Insights Association Town Hall: Asking Demographic Questions on Race and Ethnicity

by Heather

Insights Association Town Hall: Asking Demographic Questions on Race and Ethnicity


InsightsNow recently worked with a collaborative research-on-research team through the Insights Association IDEA Council to help produce the report, “How to ask race and ethnicity in a more inclusive and sensitive way.” Continued testing, learning and evolving regarding methods of collecting demographics and designing the sampling are essential for our industry to collect more inclusive and representative results. This newly published report is just the beginning of more research-on-research into this topic through the IDEA Council.

Our senior director of client partnerships, Sara Yang, along with other involved researchers, presented the findings at the Insights Association’s Annual Conference as well as The Quirks Event Chicago in April. And in May, she participated in the IDEA Council’s Town Hall on the study. You can access the recording to learn more about this important topic.

Some high-level takeaways covered in the Town Hall meeting include:

Ask race and ethnicity only if needed—consider the study’s objectives, audience, and context
If race and ethnicity data are needed, use the recommended approaches from top-performing questions (see the report for details)

  • Allow multiple responses
  • Have detailed and inclusive response options
  • Use “Prefer to self-identify” and/or include “Not Listed” with write-in options (don’t use “other”)
  • Include a “Prefer not to answer” option so participants may opt out of the question

Definitive, data-backed guidance on the most accepted, inclusive and appreciated ways to ask demographic questions on race and ethnicity was uncovered by this groundbreaking research from the Insights Association IDEA Council, InsightsNow, Logica Research, Escalent, and other partners and sponsors. In the Town Hall recording, you will hear from researchers who conducted this study, learn about their key findings, and get top tips for survey designers.

Access the Town Hall recording here, check out our recent InsightsNow webinar on this topic, or reach out to us to learn how you can start designing more inclusive research.