Sociology Index

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Kingsley Davis

Kingsley Davis (1908 – 1997) was an internationally recognized sociologist and demographer. He was identified by the American Philosophical Society as one of the most outstanding social scientists of the twentieth century, and was a Hoover Institution senior research fellow. Davis received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and taught at Smith College, Clark University, Pennsylvania State University, Princeton University, Columbia University, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Southern California.

Davis led and conducted major studies of societies in Europe, South America, Africa and Asia, coined the term Population Explosion, and played a major role in the naming and development of the demographic transition model. In 1957, Davis predicted that population of the world would reach six billion by the year 2000. He was remarkably close; that population figure was reached in October 1999.

Kingsley Davis served as president of the Population Association of America and the American Sociological Association, represented the United States on the United Nations Population Commission, member of the Advisory Council of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Advisory Committee on Population for the U.S. Bureau of the Census, and was the first sociologist in the United States to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences (1966). Kingsley Davis won the Irene Barnes Taeuber Award for outstanding research in demography (1978), the Common Wealth Award for distinguished work in sociology (1979), and the Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award from the American Sociological Association (1982). In 1953 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.