This study analyzed the relationship between safety belt use rates--as measured by observational surveys at preselected sites--and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics--as reflected by the U.S. Census Bureau data for the sites. The results showed consistent and moderately high associations between observed safety belt use rates and socioeconomic status indicators, primarily home value. Once redundancies among variables were removed, other variables that contributed significantly to explaining differences between high- and low-belt use sites were the percentage of elderly people (55+ years old) and the mix of blue and white collar workers. Sites having high safety belt use rates had higher average home values, a higher percentage of elderly people, and a lower percentage of blue collar workers than sites having low use rates. Simple correlations with belt use rates were also obtained for race, marital status, presence of children in household, education, and income.