Stephen A. Matthews, PhD

Liberal Arts Professor of Sociology, Anthropology, Demography and Geography
Director, Graduate Program in Demography
(Courtesy School of International Affairs)
The Pennsylvania State University
507 Oswald Tower
University Park, PA 16802-6210
Phone: 814-863-9721
Fax: 814-863-7216
Curriculum Vitae: PDF icon Download C.V.


Stephen Matthews is trained in quantitative geography and planning, and currently professor of Sociology, Anthropology, and Demography (courtesy Geography) at Penn State. In addition he is the Director of the Graduate Program in Demography at Penn State, a masters and PhD dual-degree program with approximately 40 faculty and 70+ graduate (see

For eighteen years he served as director of the Geographic Information Analysis (GIA) Core at Penn State’s NICHD-funded Population Research Institute and has long been a visible promoter of training in spatial methodologies in demographic and health research; as evidenced by two R25 NICHD awards on GIS and Population Science and Advanced Spatial Analysis Training Program for Population Scientists. 

Dr. Matthews has published in several fields— public health, epidemiology, geography, demography, sociology —on topics including physical activity, diet and obesity, adolescent risk taking behaviors, smoking, alcohol outlets, access to health care, cancer screening, crime, residential segregation and neighborhood change. He has a long standing interest in conceptual and methodological issues associated with how neighborhoods are defined and their attributes are measured, and the relevance of these definitions and measures to individual behavior and health outcomes. In addition to over 50+ articles and book chapters he has published one book (with Wilbur Zelinksy (2011) The Place of Religion in Chicago) and edited two books (with Linda Burton, Susan Kemp, Manchui Leung, and David Takeuchi (2011), Communities, Neighborhoods, and Health: Expanding the Boundaries of Place, and with Frank Howell and Jeremy Porter (2015) on Recapturing Space.

He serves on the Social Science and Population Studies A (SSPA) Study Section (term: 2012-2016). He is an associate editor for Demographic Research (2012-present) and serves on the editorial boards of four other journals: American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2005-present); Demography (2010-present); Spatial Demography (2012-present) and GeoJournal (2010-present).

You can visit Dr. Matthews’ Sociology department webpage here: 


Sociology and Criminology and Demography Program


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