What are Demographics?
Demographics are simply characteristics about a population of people. They are used in market research and by governments. For example, television ratings are measured in total people watching and the demographics of those watching. The number of males and females watching, as well as their ages, are the two most looked at demographics for television ratings.
Why are They Important For Television?
Demographics tell potential advertisers exactly who watches certain shows. For example, 75% of people who watch Judge Judy are female. Therefore, advertisers who are trying to sell products to women are more likely to buy advertising slots during the show. Sports are primarily watched by men, so products targeted to men are advertised during sports programs.
Why are They Important to Governments and Political Parties?
Simple! Governments and parties can survey groups of people to determine which groups of people will vote for them (or look at the approval ratings). They can then look at the weak demographics (it could be people aged 21-30) and work out ways to get more votes from this particular group of people. For example, in the last presidential election, 78% of the Jewish vote went to Obama. Jewish support - which made up 2% of the overall electorate - has, in recent years, been overwhelmingly Democrat; with Al Gore receiving 79% in 2000 and John Kerry 74% in 2004.