Thomas Cooke, PhD

I am Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of Connecticut with expertise in demography, urban studies, and spatial analysis. My research appears in leading social science journals, supported by grants from the NSF, ESRC, and the Sloan Foundation.

In 2013, the  American Association of Geographers honored me with its Research Excellence Award in Population GeographyI was also a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and have had visiting positions at Queen's University, the University of St Andrews, and the University of Amsterdam.

I directed the University of Connecticut’s Urban Studies program, the Center for Population Research, and Connecticut’s US Census Data Center. 

What I Do

The Transition to a Less Mobile Society

Americans are now half as likely to move as in previous decades. My research points toward greater family complexity, increasing economic insecurity, and the widespread adoption of information and communication technologies in the transition to a more rooted society.

The Suburbanization of Poverty

The number of high-poverty neighborhoods have urbdeclined in urban areas and increased in suburban areas. My research identifies the inner ring neighborhoods of older industrial cities as the locus of this growth.

The Role of Family in the Decision to Move

My research has focused on how familes make migration decisions and, most importantly, how these decisions impact the employment and careers of married women.

Demographic Consulting

I help communities, organizations, and businesses understand what is driving neighborhood, community, city, and regional populaton change, including population projections.




Demographic Consultant

  • Council Member, GLG
  • Affiliate, Social Science Consultants
University of Connecticut

Professor, Department of Geography

  • 2020-Current. Professor Emeritus
  • 2007-2020. Full Professor
  • 2000-2007. Associate Professor
  • 1994-2000. Assistant Professor

Administrative Appointments:

  • 2009-2012. Director, Center for Population Research
  • 2009-2010. Director, Connecticut State Data Center
  • 1994-2001 & 2004-2007. Director, Urban Studies


Indiana University

Ph.D., Geography

Minor: Economics

Specializations: Demography, Econometrics, Spatial Analysis, Migration, Urban Studies

Indiana University

M.A., Geography

Minor: Russian Studies

Specializations: Cartography, Russian, Spatial Statistics, Quantitative Research Design

The Ohio State University

B.A., Geography

Concentration in Russian and Soviet Studies