Demographic profiles can be produced for almost any type or sized area, from a single city block to an entire state. This includes zip codes, counties/parishes, and custom drawn boundaries.
An exciting NEW method, based on the time it takes someone to drive to your church (or any other point) from their home, is demonstrated at drive-time studies.
The following illustrations demonstrate why you might choose one method over another to define your area of study.Ring-study
This is the standard method used for years. Concentric rings gather data from within the area of each radius, which can then be compared for further insight.
But what if this church is planning a mailout, and needs to understand how best to communicate with the households they will be mailing? For that information they would likely want to order a study defined by each particular zip code:
There are many reasons why a church might want data on just certain areas. Drastic socio-economic differences may be observed between one street and another. Someone planting a new ethnic-church may already know the areas where their target people live, and don't want to skew their data with information on people they won't likely reach.
This church is planning a block party to make contact with families that are within walking distance of the church. "Within walking distance" sounds like a good reason to use a ring-study. But the committee realizes that families with children will not be likely to cross the busy multi-lane streets near the church, so they need data from within the area defined by those busy thoroughfares on three sides, and where the neighborhood ends on the east.