Emerita Professor Heather Booth

BSc(Econ) (London), MSc (Southampton), PhD (London)
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Demography 1603
  • Mortality 160304
  • Stochastic Analysis And Modelling 010406
  • Population Trends And Policies 160305
  • Social Change 160805
  • Family And Household Studies 160301

Research interests

Researchgate profile:    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Heather_Booth

Heather’s research is situated in the DEMOGRAPHY OF AGEING. This includes:

- The future of structural population ageing through dynamic stochastic modelling. Heather is an international expert in stochastic modelling and forecasting of demographic rates and populations.

- Understanding mortality patterns, gaps and transitions through modelling and decomposition.

- The role of social networks with family and friends in the well-being of older people, and the socio-demography of ageing and longevity.

- Socio-demographic determinants of self-rated health and well-being at older ages.

- The future of longevity and mortality at very old ages, and its implications.

- Microsimulation modelling of disability at older ages.

See also    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Heather_Booth


Heather Booth is Professor and Director of Research in the School of Demography in the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences, and leads the Group on Longevity, Ageing and Mortality (GLAM). She has over 30 years' experience in demographic research in both developed and developing countries. Her more recent work focusses on mortality modelling and forecasting, population ageing, and the socio-demography of longevity.

Heather is an Associate Investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research and an Associate Member of Nuffield College, Oxford. Heather was Founding Editor of the Journal of Population Research (JPR) from 2000 to 2006.

Heather began her career at the London School of Economics before moving to the USA to join the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her doctoral research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Heather developed the Booth Standard for use with the Brass Relational Gompertz Model of fertility. She then undertook research on ethnic minority populations in Britain and Western Europe. In 1984, Heather relocated to Nouméa, New Caledonia, to take up a position as demographer with the South Pacific Commission, working throughout the Pacific Islands. She has also worked as an international consultant with the UN and other funding agencies.


Researcher's projects

Social Networks and Ageing Project (SNAP).  Funded under an ARC Linkage grant (2010-2012), this  project collected unique data and developed new tools. Analysis of survey data is ongoing, including examination of the role of homophily in the health of older people.

Development of DYNOPTAsim, a microsimulation model of age-related disability in Australia. This work stems from the NHMRC/ARC Dynamic Analyses to Optimise Ageing (DYNOPTA) project (2007-2012), of which Heather was a Chief Investigator. 

Demographic forecasting with a focus on mortality forecasting. Collaborative research with colleagues at Monash University, Macquarie University, and the Paris-based Institut national d'etudes demographiques. This highly cost-effective research uses publicly available data.

Heather is Associate Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) coordinated by UNSW (2011-2017; 2018-2025).

Heather jointly led (with Zhongwei Zhao) the Interdisciplinary Microsimulation Project (IMP) (2011-2014) funded by the CASS Interdisciplinary Research Fund.

Heather leads the School of Demography Group on Longevity, Ageing and Mortality (GLAM).

Heather is Associate Investigator of the NHMRC-funded project 'Whole of population linked data: Strengthening the evidence to drive improvement in health and health care in Australia' (2018-2023). This project examines educational differences in mortality by cause using the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (ABS). 

See also https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Heather_Booth

Current student projects

Endogenous Diffusion Model of Entry into First Marriage: Theoretical and Empirical Progress in Nuptiality Models

Modelling Long Term Care in Australia: What Place of Insurance?


Past student projects

The role of social connectedness in the retirement process

Gender, ethnicity and well-being of the elderly in Indonesia

Cardio-vascular mortality in Chinese cities

The experiences and pathways of discontinuing school children in Fiji

Australian mortality in the 19th and early 20th centuries

Modes of aged care Vietnam: adaptation to change

Modelling residential aged care

Online social networking and the well-being of older Australians

Geodemographic and life-course persepectives of ageing in Australia for policy

Healthy Life Expectancy in the Philippines

+ many theses examining demographic processes in developing countries


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  17 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers