Research Focal Areas

The Center’s social demography and population health research clusters into four primary research areas: (1) Aging Societies, (2) Youth, Families, and Social Mobility, (3) Work, Policy, and Well-Being, and (4) Population Dynamics of Climate Change. Many of the Center’s specific projects, ranging from global to country-specific in scope, advance research in more than one of these areas, while also taking one or more of the distinctive approaches that mark the Center’s work. These distinctive approaches create cross-cutting themes of (a) Race, Class, Gender, & Sexuality Inequities, within and across countries; (b) Life Course Analysis, prospective and retrospective, in historical context; (c) Policy, past and present, as context, cause and effect; and (d) Methodological Innovation. For instance, current and changing inequities jointly involving racialized groups, classes, genders, and sexualities, and their changing configurations, have long been foci of the Center’s research on aging, families, and work. Such inequities also motivate our newer initiative on climate change.

Head shot of South African woman

Aging Societies

Fertility declines since the ’60s and improvements in health care have resulted in rapidly aging global populations. This focal area explores why and how these changes in population size and ratios have had dramatic effects on demographic distribution, living conditions, family structures, fiscal balances, and a whole host of other factors that are key to human welfare.
Multi-generational family

Youth, Families, and Social Mobility

Our work in this area focuses on a diverse and broad set of research questions, largely geared toward understanding and improving the well-being of marginalized populations, and advancing knowledge related to social mobility.
Woman in warehouse with clipboard

Work, Policy, and Well-Being

Over the last 15 years, we’ve been engaged with research that investigates (and reimagines) how employee well-being can be better supported through policies and strategies that create a healthier and more productive labor force.
Hurricane Katrina from satellite

Population Dynamics of Climate Change

This burgeoning area of study aims to advance the integration of population and climate sciences by investigating how population dynamics (and its drivers) influence humanity’s possibilities for mitigation and adaption.