Zachary Zimmer is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Utah and is the first Senior Scholar hired at IPIA. Zimmer uses a demographic viewpoint and training in population studies to investigate issues related to health and aging across the developing world. On a broad level, he is interested in how the compilation and interaction of rapid demographic and social change impacts on the wellbeing of older persons. This interest has prompted work in East and Southeast Asia where population aging and socioeconomic change has been swift and recent. In this part of the world, Zimmer has been examining later-life health as it relates to socio-demographic phenomenon such as place of residence and social stratification, and has been studying the impact of changing family and intergenerational relations on various indicators of wellbeing. One recent project called 'Urban/Rural Disparities in Health and Mortality in China' is examining levels of mortality and functional health in old-age across rural and urban environments in China and determining the extent to which differences could be explained by individual and community-level characteristics. Another project entitled, 'The Impact of Migration on the Family and Intergenerational Solidarity,' is taking place in Cambodia and is looking at how the inexorable migration out of rural areas is impacting older people left behind. Zimmer is also concerned with older adults in societies characterized by harsh living conditions, such as extreme poverty, high rates of HIV/AIDS, and histories of violence. He co-conducted the 2004 Survey of the Elderly in Cambodia, the country's first population-wide representative sample survey specifically centered on older adults. He has also been examining the impact of HIV/AIDs on older adults in sub-Saharan Africa.
Zachary Zimmer enjoys taking a team oriented approach to research and he often works in collaboration with local policy-makers and academicians. In addition, he is interested in capacity building in poorer societies. He has taught a number of classes and has worked closely with researchers in a mentoring role in several developing countries. Zimmer came to the University of Utah after spending time as a Research Associate at the Population Council in New York and as a professor of Sociology at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Before that he spent a number of years north of the border at several centers for aging research at Canadian universities. He received his PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan, working out of their Population Studies Center. He has an MA from University of Manitoba and a BA from University of Winnipeg.
Research Project Links
Urban/Rural Disparities in Health and Mortality in China
The Impact of Migration on the Family and Intergenerational Solidarity in Rural Cambodia
The Study of Health Transitions in Later Life
Canada's The Globe and Mail referenced Zimmer's book, Global Aging in the 21st Century in an article on The world's losing it's workers. How will we compete?