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Rebecca Tippett, Ph.D. - UNC-Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC, US

Rebecca Tippett, Ph.D. Rebecca Tippett, Ph.D.

Director, Carolina Demography at the Carolina Population Center | UNC-Chapel Hill


Areas of expertise include population estimates & forecasts, postsecondary education, Census reapportionment & NC demographic trends.




Rebecca Tippett, Ph.D. Publication



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UNC's Rebecca Tippett discusses millennials' decision to delay major life events EdNC Explains: The Leaky Pipeline After SPIN! Video - 1/4/2019 -




Dr. Rebecca Tippett is the founding Director of Carolina Demography at the Carolina Population Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, and oversees the operation of the organization. Tippett’s work helps leaders across North Carolina make sense of population-level changes throughout the state. With more than a decade of experience analyzing demographic and economic data, she translates research into specific, usable information to inform decision-making, evaluation, and policy.

Dr. Tippett has authored more than 200 articles and reports about the impact of demographic and social trends in North Carolina and is frequently sought after for her expertise and ability to communicate demographic information. She has delivered over 100 presentations to groups across the state and regularly appears in state and national media such as The Charlotte Observer, The Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio.

Prior to joining UNC, Dr. Tippett worked at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service where she produced population estimates and population projections for Virginia’s 134 counties and independent cities. A transplant to North Carolina from the Midwest, she earned her BA in Sociology and Political Science from The Ohio State University and her MA and PhD in Sociology from Duke University.

Industry Expertise (2)



Areas of Expertise (14)

Population Estimates and Forecasts

School Enrollment Projections



Higher Education

Indicators of Economic Well-Being

Quantitative Research


Research Design

Data Analysis

Literature Reviews

Survey Research

Data Collection


Education (3)

Duke University: Ph.D., Sociology 2010

Duke University: M.A., Sociology 2006

The Ohio State University: B.A., Sociology & Political Science 2004

Affiliations (1)

  • Carolina Population Center

Media Appearances (15)

Civil rights advocates discuss risks, benefits of 2020 Census

WRAL  online

North Carolina could be on track to pick up its 14th seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, a seat the state nearly missed after the 2010 Census, according to Rebecca Tippett, founding director of Carolina Demography at the Carolina Population Center at UNC-Chapel Hill.

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North Carolina’s Leaky Educational Pipeline

WUNC  radio

The report "North Carolina’s Leaky Educational Pipeline and Pathways to 60 percent Postsecondary Attainment” analyzes which students are making it to and through college and who is getting left behind. Host Frank Stasio talks about it with Rebecca Tippett, director of Carolina Demography, a part of the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

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These NC Counties Will Be Majority Minority By 2025

WUNC  online

In North Carolina, the change has come largely through natural increase, according to Rebecca Tippett, founding Director of Carolina Demography at the Carolina Population Center at UNC-Chapel Hill which started in 2013. That means simply that the population as a whole has more births than deaths. "More diverse populations tend to be a little younger, which means they are more likely to be able to grow from what's called natural increase," said Tippett. "They are more likely to have more babies than they are to die."

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Forget Florida: More Northern Retirees Head to Appalachia

Wall Street Journal  print

Rebecca Tippett, a chief demographer at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Carolina Population Center, said that postrecession, retirees are once again playing a large role in western North Carolina’s growth. “We’ve seen a major return to previous migration levels,” she said.

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Veteran Population In NC Steadily Declining

WUNC  online

A big reason that the population is falling off so much is that the veterans of the draft-fueled buildup during the Vietnam War era now dominate the veteran population, but are “aging out ” said Rebecca Tippett is the director of Carolina Demography at the Carolina Population Center.

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N.C. population gains on track for extra seat in U.S. House

Winston-Salem Journal  print

Rebecca Tippett, the director of Carolina demography at the UNC center, said in a blog entry that the estimate keeps North Carolina on track to pick up the extra seat in Congress, assuming population trends stay the same.

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Population growth stops short of rural NC

The Daily Tar Heel  online

Rebecca Tippett, director of Carolina Demography at UNC’s Carolina Population Center, said North Carolina’s population growth in the past two or three decades occurred because it was a sticky state — people born in-state stayed. Recently, growth has been driven by out-of-state migration to North Carolina’s urban areas...

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Rowan’s population in a word: Shifting

Salisbury Post  online

So says Dr. Rebecca Tippett, director of Carolina Demography, part of the Carolina Population Center at UNC Chapel Hill. “[T}he people moving in, that are of young ages who have children, don’t look the same as the people that are moving out,” Tippett said...

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Getting by on less: North Carolinians see shift in taxes, state pay raises, homeownership

NC Policy Watch  online

Rebecca Tippett, Director of Carolina Demography, writes that homeownership rates in North Carolina have hit the lowest rate ever: "North Carolina homeownership hit a high of 73.6% in 1981, then declined slightly before rising again and holding steady at the low 70s before 2005. After 2005, homeownership rates declined steadily. North Carolina’s homeownership rate was 66.5% in 2014, the lowest it has been at any point."...

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North Carolina town “forgotten” as residents, jobs fall away

The Denver Post  print

And as more people leave, tax revenue drops, making it difficult for small towns to provide services, said Rebecca Tippett of the Carolina Population Center.

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In NC, Clinton hopes to win over white, educated voters

Marketplace  radio

Half of North Carolina’s registered voters were born somewhere else, said Rebecca Tippett, director of Carolina Demography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Two North Carolinas: Cities grow at record pace while rural counties fall behind Read more here: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article237501534.html#storylink=cpy

The Charlotte Observer  


Some of the factors in that difference, director Rebecca Tippett said, start in high school. Some students might be daunted by the prospect of being the first in their families to go to college, she said, or believe that they won’t be able to afford it. The higher overall rates among urban students, Tippett added, may mask stark gaps among racial groups. Read more here: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article237501534.html#storylink=cpy

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Large number of people moving to N.C. are from Fla., Va.

The News & Observer  print


About one-third of South Carolinians coming to the Tar Heel State were actually born here, Carolina Demography says.

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North Carolina poised to gain another congressional seat in 2020

The Charlotte Observer  print


Wake and Mecklenburg are the largest counties. But suburban areas and retirement destinations like coastal Brunswick County were among the fastest growing in 2017, according to the University of North Carolina’s Carolina Demography.

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Love It or Hate It, NC's Growing Population Is Changing How We Live and Vote

Tying It Together with Tim Boyum  radio


A million new people are moving to North Carolina every single decade, and that trend is only expected to continue. From New York to Florida and even California, these folks change the very fabric of our state. And, whether you love it or hate it, it’s dramatically changing elections and political strategy. This week on the podcast, Tim sits down with Rebecca Tippett from Carolina Demography. She’s considered the top expert and highly sought after for her incredible depth of knowledge of the state’s changing demographics, and what it means for our lives and the economy.

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  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist

Articles (5)

Housing-Unit Method in Comparison: The Virginia Case

Emerging Techniques in Applied Demography

2015 ABSTRACT: Population estimates are widely used in fund allocation, revenue sharing, planning, and budgeting at the federal, state, and local levels; as such, accuracy is crucial, and finding the most appropriate data and method to produce the accurate results is a constant goal ...

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Poverty and the Social Safety Net


2012 ABSTRACT: The current presidential election cycle provides a platform for debate about the “social safety net.” In the broadest terms, social safety net programs provide assistance for low-income households, and help insure individuals against the risk of falling into poverty.

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Building Economic Security for Virginia Families

Local Government

2011 ABSTRACT: These rankings tell two stories about economic well-being in Virginia and make it clear that a single number, such as the statewide percentage below the federal poverty line, fails to present a full picture of households facing economic risks. The statewide federal poverty ...

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The social demography of internet dating in the united states

School Science Quarterly

2010 OBJECTIVE: The objective of this article is to identify the sociodemographic correlates of Internet dating net of selective processes that determine who is “at risk.” We also examine the role of computer literacy, social networks, and attitudes toward Internet dating among ...

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Household debt across the life course: An analysis of the late Baby Boomers

Duke University

2010 ABSTRACT: As an aggregate, American households have shown rising debt levels over the past few decades, yet we do not understand how debt varies within households over time and what factors influence this variation in a meaningful way. To date, household debt appears ...

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