Choosing and applying weighting schemes

Choosing an appropriate weighting scheme

CivicScience offers many custom weighting schemes. Therefore, a common question is how to choose a weighting scheme appropriate for your research needs. To select a weighting scheme that suits your research needs, consider the following questions:

  • What is the target population (i.e., the population to which you want to generalize your findings)?
    • Examples: U.S. adults 18+, U.S. women 35+, Pennsylvania adults, Target shoppers, etc.
  • What is the geographic area of the target population?
    • Examples: national, regional, state, city/metro, etc.
  • What is the age range of the target population?
    • Examples: all adults (i.e., 18+), 25+, 25-44, 65+, etc.
  • What is the gender composition of the target population?
    • Examples: men & women, only women, only men 

Applying a Weighting Scheme

Weighting schemes can be applied on any question page. To apply a weighting scheme, click the Search Weighting Schemes dropdown menu. Select the item you wish to use from the list. In this example, we’ve selected the weighting scheme for all U.S. adults, which will weight the results of this question by gender and age data for the entire U.S. population.


Occasionally, you may notice that data from a question does not populate after applying a weighting scheme. That is usually due to insufficient responses from respondents in one or more critical demographics by which the data were weighted. For example, the segment might not include enough women between the ages of 18 and 24 or men between the ages of 35 and 44. There must be at least ten responses in each of a weighting scheme's age/gender categories for the scheme to work with the question.