Demographic variables are characteristics inherent in individuals and groups. Common demographic variables include age, grade level, race, and sex. Indicators of socioeconomic status (SES) are common demographics considered in educational research. Income, occupation, education level, and possessions of the subjects or the subjects’ parents/family are common SES factors. The factors related to SES may be considered on their own or combined into an index or score. Other common demographic variables include marital status, family structure, religion, and political affiliation. This entry explores the use of demographic variables in educational research and policy.

Demographics in Research

Demographics cannot be manipulated or randomly assigned; therefore, research efforts using these variables are considered “quasi-experimental” designs. The lack of control over these variables makes it impossible for research on them to ...

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