Skip to Content
Western University SociologyFaculty of Social Science
Rachel Margolis

Photo by Rob Rombouts

Rachel Margolis, Associate Professor

Ph.D. Demography and Sociology (2011) University of Pennsylvania
M.A. Demography (2007) University of Pennsylvania
M.Sc. LSE (2005) Population and Development, London School of Economics
B.A. Government (2004) Cornell University

Full CV pdf
Personal website


Dr. Margolis' research addresses how family dynamics shape population change in developed countries. She works in the following areas: demography, fertility and family change, population aging, population health and well-being, and medical sociology.

Her current research topics include:
(1) The changing demography of grandparenthood and kinship structures in aging societies
(2) Fertility dynamics in the context of low and late fertility
(3) Health behavior changes and trajectories and their implications for population health

Recent Publications

(forthcoming) "The Use and Sharing of Parental Leave in Canada: Two Policy Changes" (with Feng Hou, Michael Haan, and Anders Holm) Journal of Marriage and Family

(2018) "No Spouse, No Son, No Daughter, No Kin in Contemporary China: Prevalence, Correlates and Differences in Economic Support" (with Zhangjun Zhou and Ashton Verdery) The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences

(2018) "Educational Attainment, Gender, and Health Behavior Changes after a Gateway Diagnosis" (with Elaine Hernandez and Robert Hummer) Journal of Aging and Health 30(3): 342-364.

(2017) "Healthy Grandparenthood: How long is it and how is it changing?" (with Laura Wright) Demography 54(60): 2073-2099.

(2017) "Projections of white and black older adults without living kin in the United States, 2015-2060" (with Ashton Verdery) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 201710341

(2017) "Older Adults with Three Generations of Kin: Prevalence, Correlates and Transfers" (with Laura Wright) Journal of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 72(6): 1067-1072.

(2017) "Aging alone? Older Adults without Close Kin in the United States" (with Ashton M. Verdery) The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 72(4): 688-693.
* Editor's Choice Article

(2017) "Emerging Adulthood, Emergent Health Lifestyles: Sociodemographic Determinants of Trajectories of Smoking, Binge Drinking, Obesity and Sedentary Behavior" (with Jonathan Daw and Laura Wright) Journal of Health and Social Behavior58(2): 181-197.

(2016) "Children's Sex and the Happiness of Parents" (with Mikko Myrskylä) European Journal of Population 32(3): 403-420.

(2016) "Kin Count(s): Educational and Racial Differences in Extended Kin Counts in the United States" (with Jonathan Daw and Ashton M. Verdery), Population and Development Review 42(3): 491-517.

(2016) "The Changing Demography of Grandparenthood" Journal of Marriage and Family 78(3): 610-622.

(2016) "Better Off Alone Than With a Smoker: The Influence of Partner's Smoking Behavior in Later Life" (with Laura Wright), Journal of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 71(4):687-697.

(2015) "The Changing Health of Canadian Grandparents" (with Natalie Iciaszczyk), Canadian Studies in Population 42(3-4): 63-76.

(2015) "Siblings, Friends, Course-mates, Club-mates: How Adolescent Health Behavior Homophily Varies by Race, Class, Gender, and Health Status" (with Jonathan Daw, and Ashton M. Verdery), Social Science & Medicine 125: 32-39.

(2015) "Parental Well-being Surrounding First Birth as a Determinant of Further Parity Progression" (with Mikko Myrskylä), Demography 52(4): 1147-1166.

(2014) "Happiness: Before and After the Kids" (with Mikko Myrskylä) Demography 51(5): 1843-1866.

(2014) "Changes in Disability-Free Life Expectancy in Canada between 1994 and 2007" (with Scott Mandich) Canadian Studies in Population. 41(1-2): 192-208.



2180A-001 Development & Health Inequalities

2180B-001 Development & Health Inequalities

4441B-001 Death, Fertility, and Migration: Demographic Analysis

9007A-001 (Advanced) Multivariate Statistical Analysis

9331B-001 Death, Fertility, and Migration: Demographic Analysis

Postdoctoral Fellows Supervised

Sarah E. Patterson (2017-2019 in progress)

Youjin Choi (2018-2019 in progress)

PhD Students Supervised

Xiangnan Chai (in progress)

Laura Wright (2015)

MA Students Supervised

Annie Gong (2013)

Scott Mandich (2015)

Sasha Koba (2015)

Bryce Stoliker (2016)

Natalie Iciaszczyk (2016)

Gajan Sivakumaran (2018)

Katha Aathavan (in progress)