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Demographer

Demographers plan and conduct research to study characteristics of human populations such as size, growth, composition, mobility, and distribution.

Also Known As

Demographic / Population Analyst, Population Specialist, Social Scientist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Statisticians (2161.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Mathematicians, Statisticians and Actuaries (C061) 
  • 2011 NOC: Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries (2161) 
  • 2016 NOC: Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries (2161) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Statisticians

2006 NOC: 2161.2

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
INNOVATIVE

Interest in synthesizing information to extend knowledge on the mathematical basis of statistics, and to develop statistical methodologies

METHODICAL

Interest in applying statistical theory and methods to provide information in scientific and other fields such as biological and agricultural sciences, business and economics, physical sciences and engineering, and the social sciences

DIRECTIVE

Interest in consulting to advise on the applications of statistical methods and analyses

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Apr 08, 2022

Demographers study data to determine the causes and consequences of changes in the characteristics of human populations. Much of a demographer’s work involves:

  • Developing registration systems and surveys to collect data
  • Collecting and analyzing statistics concerning births, deaths, and migration
  • Collecting, describing, and analyzing other population characteristics such as age, sex, marital status, ethnicity, ancestry, school attendance, education level, employment, occupation, income, and household size and composition
  • Producing estimates and projections of population size and other demographic characteristics
  • Communicating analytic results in reports, academic papers, and other documents

In government and planning organizations, demographic statistics and projections are used to plan for and respond to population changes in an informed and reasonable manner. Changing demographics have far-reaching implications in many areas, including education, health, and social programs.

Identifying, tracking, and predicting population trends is vital to organizations involved in many activities. These may include drafting social and economic policy, planning city services and infrastructure, and developing public health, education, and labour force strategies.

In business and industry, demographic analysis improves a company’s understanding of:

  • Who its current and potential customers are
  • How its markets are changing in size, location, and characteristics
  • How products or services may have to change to respond to evolving customer or client needs
  • Where future opportunities might lie

Demographers in applied business settings often take on the role of market analysts. They plan, conduct research, write technical reports, and present their findings to management and clients.

Working Conditions
Updated Apr 08, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Demographers generally work standard hours in an office environment. They may work overtime to meet project deadlines. Some travel may be required to collect data or conduct surveys.

Traits & Skills
Updated Apr 08, 2022

Demographers need:

  • An interest in societal trends
  • Mathematical and problem-solving skills
  • Communication skills
  • The ability to be objective, analytical, and creative
  • The ability to translate social issues and questions into numbers
  • The ability to draw insights and conclusions from data
  • The ability to present data in a way that is easily understandable and useful

Demographers should enjoy synthesizing data, applying demographic and statistical theories and methods, and advising others regarding statistical methodology and analytical techniques.

Educational Requirements
Updated Apr 08, 2022
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary

Most demographers have a university degree in sociology, economics, geography, or statistics, and experience in applying statistical theories and techniques. Traditionally, the preferred qualification has been a master’s degree in demography. A master’s in economics or sociology with a focus on demography plus a background in statistics or mathematics has also been good.

In recent years, graduates of marketing programs have begun to move into the field. The influence of computers in demography has created job opportunities for computer science graduates. Experience with statistical analytical programs, geographic information systems (GIS) programs, or fluency in a second language can be a definite asset.


To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Apr 08, 2022
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Apr 08, 2022

Demographers work for:

  • Statistics Canada and other federal government departments
  • Provincial and territorial government departments
  • Research, policy, and planning branches of large municipal governments
  • School boards, health authorities, and social agencies
  • Universities
  • International organizations working in areas such as development aid and population planning
  • Public opinion polling firms
  • Businesses and consulting companies such as market research and actuarial firms

Demographers employed in private industry often have duties that are not strictly demographic in nature. Those working in universities may teach courses outside the field of population and carry out population-related research. Some demographers operate their own consulting businesses.

Advancement often requires a master’s or doctoral degree.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2161: Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries occupational group, 78.1% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 2161: Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 10% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 20 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Sep 29, 2022

Salaries vary widely in this occupation.

Demographers are part of the larger 2016 National Occupational Classification 2161: Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries.

According to the 2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries occupational group earned on average from $38.83 to $51.54 an hour. The overall average was $46.51 an hour. For more information, see the Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries wage profile.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Apr 08, 2022

Canadian Population Society website: www.canpopsoc.ca

Society of Edmonton Demographers website: sites.google.com/site/sedtoday/home

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2022. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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