Central New York has long been revered as a great market for product and concept testing. You may have caught our previous blog post about the topic, where we discussed the market characteristics that make the city of Syracuse an ideal test market. We noted how Syracuse has a similar demographic composition to the United States population—the geographic isolation provides an advantage in terms of advertising exposure, and media advertising is more affordable here than in larger cities. The geographic isolation has not changed and advertising is still more affordable than in larger metropolises. However, being the curious researchers that we are, we wondered if the data still supports the area being a good test market option in terms of demographic composition. That curiosity led us to QuickFacts1, a data repository provided by the United States Census Bureau. We were pleased to find that a wider net than just Syracuse (Onondaga County) reflects the United States population as a whole. Below you will find several graphs illustrating the striking similarities across several US Census statistics. Essentially, in terms of gender, race, educational attainment, median household income, and owner occupied housing unit rate, Onondaga County is highly representative of the United States population.


  • The gender breakdown for Onondaga County is within one percentage point of the US population for both males and females.


  • Onondaga County closely reflects the US population race demographic, with the largest disparity being the Hispanic or Latino population.


  • The highest level of education achieved is also very similar among Onondaga County and the United States as a whole, with a mere four percentage point difference among the two for each education level.


  • The median household income of Onondaga County residents is remarkably comparable to that of the United States population, within $1,000!


  • The percentage of Onondaga County residents who live in a home they own is nearly identical to the United States population.

What does all this mean and why is it important? When developing a product, creating a concept, or introducing a new marketing campaign, it is critical to understand the behavior of the target audience. Implementing a market research project in a test market will allow you to determine the viability of the product, concept, or campaign on a wider scale. It will also provide vital feedback regarding your marketing strategy, customer response, and distribution channels. The most crucial component of choosing a test market is ensuring that it matches the target market in terms of demographics. The demographic similarities to the US population make Onondaga County a great test market for companies interested in rolling out products, concepts, or campaigns locally or nationally.

If you’re interested in learning more about utilizing Onondaga County as a test market, contact our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy, Sandy Baker, at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 315-635-9802.

1QuickFacts data are derived from: Population Estimates, American Community Survey, Census of Population and Housing, Current Population Survey, Small Area Health Insurance Estimates, Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates, State and County Housing Unit Estimates, County Business Patterns, Nonemployer Statistics, Economic Census, Survey of Business Owners, Building Permits.