Stephen A. Matthews

Stephen A. Matthews

Liberal Arts Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Anthropology, Demography, and Geography
Courtesy School of International Affairs
Stephen A. Matthews

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., University of Wales, Cardiff (United Kingdom), 1991

Professional Bio

Professional Bio

Research Activities and Interests:

I am now retired (Emeritus) but continue to serve as editor of Spatial Demography and publish in leading journals across several disciplines. I have a longstanding interest in spatial demography and the use of spatial concepts, measures and methods to study population health and spatial inequality.  

Professional Awards and Achievements

2017 - Recognized by the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State for having received external funding (training and research grants) for 19 consecutive years (as of 2022-23 I received external funding over 25 consecutive years).2018 - Liberal Arts Professor

2018 - Recognized for securing, as PI or co-PI, 15th externally funded grant while at Penn State (now 16)

2019 - Certificate of Recognition for 25 years of service at Penn State

2023 - Emeritus Professor 

Service to Academic Journals

2019-present: Editor, Spatial Demography (

2019-present: Editor, Springer Book Series on the topic of Spatial Demography.

2021-present: Associate Editor, Discover Social Science and Health

2020-present: Editorial Board, Geographies

In the past I have served as

I have also served on the editorial boards of several other journals or as guest editor:

Guest Editor:

  • 1995 Journal of Geography in Higher Education on “Teaching Medical Geography” Vol. 19 (3) (w/Mark Rosenberg)
  • 1995 Geoforum on “Geographies of Women’s Health” Vol. 26 (3)
  • 2012 American Journal of Preventive Medicine on “GIS and Childhood Obesity” (with Celeste Torio)
  • 2013 Demographic Research on "Spatial Demography"
  • 2015 The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science Vol. 660 on "Residential Inequality in American Neighborhoods and Communities." July 2015 (with Barrett Lee, Glenn Firebaugh and John Iceland).
  • 2019 Special issue of Mathematical Population Studies on spatial mathematical demography, issues 26(4) and 27(1).
  • 2020-2022 Special issue of The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences on Suburban Inequality in United States (with R. L'Heureux Lewis-McCoy and Natasha Warikoo).

Publications since 2020

ORCID identifier #: 0000-0002-1645-4854

Google Scholar:

Google Scholar total (as of 12/01/23) = ~7,300 (since 2018 = 4,150) --- h-index total = 40 (since 2018 = 33) --- i10-index total = 99 (since 2018 = 78)

Scopus ID: 7201477376

Books & Monographs

Burton LM, Kemp S, Leung M*, Matthews SA and Takeuchi D (editors) (2011) Communities, Neighborhoods, and Health: Expanding the Boundaries of Place (Springer: ISBN: 978-1-441-97481-5).

Zelinsky W, Matthews SA. (2011) The Place of Religion in Chicago (Center for American Places/University of Chicago Press; Chicago, Illinois). ISBN: 978-1-935-19515-3

Howell, FM, Porter JR, and Matthews SA (editors) (2016) Recapturing Space: New Middle-Range Theory in Spatial Demography. Springer.

Witherspoon DP, White RMB, Bámaca-Colbert MY, Browning CR, Leech TGJ, Leventhal T Matthews SA, Pinchak N, Roy AL, Sugie N, & Winkler EN. (2023) Place based developmental research: Conceptual and methodological advances in studying adolescent development in context. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development.

Journal Articles

* = Graduate Student at time of project

Forthcoming (incl. Published Online)

Evans M, Graif, C, Matthews SA. (2023) Infant health and inequality in citywide employment networks. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 64(4)

Yang TC, Kim S, Matthews SA, Shoff C. (forthcoming) Social vulnerability and the prevalence of opioid use disorder among older Medicare beneficiaries in US counties Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences

Barber, B., Kephart, G., Martin-Misener, R., Vallis, M., Matthews, S., Atkins, L., Cassidy, C., Curran, C., & Rainham, D. (2023). Integrating Health Geography and Behavioral Economic Principles to Strengthen Context Specific Behavior Change Interventions. Translational Behavioral Medicine


Matthews SA, Kim P. Activity Space. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Geography

Hashtarkhane S, Matthews SA, Yin P, Mohammadi A, Mohammad Ebrahimi S, Tara M, Kiani B (2023) Where to place emergency ambulance vehicles? Using a capacitated maximum covering location model with real call data Geospatial Health 18:1198

Lewis-McCoy RL, Warikoo N, Matthews SA, Foley NF. (2023) Resisting amnesia: Renewing and expanding the study of suburban inequality. Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 9(1):1-24 – duplicated as part of a double issue at 9(2):1-24.

Yang TC, Kim S, Matthews SA. (2023) Unemployment and opioid-related mortality rates in US counties: Investigating social capital and social isolation smoking pathways. Social Problems 70(20): 533-553


Kim OS, Han J, Kim KW, Matthews SA, Shim C. (2022) Depopulation, super aging, and extreme heat events in South Korea Climate Risk Management 38:100456

Yang TC, Sun F. Matthews SA. (2022) Multiscale dimensions of spatial process underlying US county COVID-19 fully vaccinated rates American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Obradovic S, Matovic S, Rabiei-Dastjerdi H, Matthews SA (2022) An ecological study of vulnerability to COVID-19 in Serbia: Using hotspot analysis for evidence-based population health policy. Forum Geografic XXI(1), 71-82 https://doi.10.5775/fg.2022.103.i

Benassi F, Crisci M, Rimoldi S, Matthews SA. (2022) Migrants' population, residential segregation, and metropolitan spaces: Insights from the Italian experience over the last twenty years. Migration Letters 19(3):287-302.

Hashtarkhane S+, Kiani B, Mohammadi A, Mohammad Ebrahimi S, Eslami S, Tara M, Matthews SA. (2022) One-year spatiotemporal database for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) calls in Mashhad, Iran: Data on 224,355 EMS calls. BMC Research Notes 15(22) https://doi:10.1186/s13104-022-05905-8


White RMB, Witherspoon DP, Wei W, Zhao C, Pasco MC, Maereg T, & PLACE Development Working Group (2021). Adolescent development in context: A decade review of neighborhood and activity space research. Journal of Research on Adolescence 31(4): 944-965. https://doi:10.1111/jora.12623 (the PLACE Development Working Group includes Bamaca-Colbert M, Browning C, Furr-Holden D, Leech T, Leventhal T, Matthews SA, Roy A, Sugie N, Winkler E).

Hashtarkhane S+, Kiani B, Mohammadi A, Mohammad Ebrahimi S, Eslami S, Tara M, Matthews SA. (2021) Spatio-temporal epidemiology of emergency medical requests in a large urban area: A scan-statistic approach. Geospatial Health 16:1043 https://doi:10.4081/gh.2021.1043

Yang TC, Kim S+, Matthews SA. (2021) Face masking violations, policing, and COVID-19 death rates: A spatial analysis in New York City ZIP Code. The Professional Geographer 73(4):670-682.

Powers, SL*, Matthews SA, Mowen, AJ (2021) Does the relationship between racial, ethnic, and income diversity and social capital vary across the United States? A county-level analysis using geographically weighted regression. Applied Geography 130:102446.

Matthews SA, Stiberman L* (2021) Looking back, looking forward: Progress and prospect for spatial demography. Spatial Demography 9(1): 1-3.

Rabiei-Dastjerdi H, Matthews SA (2021) Who gets what, where, and how much? A composite index of spatial inequality for small areas in Tehran. Regional Science Policy and Practice 13:191-205.

Rabiei-Dastjerdi H, McCardle G, Matthews SA, Keenan P (2021) Gap analysis in Decision Support System for real estate in the era of the Digital Earth. International Journal of Digital Earth 14 (1):121-138.


Burrillo P, Salvati L, Matthews SA, Benassi F (2020) Local scale fertility variation in a low fertility country: Evidence from Spain (2002-2017). Canadian Studies in Population 47:279-295.

Benassi F, Miccoli S, Salvati L, Rabiei-Destjerdi H, Matthews SA (2020) Spatial variability in total fertility rate and crude birth rate in a low-fertility country: Patters and trends in regional and local scale heterogeneity across Italy, 2002-2017. Applied Geography 124:102321.

Sun F+, Matthews SA, Yang TC, Hu M-H (2020) A spatial analysis of COVID-19 incidence rates in US counties: Where geography matters. Annals of Epidemiology 52:54-59.

Chen VY-J, Yang T-C, Matthews SA (2020) Exploring response and spatial heterogeneity in US mortality using geographically weighted quantile regression with a bootstrap enhancement. Geographical Analysis 52:642-661.

Felmlee D, DellaPosta D, Inara Rodis P d C*, Matthews SA (2020) Can social media anti-abuse policies work? A quasi-experimental study of online sexist and racial slurs. Socius 6:1-14.

Smith RA, Kim Y*, Matthews SA, Sternberg ED, Doudou DT, Thomas M (2020) Communal Innovations: Inspiring neighborhoods of hope and advocacy. Journal of Health Communications 25:444-453.

Felmlee D, Blanford J, Matthews SA, MacEachren AM. (2020) The geography of sentiment towards the Women's March of 2017. PLoS ONE 15(6):e0233994

Yang TC, Park K+, Matthews SA (2020) racial/ethnic segregation and health disparities: Future directions and opportunities. Sociology Compass 14(6):e12794.

Matthews SA. (2020) Methods and applications in spatial demography: 2 Mathematical Population Studies 27(1):1-7.

Tarlov E, Silva A, Wing C, Slater S, Matthews SA, Jones KK+, Zenk SN. (2020) Neighborhood walkability and body mass index change: A national study of veterans in large urban areas. Obesity 28(10):46-54.