure or age pyramid which can be applied to any region of the world. I would therefore suggest a discussion on age structure and the concept of cohorts. Only a few cohort examples are needed here, but links can be provided to more detailed articles. The content of this article should be consistent with other articles listed in the Demographics of present-day nations and states for example, Demographics of Brazil. Also the CIA factbook has a standard template for demographic profiles of nations such as for Brazil. Wapondaponda (talk) 12:03, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Merge discussion[edit]

KimberHM1 (talk) 15:54, 6 November 2013 (UTC)=== merge and redirect to demography ===

Merge This is article is much lower in quality compared to demography. I'm not sure much can be done to fix it, and suggest that it makes more sense to redirect to that page. Declanscottp (talk) 08:15, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Merge I believe there's a strong amount of redundancy between demographics and demography, making a merge appropriate. It's true that these are two different concepts in a dictionary sense, but they're as highly interrelated. I think they complement each other well in providing readers with context. Demography is the study of population, and demographics is what such studies produce. Vcessayist (talk) 20:19, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Oppose the merge: "Demographics" remains a colloquial term for "demographic data," and is used especially by people working in advertising, market research, the media, and polling. Professional demographers scarcely ever use the term "demographics". One could verify this by doing a scan of mainline professional journals in demography, e.g., Demography, Population Studies, and Population and Development Review. What WP has done in providing a section labelled "demographics" in every country article (rather than, say, the label "demographic profile") is to apply jargon from market research and the media, not the professional terminology of the field of demography.~Mack2~ 07:52, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

Merge it! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 212.74.62.252 (talk) 08:34, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Merge and move I was opposed at first due to the slight difference in meaning, but after looking at both articles I suggest (if this is feasible—I've done some merges and some page moves but never both together yet) merging Demographics into Demography and then moving the page to Demographics (the more-common word—this will probably entail first deleting the redirect resulting from the merge). I may be able to help if needed. All the best, Miniapolis (talk) 16:02, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
I strongly Oppose this solution. Demography is an academic field devoted to the scientific study of population. Demographics is not an academic field. It is not a science. People don't take courses in it in college. Demographics are certain types of population data, not a field of study. They are typically synoptic, descriptive data summarizing a few key characteristics of a population, audience, or subjects/respondents (participants) in a study or report. It would be a serious mistake to retitle the current "Demography" article as "Demographics."~Mack2~ 04:27, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Merge. As clear cut a case as I've seen of namespace muddling. Note mack2 has voted twice above, there's only 1 opposing voice ATM. Don't see why mack2's position can't be accommodated and this merged into the other, especially if e's going to do it.Lycurgus (talk) 06:10, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
    Nope and here's why. Please note my opposition to the last proposal was motivated above all by the proposal to "disappear" the topic of demography and to use the supposed "more common word." That is about as misinformed as one can be. Demography is a scientific discipline. The "more common word" ("demographics") is not a scientific discipline. That kind of proposal is akin to saying Wikipedia doesn't need an article on "meteorology" because "the more common word" is "weather forecasting". Nope.~Mack2~ 02:13, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Move on, you're the only voice opposing the move and everybody is saying the merge target should be demography. Lycurgus (talk) 15:15, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Actually, it's like saying that an article on "meteorological" should be merged with "meteorology." "Demographic" is an adjectival form of "demography," and "demographics" is indeed just slang for "demographic information," which is information having to do with "demography." Merge it already. Nnebeel1 (talk) 20:45, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Don't Merge, They are two different words in the Dictionary so they should be two different articles on Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.184.19.94 (talk) 13:13, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Merge topics under Demography; keep Demographics as sub-heading. Demography is the scientific collection and study of demographic data, which the majority of non-scientists refer to as "demographics." Use the merged topic page as a vehicle to educate readers on the difference.

  • Merge Agree, merge with Demography; have small subsection explaining the use of the word "demographics" as a colloquial term for demographic data. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.226.118.217 (talk) 04:43, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree with this approach. Demographics as section within Demography article, with reference/link to the present "Demographics" article as the main article on the topic "demographics". What I opposed before and still oppose is that the title of the original article on Demography be changed to Demographics. Among other things, WP renaming an entire academic/scientific field would throw professional demographers into a tizzy.~Mack2~ 15:12, 9 March 2014 (UTC)