Mark Hayward is Professor of Sociology, Centennial Commission Professor in the Liberal Arts, and a Faculty Research Associate of the Population Research Center. He is the former director of Penn State's Population Research Institute and the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. He has served as the president of the Southern Demographic Association, chair of the Aging and Life Course section of the American Sociological Association, and chair of the Sociology of Population section of the ASA. He also has served on the boards of the Population Association of America and the Society of Biodemography and Social Biology, and he was a member and then chair of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research council. He was a member of the Committee on Population at the National Academy of Science, the Board of Scientific Counselors at the National Center for Health Statistics, and the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Health and Society Scholars Program. Hayward received his Ph.D. in sociology from Indiana University in 1981.
His primary research addresses how the life course influences the morbidity and mortality experiences of the adult population. Recent studies have clarified how early life conditions influence socioeconomic, racial and gender disparities in adult morbidity, mortality, and cognitive functioning. Most recently, he has been investigating the fundamental inequalities in adult mortality in the United States arising from educational experience, differences in these associations by race and gender, and trends in inequality in mortality. Currently, he is part of a national scientific team examining the role of federal and state policies shaping the growing inequality in life chances in the U.S. adult population. Another theme in his current work is the application of a demographic lens to better understand national trends and inequality in dementia in the older population.