Daniel Lichter

Web Bio Page

Current Activities

Current Professional Activities
Dr. Lichter is Director of the Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center at Cornell University.  Lichter teaches courses on poverty and public policy, marriage and family, and population studies.  He is former editor of Demography, the flagship journal of the Population Association of America (PAA), and is former president of the Association of Population Centers.  He currently serves on the board of directors of the PAA and the Guttmacher Institute, and is a member of the research advisory board of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. 

Current Research Activities
Much of Lichter's research focuses on welfare incentive incentives on the family, and on patterns of marriage and cohabitation in American society over the past 30 years. His recent papers have examined the implications of state marriage promotion policies, i.e., questions about whether low-income women face significant barriers to healthy marriages, whether they form marriages that last, and whether they marry men who can provide a route from poverty.  He also has published several papers on interracial marraige.  Intermarriage is often used a measure of social distance between groups.  His work shows that, for the first time in recent memory, intermarriage rates between whites and Hispanics and Asians declined, even among native-born minorities, a fact with suggests growing racial and ethnic balkanization in America.

His other demographic work has focused on poverty, especially among children and in rural areas.  His recent papers on poverty trends center of the implications of changing patterns of family structure (especially the rise in female-headed families) and maternal employment on poverty rates among economically vulnerable and historically disadvantaged groups.  For example, Lichter has studied trends in income inequality among children, while documenting the emergence of two distinctive economic tracks of America's children as they make their way into adulthood.  He also has documented the changing spatial concentration of poverty in rural areas (i.e., rural "ghettos"), while providing national estimates of the percentage of poor minority children who live in high-poverty areas (e.g., Indian reservations, Black Belt counties of the South).
Finally, Lichter is studying the new destinations of immigrants to America, especially the movement of Mexican immigrants to rural areas.  He has provided the first national estimates of racial residential segregation in Hispanic "boom towns" in the Midwest and South, focusing on the spatial assimilation and economic incorporation of the new immigrants into local communities.


Biographical Statement

Dr. Daniel T. Lichter is Ferris family professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management, and Professor of Sociology. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology in 1981 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He joined the Cornell faculty in August 2005.  He has previously taught at Pennsylvania State University (1981-1999) and The Ohio State University (1999-2005).

Dr. Lichter has published widely on demographic topics related to the family and welfare policy, including studies of children's changing living arrangements and poverty, cohabitation and marriage among unwed mothers, and welfare incentive effects on the family.  His recent work has focused on pattern of interracial marriage and cohabitation in the United States, on the new destinations of recent immigrants, especially Hispanics moving to less densely-settled rural areas, and on changing patterns of concentrated poverty and racial segregation among racial and ethnic minorities.

PhD 1981 - University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sociology
MA 1977 - Iowa State University, Sociology
BA 1975 - South Dakota State University, Sociology

Administrative Responsibilities
Director, Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center

Courses, Websites, Pubs

Courses Taught
PAM 621: Poverty, Public Policy, and the Life Course
PAM 607:  Demographic Techniques

Related Websites
Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center

Lichter, D.T., D. Parisi, M. Taquino, and B. Beaulieu.  2008.  "Race and the Micro-Scale Concentration of Poverty."  Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, forthcoming.

Graefe, D.R., and Lichter, D.T. (2007). "Marriage Patterns among Unwed Mothers:  Before and After PRWORA."  Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, forthcoming.

Graefe, D.R., and Lichter, D.T. (2007). "When Unwed Mothers Marry: The Marital and Cohabiting Partners of Mid-Life Women." Journal of Family Issues 28:595-622.

Lichter, D.T., Brown, J.B., Qian, Z-C., and Carmalt J. (2007). "Marital Assimilation Among Hispanics: Evidence of Declining Cultural and Economic Assimilation?" Social Science Quarterly 88(3): 745-765.

Lichter, D.T., and Graefe, D.R. (2007). "Men and Marriage Promotion: Who Marries Unwed Mothers?" Social Service Review 81(3): 397-421.

Lichter, D.T., and Johnson, K.M. (2007). "The Changing Spatial Concentration of America's Rural Poor Population." Rural Sociology 72(3): 331-358.

Lichter, D.T., Parisi, D., Grice, S.M., and Taquino, M. (2007). "Municipal Underbounding: Racial Exclusion in Small Southern Towns." Rural Sociology, 72:47-68.

Qian, Z-C, and Lichter, D.T. (2007). "Social Boundaries and Marital Assimilation: Evaluating Trends in Racial and Ethnic Intermarriage." American Sociological Review 72:68-94.

Batson, C.D., Qian, Z-C., and Lichter, D.T. (2006) "Interracial and Intraracial Patterns of Mate Selection Among America's Diverse Black Populations". Journal of Marriage and Family 68: 658-672.

Crowley, M.L., Lichter, D.T., and Qian, Z-C. (2006). "Beyond Gateway Cities: Economic Restructuring and Poverty among Mexican Immigrant Families and Children." Family Relations 55: 345-360.

Lichter, D.T., and Johnson, K. (2006). “Emerging Rural Settlement Patterns and the Geographic Redistribution of America’s New Immigrants.” Rural Sociology, 71(1):109-131.

Lichter, D.T., Qian, Z-C, and Mellott, L. (2006) "Marriage or Dissolution?Transitions to Marriage among Poor Cohabiting Women". Demography 43(2): 223-240.