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Dudley Poston

Dudley Poston
George T. and Gladys H. Abell Professor of Liberal Arts
Professor Emeritus
Professional Links
Degree From
Ph.D. University of Oregon

Research Interests

  • Demography
  • Sex and Gender
  • China
  • Quantitative methods

Courses Taught at Texas A&M

  • SOCI 312: Population & Society
  • SOCI 320: Demographic Methods
  • SOCI 631: Quantitative Methods
  • SOCI 633: Demographic Methods
  • SOCI 691: Research


Dudley L. Poston, Jr. is Professor of Sociology, and the George T. and Gladys H. Abell Professor of Liberal Arts, at Texas A&M University. He also holds the positions of Adjunct Professor of Demography at People’s University, Beijing, China; Adjunct Professor of Sociology at Fuzhou University, Fuzhou, China; and Adjunct Professor of Demography at Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China.

Dr. Poston joined the faculty of Texas A&M University in 1992, and served as the Head of the Department of Sociology from 1992 to 1997. He previously served on the Rural Sociology and Sociology faculties, respectively, of Cornell University (1988-1992), and The University of Texas at Austin (1970-1988), where he was also affiliated with the Population Research Center (University of Texas) and the Population and Development Program and the East Asia Studies Program (Cornell University). He was Chair of the Department of Rural Sociology at Cornell University from 1989 to 1992, and he was Director of the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin from 1981 to 1986. His research interests include demography and human ecology, with special attention to the populations of China, Taiwan, and Korea. At Texas A&M he teaches undergraduate classes in demography and graduate classes in demography, statistics, and demographic methods. In his more than four decades as a professor, he has served as the Chair of over 60 doctoral student committees, including over 40 at Texas A&M University. In his career as a professor he has taught demography, statistics and sociology classes to over 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students.

Dr. Poston received the Research Excellence Award from the Rural Sociological Society in 1994. In 1998 he received a Distinguished Achievement in Research Award from Texas A&M University, and in 1999 he received a Distinguished Teaching Award from the College of Liberal Arts of Texas A&M University; in 2009 he received a Distinguished Achievement Award in Graduate Mentoring from Texas A&M University. And in 2011 he received the Social Scientist of the Year Award from the Southwestern Social Science Association. In 1991, he received a Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award from the University of Oregon. He was a Visiting Research Professor of Sociology at the National Taiwan University in 1987.

Dr. Poston served as President (2004-2005) of the Southwestern Social Science Association. He served (1995 through 1998) as the President of Research Committee 41 (Sociology of Population) of the International Sociological Association. He served (1995 through 1997) as President of the North American Chinese Sociologists Association. He served as President of the Southwestern Sociological Association in 1983-84. He served during 1975-1977 as the President of the Southern Demographic Association. He has been elected to membership in Alpha Kappa Delta (1964), Gamma Sigma Delta (1991), Phi Beta Delta (1993), Phi Kappa Phi (1999), and the Sociological Research Association (1984).

Dr. Poston was born in San Francisco, California on November 29, 1940. He attended a Catholic seminary in his first few years of high school, and then transferred to St. Ignatius High School (in San Francisco) from where he graduated in 1958. He graduated from the University of San Francisco in 1963 with a B.A. degree in sociology, from San Francisco State College in 1967 with an M.A. degree in sociology, and from the University of Oregon (in Eugene, Oregon) in 1968 with a Ph.D. degree in sociology and demography. He served on active duty in the U.S. Army as a First Lieutenant and as a Captain from 1968 to 1970, including a tour of nearly one full year in 1969-70 in South Vietnam. Among his military honors and awards are the Bronze Star Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal (with one Oak Leaf cluster), both awarded to him in 1970 for his military service in Vietnam.

Dr. Poston has co-authored/edited seventeen books. His most recent books are Handbook of Population (co-edited with Micklin, 2005), Fertility, Family Planning, and Population Policy in China (co-edited with Chang, McKibben and Walther, 2006), Healthy Longevity in China (co-edited with Zeng and others, 2008), Same-Sex Partners: The Social Demography of Sexual Orientation (with Baumle and Compton, 2009), Gender Policy and HIV in China (co-edited with Tucker and others, 2009), and The Family and Social Change in Chinese Societies (co-edited with Yang and Farris, 2014). With Leon F. Bouvier he wrote Population and Society: An Introduction to Demography (2010) for which he is now writing a 2nd edition. He has also published over 310 refereed journal articles, chapters and reports on various sociological and demographic topics.

He has been the principal/co-principal investigator of research grants awarded by the National Science Foundation (1976-78; 1979-80), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (1979-80; 1981-82; 1981-84; 1982-84; 1986-88; 1989-93), the Office of Adolescent Pregnancy (1983-87); the Social Science Research Council (1987-88), the Ford Foundation (1989-90), the Rockefeller Foundation (1989-91), the New York Lung Association (1990-92), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (2009-2012).

Dr. Poston married Patricia Mary Joyce Poston (also a native San Franciscan) in San Francisco, California in 1963. Patricia is a realtor at the Lone Star Realty company in College Station.

The Postons are members of St. Joseph’s Catholic parish, in Bryan, Texas. They have two children, Nancy Kathleen Poston Espey of San Antonio (born in San Francisco in 1964), and Dudley L. Poston III of London, England (born in San Francisco in 1966). Their family also includes their son-in-law Richard W. Espey (born in Texas in 1962), and three grandchildren, David L. Espey (born in Texas in 1991), Kara Margaret Espey (born in Texas in 1994), and Daniel Lee Espey (born in South Korea in 2001).

Representative Publications

  • Dudley L. Poston, Jr., and Leon F. Bouvier. Population and Society: An Introduction to Demography.2nd edition.  New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017.
  • Amanda K. Baumle, D’Lane Compton, and Dudley L. Poston, Jr. 2009. Same-Sex Partners: The Social Demography of Sexual Orientation. New York: SUNY Press.
  • Dudley L. Poston, Jr., D’Lane R. Compton, Qian Xiong, and Emily A. Knox. 2017. “The Residential Segregation of Same-Sex Households from Different-Sex Households in Metropolitan USA, circa-2010.” Population Review 56, 2: 1-29.
  • Dudley L. Poston, Jr. and Peter A. Morrison. 2017. “The Demography of Trump’s Wall.” N-IUSSP, the News Magazine of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, March 3.
  • Dudley L. Poston, Jr. and Juyin Helen Wong. 2016. “The Chinese Diaspora: The Current Distribution of the Overseas Chinese Population.” Chinese Journal of Sociology 2: 348-373.
  • Dudley L. Poston, Jr. and Yuting Chang. 2016. “Patterns of Gay Male and Lesbian Partnering in the Metropolitan Areas of the United States in 2010.” Frontiers in Sociology: Evolutionary Sociology and Biosociology 1: 12 (August).
  • Johnson, Kenneth M., Layton Field, and Dudley L. Poston, Jr. 2015. “More Deaths than Births: Subnational Natural Decrease in Europe and the United States. Population and Development Review: 41: 651-680.