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. Her work helps leaders across North Carolina make sense of population-level changes throughout the state.
Since 2017, her work and the work of Carolina Demography has largely focused on evaluating North Carolina’s postsecondary educational pipeline. In collaboration with the John M. Belk Endowment, Carolina Demography mapped out a complete picture of North Carolina’s postsecondary educational pipeline and identified the biggest opportunities for improvement. Using data from K-12 (NC Department of Public Instruction), the North Carolina Community College System, and the University of North Carolina System, Tippett and Carolina Demography followed 9th graders in North Carolina through the state’s public education institutions for ten years and determined where they were most likely to drop out of the educational pipeline. They examined how educational attainment across the state varies by demography and geography. Her ongoing work examines the full range of postsecondary outcomes (including private and out-of-state enrollments) and takes a more detailed look at sub-state variation in outcomes.
Dr. Tippett has also 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 150 presentations on topics ranging from census reapportionment to school enrollment projections 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.