The demography of a region includes population size and composition, as well as key socio-economic attributes such as literacy levels and wide or narrow disparities in a society’s distribution of income. Theoretically, the larger the total population in a region, the larger the potential market that will exist. In addition, the composition of a population in terms of age and sex will also influence the potential demand for specific products. For example, if a company wishes to market disposable nappies abroad, the number of women in a particular target market who are of child-bearing age is an important influence on the potential demand for that product.

In effect, demographic factors such as literacy levels serve to stratify the total population into two different segments – those people who are likely to be potential consumers and those who are not.

An overall increase in population size is therefore relevant to potential demand. Stratification of the overall market by demographic characteristics also helps to identify significant changes in potential marketing opportunities. For example, the ageing of the post-War ‘baby-boomers’ is creating a growing worldwide market for products and services geared to affluent and middle-income families.