C. Matthew Snipp is the Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University. He is also the Director for the Institute for Research in the Social Science’s Secure Data Center and formerly directed Stanford’s Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE). Before moving to Stanford in 1996, he was a Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin -- Madison. He has been a Research Fellow at the U.S. Bureau of the Census and a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Professor Snipp has published 3 books and over 70 articles and book chapters on demography, economic development, poverty and unemployment. His current research and writing deals with the methodology of racial measurement, changes in the social and economic well-being of American ethnic minorities, and American Indian education. For nearly ten years, he served as an appointed member of the Census Bureau’s Racial and Ethnic Advisory Committee. He also has been involved with several advisory working groups evaluating the 2000 census, three National Academy of Science panels focused on the 2010 and 2020 censuses. He also has served as a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the Centers for Disease Control and the National Center for Health Statistics as well as an elected member of the Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research’s Council. He is currently serving on the National Institute of Child Health and Development’s Population Science Subcommittee. Snipp holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

Academic Appointments

  • Professor, Sociology

Program Affiliations

  • Public Policy

2023-24 Courses

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • The American Opportunity Study: A New Infrastructure for Monitoring Outcomes, Evaluating Policy, and Advancing Basic Science. The Russell Sage Foundation journal of the social sciences : RSF Grusky, D. B., Hout, M. n., Smeeding, T. M., Snipp, C. M. 2019; 5 (2): 20–39


    The American Opportunity Study is an ongoing initiative to build the country's capacity to access and analyze linked administrative data. It is best viewed as a population-level scaffolding on which other administrative data can then be hung. This scaffolding, if used as a stand-alone resource, will allow for long-run analyses of fundamental population and labor market processes. If combined with data from other sources, it will allow for long-run program evaluation and other experimental and quasi-experimental analyses. We discuss the current status of the American Opportunity Study, its potential to advance the field, remaining obstacles that must be overcome to build it, and how it can work within the guidelines suggested by the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking.

    View details for DOI 10.7758/RSF.2019.5.2.02

    View details for PubMedID 31168468

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6545984

  • Measuring Hispanic Origin: Reflections on Hispanic Race Reporting ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE Porter, S. R., Snipp, C. 2018; 677 (1): 140–52
  • Changes in Racial and Gender Inequality since 1970 ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE Snipp, C. M., Cheung, S. Y. 2016; 663 (1): 80-98
  • What does data sovereignty imply: what does it look like? INDIGENOUS DATA SOVEREIGNTY: TOWARD AN AGENDA Snipp, C., Kukutai, T., Taylor, J. 2016; 38: 39–55
  • A New Infrastructure for Monitoring Social Mobility in the United States ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE Grusky, D. B., Smeeding, T. M., Snipp, C. M. 2015; 657 (1): 63-82


    The country's capacity to monitor trends in social mobility has languished since the last major survey on U.S. social mobility was fielded in 1973. It is accordingly difficult to evaluate recent concerns that social mobility may be declining or to develop mobility policy that is adequately informed by evidence. This article presents a new initiative, dubbed the American Opportunity Study (AOS), that would allow the country to monitor social mobility efficiently and with great accuracy. The AOS entails developing the country's capacity to link records across decennial censuses, the American Community Survey, and administrative sources. If an AOS of this sort were assembled, it would open up new fields of social science inquiry; increase opportunities for evidence-based policy on poverty, mobility, child development, and labor markets; and otherwise constitute a new social science resource with much reach and impact.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0002716214549941

    View details for Web of Science ID 000346267200006

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6089542

  • Utopian visions of racial admixture ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES Snipp, C. M. 2014; 37 (10): 1847-1851
  • Population Shifts and Demographic Methods Joint Statistical Meeting of the American-Statistical-Association Snipp, C. M., Lott, J. T. STATISTICS SWEDEN. 2009: 99–124
  • Racial measurement in the American census: Past practices and implications for the future ANNUAL REVIEW OF SOCIOLOGY Snipp, C. M. 2003; 29: 563-588
  • Changes in racial identification and the educational attainment of American Indians, 1970-1990 DEMOGRAPHY Eschbach, K., Supple, K., Snipp, C. M. 1998; 35 (1): 35-43


    We use data from the 1970, 1980 and 1990 census public-use files to assess the impact of newly identified Indians on the educational attainment of American Indians who were at least 25 years old in 1970. We test the hypotheses that this impact was limited to metropolitan areas and to states with small Indian populations. We find that educational attainment for American Indians rose sharply between 1970 and 1990 and that changes in racial identification were an important component of this increase in 1980 but not in 1990. Increases in educational attainment were concentrated in metropolitan areas and occurred in states with large and small Indian populations.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000072093400003

    View details for PubMedID 9512908

  • Some observations about racial boundaries and the experiences of American Indians ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES Snipp, C. M. 1997; 20 (4): 667-689
  • The size and distribution of the American Indian population: Fertility, mortality, migration, and residence POPULATION RESEARCH AND POLICY REVIEW Snipp, C. M. 1997; 16 (1-2): 61-93