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State demographics are statistical data based on the population of a certain state. A state demographic is a fairly large and varied population, since states include people of many different ages, education levels, and ethnicities. State demographics are used for many different purposes, often political ones. Smaller demographics, such as those found in a certain region, are also often used for marketing purposes. Put simply, state demographics provide generalized information about the groups of people living in a certain state; by nature, it is tough to take individual variances into account, which is one of the most common criticisms of this type of information gathering and use.
This type of statistical data is collected on a rolling basis in many different ways. One of the most common ways is through census data, which generally tells researchers the population numbers of people in the state, their ages, ethnicity, and sometimes income levels if people are willing to provide that information. Additional research surveys may also be disseminated throughout the state during the year, asking people everything from their shopping habits to their level of education, to religious beliefs. Surveys also often track the amount that people drive, and the distance they travel to work. All of this information is then combined to create state demographics.
Information of this sort is often then tracked to determine how states change over time, and when and why population shifts occur, to determine if they are tied to a specific event, or are a more general trend. Sometimes it is used for public policy development, though it is frequently used for specific marketing purposes as well. The great deal of information that people willingly provide for free online, such as through social networking websites, is often used to compile demographic data for marketing purposes or sociology studies.
One of the most common reasons to collect these statistics and prepare state demographics is for political purposes. Each time a vote is conducted in a state, demographic data is collected, which is then used by politicians when they are preparing future campaigns to ensure they target each state in the most effective way. This data is also collected based on voter registration and the other demographic information mentioned above, such as income levels and amount of education. This is because statistics like these tend to be very good predictors of the manner in which people will vote, and the issues which are most important to them.