Demographic Question Recommendations

Demographic Questions for Divisional Surveys

Divisions have asked the Advisory Council on Community and Diversity (ACCD) for advice on wording demographic questions in surveys and assessments. We gathered a team of Emory experts in data collection, survey methods, and diversity in higher education to develop this list of recommended questions, which were approved by the ACCD 2014. We recognize the need to keep surveys short, so think carefully about why you are asking demographic questions before you include them. For example, do you need to know a person's sex (biology) in a climate survey? "What is your gender?" will almost always be more appropriate.

We used Emory's nondiscrimination policy categories as the basis for our demographic questions. We tried to balance the need to have:

  1. Questions sensitive to the shifting landscape of self-identification, and
  2. Questions used widely so that data can be compared to existing Emory data and/or national benchmarks

General recommendation: Questions should not require an answer, and/or unknown/unsure/decline to answer should be options.

A. Country Rationale: Emory HR list of countries

What is your country of origin?

Please contact Human Resources for the most current list of countries.

B. Race/Ethnicity Rationale: U.S. government, National Center for Education Statistics (IPEDS)

1. Are you Hispanic or Latino?

  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Not Hispanic or Latino

2. What is your race? Please indicate one or more:

  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Asian
  • Black or African American
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
  • White
C. Sex/Gender/Sexual Orientational Rationale: Consultation with Emory LGBT Life, Center for Women, Office of Planning and Budgeting, and the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals

1. What is your sex? Check one or more.

  • Female
  • Intersex
  • Male
  • Other (please describe) _____________

2. What is your gender? Check one or more.

  • Man
  • Transgender
  • Woman
  • Other (please describe) _____________

3. What is your sexual orientation? Check one or more.

  • Asexual
  • Bi/Pansexual
  • Gay/Lesbian
  • Heterosexual
  • Other (please describe) _____________
D. Disability Rationale: Consultation with ADSR and Learning and Skills Development Agency "Guidance for colleges and other post-16 education providers on implementing the Disability Discrimination Act"

Do you have any kind of disability?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Unsure
E. Veteran's Status Rationale: Similar to Emory's self-identification form

Are you a (1) disabled veteran; (2) recently separated veteran; (3) active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran; or (4) Armed Forces service medal veteran?

  • Yes
  • No
F. Religion Rationale: Consultation with Undergraduate Admission and Religious Life; use religious background question used in the college common application

What is your religious preference? Check one or more.

  • Anglican (Episcopal)
  • Bahá'í
  • Baptist
  • Buddhist
  • Caodaiist
  • Cheondoist
  • Christian Scientist
  • Church of Christ
  • Church of World Messianity
  • Confucianist
  • Congregationalist (UCC)
  • Disciples of Christ
  • Friend (Quaker)
  • Hindu
  • Jain
  • Jehovah's Witness
  • Jewish
  • Latter-day Saint (Mormon)
  • Lutheran
  • Methodist
  • Moravian
  • Muslim
  • Orthodox
  • Other - Christian
  • Other - Non-Christian
  • Pentacostal
  • Presbyterian
  • Rastafari
  • Reformed
  • Roman Catholic
  • Seicho-no-Ie-ist
  • Seventh Day Adventist
  • Sikh
  • Taoist
  • Tenrikyoist
  • Unitarian Universalist (UU)
  • Wiccan (Pagan)
  • Yazidi
  • None
G. Age Rationale: Office of Planning and Budgeting suggestion so that data may be looked at in different ways -- i.e. under 40 versus 40 and over, generational groups, etc.
  • Age in years: _____________