Research Expertise and Interest

mathematical demography stochastic models, simulation, biodemography, federal statistical system

Research Description

As a mathematical demographer and statistician, Kenneth Wachter studies systematic constraints and random influences that shape the structure of human populations. He is currently working on questions in the biodemography of longevity, building stochastic models to account for features of the patterns of rates of mortality at extreme ages shared between humans and other species. These include models grounded in evolutionary theories of senescence.  He also works on a variety of problems that pose statistical challenges to demographers,including statistical adjustments to censuses and forecasts of kinship resources for the elderly, including effects of HIV/AIDS on elderly persons in Thailand and elsewhere. As former Chair of the Committee on Population of the National Research Council, he takes an interest in forced migration, the demography of complex emergencies, and human rights. He serves on the Editorial Board of PNAS. During 2009-2010 he was a Miller Professor in the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science at UC Berkeley.

In the News

Prioritizing oldest for COVID-19 vaccines saves more lives, years of life

Challenging the idea that older people with shorter life expectancies should rank lower in coronavirus immunization efforts, new UC Berkeley research shows that giving vaccine priority to those most at risk of dying from COVID-19 will save the maximum number of lives, and their potential or future years of life.
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