Michael J. White

Professor of Sociology


Michael White received his Ph.D. 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. He has held a series of external grant awards from NIH, NSF, and private foundations.

White has served on the Board of Directors of the Population Association of America and has served on the scientific panels and advisory committees for a number of organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, the U.S. National Academies, and the INDEPTH network of demographic surveillance centers. 

His areas of interest span demography and urban sociology with a particular interest in topics pertinent to public policy. Much of his research is unified by a concern for population distribution and migration: processes of movement, settlement, and adjustment.

Current projects include studies of the assimilation of the second generation in the U.S.; rural-urban migration, environment, and health in South Africa; and the measurement of spatial inequality in developing countries. White has conducted research in a variety of international settings, including China, Ethiopia, Ghana, Italy, Kenya, South Africa, and Vietnam.  


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