Marta Tienda

Maurice P. During Professor in Demographic Studies.
Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs,
The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs
Email Address:
Office Location: 
247 Wallace Hall

Marta Tienda is Maurice P. During '22 Professor in Demographic Studies, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, with joint affiliations in the Office of Population Research and The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. From 1997 to2002, she served as director of the Office of Population Research. She is co-author and co-editor of several books, including of The Hispanic Population of the United States (1987), Divided Opportunities (1988), The Color of Opportunity (2001), Youth in Cities (2002), Ethnicity and Causal Mechanisms (2005),Multiple Origins, Uncertain Destinies (2006), Hispanics and the Future of America (2006), and Africa on the Move (2006). She has published over 150 scholarly papers in academic journals and edited collections, in addition to numerous research bulletins and articles for a lay audience. She holds a BA in Spanish from Michigan State University and a MA and Ph.D., both in Sociology, from the University of Texas at Austin. She received honorary doctorates from The Ohio State University (2002), Lehman College (2003) and Bank Street College (2006).

What Must Be Equal For Opportunity To Be Equal?

My research has focused on race and ethnic differences in various metrics of social inequality - ranging from poverty and welfare to education and employment - to address how ascribed attributes acquire their social and economic significance. Through various studies of immigration, population diversification and concentrated poverty, I have documented social arrangements and life course trajectories that both perpetuate and reshape socioeconomic inequality. I recently completed a decade-long study about the effectiveness of social policy in broadening access to higher education. Currently I am developing two research initiatives about age and immigration.  One is a comparative study of child migration in traditional and new immigrant nations; the second focuses on late-age immigration to the United States.

Publications List: 


Alon, Sigal, Thurston Domina and Marta Tienda. 2010. “Stymied Mobility or Temporary Lull? The Puzzle of Lagging Hispanic College Degree Attainment.”Social Forces, 88(4): 1807-1832.


Niu, Sunny X. and Marta Tienda. 2010. “The Impact of the Texas Top 10% Law on College Enrollment: A Regression Discontinuity Approach.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 29(1): 84-110.


Fletcher, Jason M. and Marta Tienda. 2009. “High School Classmates and College Success.” Sociology of Education, 82(4):287-314.


Alon, Sigal and Marta Tienda. 2007. “Diversity, Opportunity and the Shifting Meritocracy in Higher Education.” American Sociological Review, 72(4):487-511.


Tienda, Marta and Faith Mitchell (editors) 2006. Multiple Origins, Uncertain Destinies: Hispanics and the American Future. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.


Tienda, Marta. 2002. “Demography and the Social Contract.” Demography, 39(4): 587-616.