Michael J. White

Professor of Sociology


Michael White received his PhD in Sociology in 1980 from the University of Chicago. He joined the Sociology Department and the PSTC at Brown in 1989, after previously serving at Princeton University and the Urban Institute. White was Director of PSTC from 2006-2011. White has held a series of external grant awards from NIH, NSF, and private foundations. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Urban Population Dynamics. White has served on the Board of Directors of the Population Association of America, and he is currently chair of the NICHD Population Studies Committee. He serves on the scientific advisory committee of the INDEPTH network of demographic surveillance systems in developing countries. At Brown, White is a member of the initiative in Spatial Structures on the Social Sciences and a faculty fellow of the Watson Institute of International Studies.

His areas of interest span demography and urban sociology with a particular interest in topics pertinent to public policy, such as US immigration policy, and the implications of migration for health in developing countries. Much of his research is unified by a concern for population distribution and migration: processes of movement, settlement, and adjustment. He takes this interest to a wide variety of geographic settings, looking at urbanization in China and Vietnam; urban growth, health and environmental change in Africa; and international migration to high income countries.


Africa, Demography, Environment, Immigration, Social policy, Urban sociology