Jenna Nobles

Position title: CDE Director; Professor, Sociology

Department of Sociology
More information
Curriculum vitae


I am a professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. I study how people make decisions about migration and fertility and the implications of these decisions for population change. My current projects include the links between pregnancy survival and the health of cohorts, residential change and crime, anticipatory migration behavior, demographic responses to the diffusion of health risks, and the reconstruction of hidden population traits. My research has been funded by the NIH, NSF, William T. Grant Foundation, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. I am the director of the Center for Demography and Ecology, the training director for the Collaborative for Reproductive Equity, and on the executive committee of UW–Madison’s Health Disparities Research postdoctoral scholars program.

CDE research theme area affiliations

Demography of Inequality; Fertility, Families, and Households; Health and the Life Course; Spatial and Environmental Demography

Selected Publications

Nobles, Jenna, Lindsay Cannon, Allen J. Wilcox. Forthcoming. “Menstrual Irregularity as a Biological Limit to Early Pregnancy Awareness.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Rangel, Marcos, Jenna Nobles, and Amar Hamoudi. 2020. “Brazil’s Missing Infants: Zika Risk Changes Reproductive Behavior.” Demography 57(5):1647-1680.

Nobles, Jenna and Amar Hamoudi. 2019. “Detecting the Effects of Early-Life Exposures: Why Fecundity Matters.” Population Research and Policy Review 38(6):783-809.

Kindig, David, Jenna Nobles, and Moheb Zidan. 2018. “Meeting the Institute of Medicine’s 2030 US Life Expectancy Target.” American Journal of Public Health 108(1): 87-92.

Nobles, Jenna, Amar Hamoudi, Robert Nowak, et al. 2018. “Place-Based Variation in Early Pregnancy Loss: Evidence from Population Data.” Reproductive Sciences 25: 278a-79a.

Valentine, Jessa, Brad Barham, Seth Gitter, and Jenna Nobles. 2017. “Migration and the Pursuit of Education in Southern Mexico.” Comparative Education Review 61(1): 141-75.

Seltzer, Nathan, and Jenna Nobles. 2017. “Post-Disaster Fertility: Hurricane Katrina and the Changing Racial Composition of New Orleans.” Population and Environment 38(4): 465-90.

Nobles, Jenna, Luis Rubalcava, and Graciela Teruel. 2015. “After Spouses Depart: Emotional Wellbeing among Nonmigrant Mexican Mothers.” Social Science & Medicine 132: 236-44.

Nobles, Jenna, Elizabeth Frankenberg, and Duncan Thomas. 2015. “The Effects of Mortality on Fertility: Population Dynamics after a Natural Disaster.” Demography 52(1): 15-38.

Nobles, Jenna, and Christopher McKelvey. 2015. “Gender, Power, and Emigration from Mexico.” Demography 52(5): 1573-600.

Hamoudi, Amar, and Jenna Nobles. 2014. “Do Daughters Really Cause Divorce? Stress, Pregnancy, and Family Composition.” Demography 51(4): 1423-49.

Nobles, Jenna. 2013. “Migration and Father Absence: Shifting Family Structure in Mexico.” Demography 50(4): 1303-1314.