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[Using demographic statistics in market studies and specifically for the business planning] Utilisation des statistiques demographiques dans les etudes de marche et specifiquement pour les plans des entreprises.
In: Utilisation des statistiques demographiques au Cameroun. Actes d'une Seminaire tenu du 16 au 19 Juillet 1984 a Yaounde. Yaounde, Cameroon, Ministere du Plan et de l'Amenagement du Territoire, 1985 Jul. 308-32.This article assesses the potential use of demographic statistics in determining the volume and structure of consumption through market studies and the sources of demographic data used in market studies, and presents concrete examples of demographic data use in market studies in Cameroon. The age and sex structure of the population influences the availability of labor and the extent of the market for particular products, while the socioeconomic structure is related to income and purchasing power. Population movements of particular interest to business planning include rural-urban migration, change in the numbers of households or household size, and change in household budgets. Population growth, determined by prevailing patterns of fertility, mortality, and migration, is the most important determinant of total consumption of many products. The 3 major data sources for market studies are population censuses, demographic surveys, and civil registration systems. Censuses furnish exhaustive statistics on individual and collective characteristics for population units of all sizes, serve as bases for sampling studies, and are useful for study of population movement. Budget-consumption studies with demographic content are the usual method of determining effective consumption. The budget-consumption survey underway in Cameroon is expected to yield data on a wide range of household expenditures. A well-functioning civil registration system combined with accurate knowledge of migratory trends would permit calculation of the population growth rate. Concrete examples of market studies undertaken in Cameroon using available demographic data include a footwear manufacturer that used demographic data to help estimate the proportion of shoes to offer for different ages and sizes of feet, a producer of school notebooks who used data on population structure to determine the number of each type of notebook to produce, and a life insurance company which needed to structure rates to fit Cameroon, a country with few actuaries. A cigarette company and a brewery requiring data for planning of distribution and possible expansion are other examples of enterprises requiring demographic data. Limited availability of official statistics and out-of-date data forced each company to some extent to develop supplementary data collection systems.