Social Sciences: Social Statistics & Demography

Peter WF Smith

Primary position:
Professor of Social Statistics
Other positions:
Director of the ESRC Administrative Data Research Centre for England, Deputy Director of Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute


The University of Southampton
Professor Peter WF Smith's photo

Peter W. F. Smith is Professor of Social Statistics at the University of Southampton, UK, where he has worked for over 22 years. He obtained a First Class BSc in Mathematics in 1986 from Lancaster University, and returned there to complete a PhD in Statistics in 1990, having obtained an MSc in Probability and Statistics with Distinction in 1987 from the University of Sheffield. Peter has research interests in developing new statistical methodology, including methods for handling non-response and for modelling longitudinal data, and applying sophisticated statistical methods to problems in demography, medicine and health sciences. His publications include articles in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A, B and C, Biometrika and the Journal of the American Statistical Association. Peter was awarded the Royal Statistical Society Guy Medal in Bronze in 1999 and is currently Joint Editor of Series C of their Journal.


Research Interests

Graphical modelling:

  • properties of tests for edge exclusion
  • model selection
  • chain graphs
  • applications in demography and medicine

Exact inference: (further information from this link)

  • using direct Monte Carlo methods
  • using Markov chain Monte Carlo methods
  • for generalised linear models
  • for models for social networks

Methods for handling non-response:

  • contingency tables with missing data
  • non-ignorable non-response
  • Bayesian methods

Models for longitudinal data:

  • multivariate binary responses
  • association/marginal models

Primary research group:  Administrative Data Research Centre for England

Research projects


The UBhave project aims to investigate the power and challenges of using mobile phones and social networking for Digital Behaviour Change Interventions (DBCIs).

Health and well-being of cancer survivors

Benefits of the Alexander Technique for sufferers with low back pain

Models for longitudinal categorical data

Outcomes of teenage parenthood for mothers, fathers and children

Family attitudes and demographic behaviour

Gender role attitudes and labour force participation

The Use of Paradata in Cross–Sectional and Longitudinal Surveys

Understanding social change in attitudes to cohabitation, divorce and sexual morality

A phase I-II feasibility trial of Cancer Carer Medicines Management (CCMM): an educational intervention for carer management of pain medication in cancer patients at end of life.


Professor Peter WF Smith
Social Statistics & Demography
Social Sciences
University of Southampton
SO17 1BJ
United Kingdom

Room Number: 39/2009