Sarah A. Burgard

Director, Population Studies Center
Research Professor, PSC
Faculty Associate, SRC
Professor, Sociology
Professor, Epidemiology Department
Professor, Ford School Of Public Policy
Sarah A. Burgard


Sarah Burgard received a BA in International and Comparative Policy Studies from Reed College in Portland, OR and then earned an MA and PhD in Sociology and an MS in Epidemiology from the University of California at Los Angeles. Following her graduate studies, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at the University of Michigan, where she has since earned the title of Professor in three different U-M departments and with the Population Studies Center at the Institute for Social Research (ISR).

Burgard does research to understand how systems of social, economic and political stratification impact the health of people and populations. She currently studies gender, socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in working conditions and occupational careers, the effect of these inequalities on health, and the impact of an individual's working life on the well-being of other family members. She has explored the sometimes unexpected ways that social expectations around gender create difficulties for women and men at the work- home interface. She has studied racial/ethnic and socioeconomic inequities in children's health in South Africa and Brazil, and fielded a survey study of the ways in which American policies have affected the resilience of communities in Southeast Michigan in the wake of the great recession.

Dr. Burgard studies the ways in which policies that affect work arrangements, families and economic sufficiency shape the level of health equity by race, gender, socioeconomic status, and other key social identities. She recognizes that policies can either protect members of nondominant groups or exacerbate inequity. By studying cross-national differences in health equity, Burgard hopes to identify ways in which we can make choices that reduce inequity.