Demographers are social scientists who examine population trends to determine what society might look like several years down the road. Demographers can work as anthropologists who rely heavily on demographic studies, or they may work as geographers who study population trends and how these various geographic factors influence these trends. Salaries for those working in these two fields differs somewhat, with geographers typically make more, on average, than anthropologists.
The average salary for geographers was $72,890, as of May 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By comparison, the average salary of those specializing in anthropology was $58,040. The median salary for geographers was $72,800, with the middle 50 percent earning between $56,960 and $88,260 per year, while the highest-paid geographers earned more than $102,440. Anthropologists, on the other hand, made median salaries of $54,230 per year, with the middle 50 percent earning between $39,110 and $72,820. The highest paid anthropologists made $89,440 or more per year.
The industry in which the demographers and other social scientists work also provides an indication of how much they can expect to make. According to the BLS, the largest number of geographers worked for the federal government, earning an average salary of $76,770 per year. Anthropologists employed by the government made similar but lower salaries, at an average of $71,940 per year in 2010. The highest paid geographers were employed in the scientific research and development field, bringing home an average $84,360 per year, while the highest paid anthropologists worked for the federal government.
Location also provides some indication of how much demographers and other social scientists can expect to make. According to the BLS, the highest paid geographers worked in the state of Virginia and made an average $90,120 per year in 2010. The highest-paid anthropologists worked in the District of Columbia and made average $92,570 per year. New York, Massachusetts, Illinois and Maryland were all top-paying states for those in the field of geography. Average salaries in these states ranged from $73,680 to $87,380 per year. Massachusetts, Hawaii, Pennsylvania and California were the top paying states for anthropologists, with salaries ranging from $66,460 to $72,150.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of available jobs for social scientists should grow by about 22 percent from 2008 to 2018. The bureau indicates that overall job growth for geographers and anthropologists should occur at an even faster rate. Jobs for those specializing in demography or other areas of social science should grow largely in the technical consulting field, according to the bureau.
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