Kevin J.A. Thomas

Kevin J.A. Thomas

Associate Professor of Sociology, Demography, and African Studies

611 Oswald Tower
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-2387

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. PhD, University of Pennsylvania – December 2004


Honors and Awards

2014: American Sociological Association, Early Career Award (Honorable mention), Racial & Ethnic Minorities section

2012-2014 Young Scholar, Foundation for Child Development

2009 Fellow, Rock Ethics Institute, Pennsylvania State University

2009 Roy C Buck Award for Outstanding Scholarly Publication

2008 IPUMS International Outstanding Publication Award to a Junior Scholar

2004 David Bell Fellowship, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies

2003 Population Policy Communication Fellow, Population Reference Bureau

2002 Fogarty Institute Fellow, University of Pennsylvania

2001 Mellon Foundation Fellow, University of Pennsylvania

2001 Phi Kappa Phi Academic Honor Society

Research Interests

Migration, Immigration, Race, Inequality, Families, Africa


2014, Thomas K.J.A. Diverse Pathways: Race and the Socioeconomic Incorporation of Black, White, and Arab-origin Africans in the US. Lansing, Michigan State University Press.

Selected  Articles


Thomas, K.J.A. Forthcoming “Race, generational status, and the dynamics of first marriage transitions among Black immigrants in the U.S.” Journal of Family Issues

Thomas, K.J.A. and Inkpen, C. 2016 “Foreign student migration to the US: pathways of entry, demographic antecedents, and origin-country contexts”, International Migration Review, DOI: 10.1111/imre.12265

 Thomas, K.J.A. 2016 “Highly-skilled emigration from Africa to the US: Exit mechanisms, demographic determinants, and the role of socioeconomic trends”, Population Research and Policy Review, 35(6): 825-849


Thomas, K.J.A. 2016 “Adoption, foreign-born status, and children’s progress in school”, Journal of Marriage and Family 78(1):75-90

Thomas, K.J.A. and Tucker, C. 2015 “Child poverty during the years of the Great Recession: An analysis of racial differences among immigrants and US natives” Race and Social Problems 7(4): 300-314

Thomas, K.J.A. 2015 “Occupational stratification, job mismatches, and child poverty: understanding the disadvantage of Black immigrants” Social Science Research, 50: 203-216

Smith-Greenaway, E., and Thomas, K.J.A. 2014: “Exploring child mortality risks associated with diverse patterns of maternal migration in Haiti”, Population Research and Policy Review, 1-23.

Thomas, K.J.A. and Inkpen, C. 2013, “Migration dynamics, entrepreneurship, and African development: Lessons from Malawi”, International Migration Review, 47(4): 844-873

Thomas, K.J.A. 2012 “Migration processes, family contexts, and schooling dropout among Black youth”; Demography, 49(2): 477-498

Thomas, K.J.A. 2012 “Race and enrollment disparities among the children of immigrants: An examination of differences between the children of Black and White Africans”; International Migration Review. 26(1), 37-60.

Thomas, K.J.A. 2012 “Migration, household configurations, and the well-being of adolescent orphans in Rwanda”, Population Research and Policy Review, 31(4): 587-607

Thomas, Kevin J.A. and Logan, B.I. 2012 “Female African Migration to the US and its policy implications”, Canadian Journal of African Studies, 46(2): 87-107

Logan, B I and Thomas, K.J.A 2012: “The US Diversity Visa Program and the Transfer of Skills from Africa”; International Migration. 50(2): 1-19

Thomas, K.J.A: 2012 “The human capital characteristics and household living standards of returning international migrants in Eastern and Southern Africa”, International Migration, 50(4): 85-106

Thomas, K.J.A. 2011 “Familial influences on child poverty in Black immigrant, US-born Black, and non-Black Immigrant Families”, Demography 48(2): 437-460

Landale, N., Thomas, K.J.A., and Van Hook, J 2011 “The living arrangements of the children of immigrants”, Future of Children, 21(1): 43-70

Thomas, K.J.A. 2011 “What explains the increasing trend in African emigration to the US?”, International Migration Review, 45(1): 3-28

Thomas, K.J.A. 2011 “Sociodemographic determinants of language transitions among the children of French and Spanish-Caribbean immigrants in the US”, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 37(4): 543-559

Thomas, K.J.A 2010 “Household context, generational status, and English proficiency among the children of African Immigrants in the US”, International Migration Review, 44(10): 142-172

Thomas, K.J.A. 2010 “Racial and ethnic differences in education-occupation mismatch status in South Africa and the United States”, Journal of International Migration and Integration, 11: 383-401

Thomas, K.J.A. 2010 “Family contexts and schooling disruption among orphans in post-genocide Rwanda”, Population Research and Policy Review, 29(6): 819-842

Thomas, K.J.A 2009 "Parental characteristics and the schooling progress of Black immigrant and native-born children", Demography 46(3): 513- 534

Thomas, K.J.A 2008: “Return Migration in Africa and the relationship between educational attainment and labor market success: Evidence from Uganda”, International Migration Review, 43(3) 652-674

Stevens, G., Dias R.H., Thomas, K.J.A, Rivera, J.A, Carvalho, N.,Barquera,S. Hill, K., Ezzati, M. 2008. “Characterizing the Epidemiological Transition in Mexico: National and Subnational Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors” PLoS Medicine 5(6): 900-910

Hill, K. , K.J. Thomas , C. AbouZhar , N. Walker , L. Say , M. Inoue and E. Suzuki (2007). "Estimates of Maternal Mortality Worldwide between 1990 and 2005", Lancet 370(9595) 1311-1319

Thomas, K.J.A. 2007: “Child mortality and Socioeconomic Status: Differences among immigrants and the native-born in South Africa”, International Migration Review, 41(1) 40-74

Madhavan, S and Thomas, K.J.A 2005: “Early Childbearing and Schooling: New Evidence from South Africa”, Comparative Education Review, 49(4) 452-467, Special Edition on Education and Public Health.

Thomas, K.J.A 2004: “Disability among the children of migrants in South Africa”, African Population Studies 19(2) Sup. B. 139-164

Thomas, K.J.A 2002: “Development Projects and Involuntary Population Displacement in Africa: Assessing the World Bank’s mitigation strategies” Population Research and Policy Review, 21(4): 339-349.

Research Interests:

Migration, Immigration, Race, Inequality, Families, Africa

Research Interests:


Migration, Immigration, Race, Inequality, Families, Africa

Urban, Community, and Spatial Sociology:

immigrant incorporation

Immigration and Incorporation:

Africa, race incorporation, adoption

Health and Life Course:

Migration, Immigration, Race, Inequality, Families, Africa