Research Focal Areas

Broken panes of glass in window

Social & Environmental Determinants of Population Health

The CDC defines social determinants of health as “The complex, integrated, and overlapping social structures and economic systems that are responsible for most health inequities.” This focal area explores how poverty, economic and racial inequality, social isolation and exclusion, exposure to violence, poor nutrition, and job stress, along with environmental conditions, shape health in ways that health care systems are challenged to fix.
Three elderly Asian women

Aging Societies

The fertility declines since the 1960s have resulted in rapidly aging populations worldwide. 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.
Woman mopping a floor at work

Workplace & Well-Being

This focal area includes research that strives to reimagine how workplaces can support employees’ well-being by: 1) developing policies and strategies that create a more productive workforce; and 2) alleviating work and family strain as our society continues to experience demographic changes. Our work in this area also involves corporate and community engagement, public dissemination, and linkages to policymakers.
Multi-generational family

Social & Family Demography

This interdisciplinary focal area is related to work that uses demographic methods to describe and explain the distribution of social goods across populations. Typically, this includes research on behaviors, attitudes, and norms related to marriage, cohabitation, divorce, childbearing, gender roles, intergenerational relations, and social inequality, both within the United States and internationally.