Demographics are statistics about people: How many people live in a specific area, where they work, what they buy, and how they live. These statistics can shape the delivery of a new product or service, or where a business is located.
It is mandated that every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau count all of the people in the United States and Puerto Rico. Along with counting the people, the Census Bureau also collects certain economic and social characteristics about everyone. Rather than doing the long form every 10 years, the Census Bureau is now taking an annual American Community Survey which provides an estimated count of many socioeconomic characteristics. The questions asked are those that help federal and state agencies carry out the services they provide as mandated by Congress. This mandate is a benefit to business owners, social service agencies and others who need demographic information.
The following information can get you started on your research.
An online source you should consult first is Census Business Builder . CBB is an interactive website that provides access to useful demographic and economic data from the Census Bureau and other reliable sources in an easy-to-use, map-based format.
Statistics are given for more than 40 variables, including:
Demographics Now  provides detailed demographic reports. Assess business viability, perform market and site location analysis, create sales leads and/or marketing mailing lists, find potential sponsors and donors to grow a non-profit, prepare a small business plan and much more.
The American Community Survey  (ACS) was created to give not just federal programs more timely data, but to also help you, the business owner, student, activist, and community organizer, the current demographic, social, economic and housing data that you need. The ACS:
The ACS will give you more detailed data than what is found in American Factfinder but only for larger geographical areas. The annual statistics are provided for places with populations of 65,000 or more, while the 3-year estimate data is provided for geographic populations of 20,000 or more. The geographic breakdowns include:
Data found in ACS but not on the Factfinder Factsheets include:
The Block Center also has several print resources that may help you with your demographic research. For additional information about these sources, contact an H&R Block Business & Career Center librarian by phone, 816.701.3717, or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org .