CPC’s Primary Research Areas

The Carolina Population Center shares the research foci of the Population Dynamics Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development – research focused on Demography, Reproductive Health, and Population Health.

Demography addresses some of the most important changes of the last century – increases in longevity that have occurred differentially across and within populations, declining fertility that has produced widespread and persistent below-replacement fertility, increasingly fragile heterosexual unions and the growth of alternative family forms, increased but variable international migration that produces heterogeneous populations and raises the challenge of immigrant incorporation, and the impact of larger human populations and new lifestyles on the environment at local and global scales. CPC fellows’ research monitors these changes and their consequences for health and human development.

CPC contributes to demography in four domains: health and longevity; family, union formation, and fertility; migration and population heterogeneity; and demographic, economic, and environmental interrelations.

Sexual and Reproductive Health encompasses research on family planning, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV/AIDS. The importance of family planning and reproductive health were embodied in the 2000 Millennium Development Goals that include a new target emphasizing universal access to reproductive health. CPC’s work informs and furthers universal access to reproductive health and family planning in global and U.S. contexts. CPC’s work also overlaps with the 2000 Millennium Development Goals that focus on reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; and combating HIV, TB, malaria, and other diseases.

Population Health refers to health outcomes for a group of individuals and to variation across sub-groups. CPC Fellows assess the critical role of nutritional, social, and environmental factors in health. CPC has designed and implemented large public use cohort studies that allow study of many population health topics: how changing patterns of diet and physical activity affect the burden of chronic disease risk; efficient strategies for combating the persistent infectious disease burden; the interplay of social, environmental and biological influences on population well-being; and health disparities by race, gender, and socioeconomic factors. The MEASURE Evaluation project works on the ground with developing country partners to strengthen health information systems that monitor trends in health outcomes and services. This work is a key factor in improving coordination and equity of health and social services and facilitates decision making among policy makers.

CPC’s contributions in these areas are linked and strengthened by three cross-cutting Signature Research Approaches that have historically distinguished and continue to define research at CPC.

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