Gather population-related data.

What does a Demographer do?

Demographers are paid to count populations in defined geographic areas. Their job is to win what amounts to a really big, really complex jellybean counting contest.

As a Demographer, you’re employed by government agencies, corporations, Mapmakers, nonprofits, news organizations, utility companies, and market research firms. A Social Scientist who’s equally enamored with people, numbers, and trends, you spend your days studying the makeup, distribution, and characteristics of communities, and producing data sets that describe the quantitative attributes of the human population. For instance, you might study birth rates, death rates, life expectancy, age distribution, immigration, gender makeup, racial and ethnic composition, employment, educational attainment, homeownership, family size, or any number of other population-related statistics.

No matter what demographic data you’re after, you’re charged with collecting data – often with the help of Statisticians, Pollsters, and Market Researchers – then analyzing it in order to determine its causes and effects. Your ultimate goal is to identify current trends and predict future ones for the purpose of planning communities, managing resources, funding institutions, building infrastructure, etc.

Although you won’t win any candy at the end of the average workday, you’ll still go home every day knowing that you gave the best guess!