Most Important Demographic Characteristics by ZIP Code

We refer to audience analysis as analyzing the audience based on its demographic characteristics, and then psychological traits. Demo- is a Greek root word that means “people” and “graphic” refers to description or drawing. Demographic characteristics by ZIP code refer to the outside characteristics of the audience located in a certain ZIP code area. 

Below, we will be discussing ten of these characteristics. However, you may see shorter or longer lists in other sources. Some are obvious, while others may not be as obvious. 

Different ways to find demographic characteristics by ZIP Code

Depending on what specific information you are looking for, one way to find out demographic characteristics by zip code is to look at census data. The U.S. Census Bureau provides detailed information on demographics for each zip code in the United States. This information can be found on their website or by contacting the bureau directly.

Another way to find out demographic information by zip code is to look at data from commercial sources such as marketing firms or consumer research companies. These companies often have detailed information on demographics for specific zip codes, which they use to target their products and services. This information is usually available for a fee.

Finally, another way to find demographic information by zip code is to use 

Specialized software that provides US demographics analysis for each zip code in the State. ZipScore AI allows you to browse demographic data using an interactive US ZIP code map.

Why are demographic characteristics by zip code important?

There are a number of reasons why demographic characteristics by zip code are important. 

First, they can provide valuable information about potential customers for businesses. This can help businesses target their marketing and advertising efforts more effectively. 

Additionally, demographic data can be used to help identify areas where there is a need for specific services or products. 

Finally, this information can also be helpful in determining where to locate new businesses or services.

Top demographic characteristics to watch out for


Age is the first demographic characteristic. American culture has traditionally assigned certain roles, behaviors and motivations to people of certain ages. People over 60 worry about their retirement, while young people are worried about their career choices. College is open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 24. People over 50 are considered “empty nesters” because they have had children and raised their families. Although these neat categories are still relevant for many, some of them seem obsolete.

The National Center for Education Statistics (2015) reports that 38% of college students have reached 25. Women and men sometimes wait until their late thirties before they have children. Preteens are often present in the home at fifty. Grandparents are raising grandchildren more and more, both middle- and lower-income. Due to the fact that Americans live longer and the 2008 economic recession, many people don’t believe 62 is a good age for retirement.

 It is important to know the age of your audience, whether they are 18, 55, 70, or 70. However, it is only one factor. For example, your classroom audience may include 30-year-old nontraditional college students, entrepreneurs, young students with dual enrollment, 17-year-old dual enrollment students, veterans who have served three to four tours in the Middle East, as well as 18-year-old traditional college students.


Gender is the second most common demographic characteristic. This area is as susceptible to misinterpretation as any other. Contrary to popular belief, not all women own fifty pairs of stiletto heels and all men enjoy football. You will almost always be speaking to a mixed audience of men or women. This means you need to consider both genders. You might find it easier to share your common experiences with an audience that includes all men and all women if you speak to them all. If you’re a woman speaking in front of an all-male audience or a male speaking in front of an all-female audience then it is important to recognize the gender differences in communication.

Deborah Tannen (2007), a scholar in linguistics and well-known author, states that men and women in America have different communication styles. Both styles are not necessarily good or bad and neither applies to all people. These communication styles can be very different. Not being able to recognize the differences can lead to communication problems. These principles are best applied to marital, family, and work relationships. However, they can also be used for public speaking.

Race, Ethnicity, Culture

Culture, race, and ethnicity are often lumped together. However, this can lead to some confusion. Because of their interrelationship, we will include race, ethnicity and culture in one section, even though they are separate categories.

One might think of the following racial groups: Asian, Caucasian, African and Pacific Islander. Each of these groups has many ethnicities. Caucasian ethnicities include those from North European, Arab, Indian (from India), Mediterranean and others. 

Each ethnicity also has its own culture. The Mediterranean ethnicities are Spanish, Greek, Italian and Spanish. Each subculture has its own culture. Many social scientists now see race as a social construct and reject it as a biological reality. It is a way of looking at humanity that has evolved over time, and it affects how we think about others.


Religion can be described as both an affiliation and commitment. It is a collection of beliefs and practices that relate to the transcendent, god, or the meaning of life. Polls show that most Americans have some form of religious affiliation, identity or connection, regardless of whether they are born into this group or not. It could be the place they were christened when they were infants, but it is a connection. About 23% of Americans are called “nones” by Pew Research (2015) because they don’t claim any religious affiliation.

A person can be affiliated with a religious group, but not necessarily commit to it. A member’s personal life may not be affected by the teachings and practices of a group such as a denomination. A member of an affiliation might develop his or her own beliefs, which may not be consistent with the organization. If the audience is not brought together by common faith concerns, or the group shares the same affiliations or commitments, religious faith might not be relevant to the topic or be a key factor in audience analysis.

Group Affiliation

We can observe that group affiliation is a demographic characteristic and source for identity. What groups are the majority members of? It is useful to find out if the audience members are mostly a Republican, Democrats or members of a union, professional organization, etc. Your motivation for speaking is often tied to the identity of the group. Be aware of the values and ties that the group holds together.


Another demographic characteristic is the region. It refers to where audience members live. This can be viewed in two ways. There are five regions in the country where we live: Northeast, Southeast and Midwest, Rocky Mountain Region, West Coast, Midwest, Midwest and Midwest. You can break down these regions even further by looking at the coastal Southeastern states. Americans, especially those in the East, are extremely conscious of their region or state and can identify strongly with it.

You can think of the region as “residence”, which refers to whether an audience lives in an urban, suburban, or rural area. While you might not consider being without a cell phone or Internet connection if you live in a city, many rural residents do not. Students in rural high schools might belong to clubs that are very different from those in cities.


Your presentation may be affected by your occupation. The majority of Americans choose their occupations to reflect their values, interests and abilities. As we interact with others in the same occupation, these values, interests and abilities are reinforced. Most likely, you are in college to pursue a career that is both financially rewarding and fulfilling. 

Sometimes, we spend more time at work than in any other activity except sleeping. Effective messages that recognize the value, diversity, and reasons behind occupations will be more successful. However, it is important to avoid using jargon specific to one occupation when speaking to different occupations.


Education is the next demographic characteristic. It is closely linked to occupation but is often a matter for choice. Education in the United States reflects how much information and training someone has received, but does not necessarily reflect intelligence. 

A bachelor’s degree in computer science or physics may be more knowledgeable than someone who has a Ph.D.. A credential is supposed to be a guarantee that you have learned certain skills or acquired certain knowledge. Employers, and others, see college degrees as proof of a person’s ability to complete an academic program. Our educational achievements are something we should be proud of.