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Business Management: Demographic & Market Research

Market Research

When doing market research, you are looking at the consumers. e.g. Who is buying, how much, from what firm, etc.

When doing industry research you are looking at who is operating in that industry. e.g. Who is manufacturing the product, how large are they, etc.

In order to see if there is room for you to enter the market you need to find out how big the market is, is it currently saturated with competition, what void would your product fill, who is already selling in the market, how strong are the current players in the market, and what does the industry look like overall.  

What if There Is No Data on My Market?
Sometimes there is no data or established market research covering a specific industry. This is often the case when an industry is fairly new--such as with technology-related markets. It can also be difficult or impossible to find much data where an industry is very specialized or very secretive.

Multicultural Marketing

The New Metro Minority Map: Regional Shifts in Hispanics, Asians, and Blacks from Census 2010.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has created the Census 2000 Special EEO File with tables for race and ethnic distributions for states, metropolitan areas, counties, and selected places in the United States.

The U.S. Census Bureau has also generated graphical representations of data e.g. Mapping Census 2000: The Geography of U.S. Diversity, which shows total population and population percentage change since 1990.

The Multicultural Economy from the Selig Center at the University of Georgia highlights the buying power of different groups:

African Americans

Detailed and historical socioeconomic statistics and demographic profiles for the Black Population in the United States are available from the Census Bureau.

African-American/Black Market Profile was originally compiled by the MPA: Magazine Publishers of America.

Experian Marketing Services has put together this brief Profile of African American Consumers and the longer African American Shopper Analysis.

Hispanic Americans

Socioeconomic statistics and demographic profiles for the U.S. population of Hispanic Origin are available from the Census Bureau.

Many reports dealing with demographics, labor, employment, income, and housing are covered by Research on Economics from the Pew Hispanic Center.

The Center for Latin American, Caribbean & Latino Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center offers many Latino Data Project Reports, including profiles of immigrants from specific countries.

Experian publishes a periodic report on The New American Consumer: Trends in Hispanic Consumer Demographics which can be requested


Asian Americans

Start with this summary from the Census Bureau on the Asian Population: 2010.

Other reports and tables on the Asian Population are also available from the Census Bureau:

One recent American Community Survey Brief covers The Foreign-Born From Asia: 2011.

A recently updated report on Asian Immigrants in the United States has been compiled by the Migration Policy Institute.

Asian-American Market Profile was compiled by the MPA: Magazine Publishers of America.

Native Hawaiian and American Indian

Consider this summary from the Census Bureau on The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Population in the United States, available as a PDF and PowerPoint slides.

More detailed socioeconomic statistics and demographic profiles on American Indian and Alaska Native Populations are also available from the Census Bureau.

Market Research Centers

A good starting point is CensusScope, which is a portal to Census 2010 and 2000 data, charts, graphs and maps. This site is a product of the Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN) at the University of Michigan. Several other research centers do provide summaries of their findings on their websites:

Other websites that have collected together demographic and social statistics include:

Web Resources

American Demographics is freely accessible for recent articles on consumer and demographic trends.

Many articles and reports are also available from the Population Reference Bureau. Topics include Employment, Income/Poverty, Race/Ethnicity, and Youth.

Some other publications of interest include:

Follow the Trendsspotting Blog for insights on Internet trends.

Other related tables from the U.S. Census Bureau include: