Thomas Cooke is a Demographer and Urbanist at the University of Connecticut. His research focuses on migration within the United States and other developed countries, such as the long-term decline in US migration rates, understanding how families make migration decisions, the role of public policy on inter-state migration, and the employment outcomes of migration. He also works on the shifting geographic distribution of high-poverty neighborhoods within American metropolitan areas. His research appears in leading social science journals, supported by grants from the NSF, ESRC, and the Sloan Foundation. The media frequently interview professor Cooke, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Hartford Courant.
Cooke is a Fulbright Scholar (spent at the University of Groningen) and the recipient of the Research Excellence Award in Population Geography by the American Association of Geographers. He has held visiting positions at Queen's University in the UK, the University of St Andrews, and the University of Amsterdam.
At the University of Connecticut, he directed the University of Connecticut's Urban Studies program, the Center for Population Research, and Connecticut's US Census Data Center. Before arriving at UConn in 1994, he spent two years at the Polis Center in Indianapolis as an applied demographer. At Polis, he played a vital role in developing SAVI, now the nation's largest and most comprehensive community information system.
Thomas completed his Ph.D. in Geography at Indiana University in 1993 with a minor in Economics and specializations in Demography, Econometrics, Spatial Analysis, Migration, and Urban Studies. His MA (Indiana University, Geography, 1988) and BA (The Ohio State University, Geography, 1986) degrees focused on Russian and Soviet Studies.