CPRC Seminar - November 16

Columbia Population Research Center

is pleased to invite you to: 


The Sibsize Revolution and Social Disparities in Children's Family Contexts"

presented by Tony Fahey


Professor Emeritus of Social Policy, Social Work, & Social Justice

University College, Dublin

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Room 1109

Columbia University School of Social Work

1255 Amsterdam Avenue

Videoconference is available at:

Mailman School of Public Health

722 West 168th Street, room 739


Registration required at https://cupop.formstack.com/forms/rsvp

Lunch will be provided for those who RSVP to attend at the School of Social Work.



This article points to a sharp decline in children’s sibling numbers (sibsize) that occurred in the United States since the 1970s and was large enough among children with lower socioeconomic status (SES) (particularly black children) to amount to a revolution in their family circumstances. It interprets sibsize decline as a source of social convergence in children’s family contexts that ran counter to trends toward social divergence caused by the rise of lone parenthood. The article is based on new estimates of differences in children’s sibsize and lone parenthood by race and maternal education generated from public-use samples from the Census of Population and Current Population Survey (CPS), focusing especially on the period 1940–2012. I discuss some methodological and substantive challenges for existing scholarship arising from the findings and point to questions for future research.


Professor Fahey has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA (1982). He was at the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin, from 1992 to 2007 and has been Professor of Social Policy in University College Dublin since April 2007.  His research deals with a range of issues connected to social policy in Ireland and the European Union, including family dynamics, housing, poverty and spatial aspects of disadvantage and of policy responses to disadvantage. His current main focus is on family patterns and family policies in contemporary Ireland and on comparative cross-national analysis of selected family issues. Recent work has drawn on large-scale national and cross-national data-sets, including the Growing Up in Ireland survey and a range of international databases. 

For additional information regarding the Fall 2017 CPRC Seminar Series please visit: http://cupop.columbia.edu/events/seminar-series/cprc-seminars