Photo of Rania Tfaily

Rania Tfaily

Associate Professor, Sociology Graduate Program Coordinator

Degrees:PhD (University of Pennsylvania)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2625
Office:B753 Loeb Building

Areas of Interest

As a social demographer, I am interested in examining issues related to gender, social class and caregiving; socioeconomic inequalities in health and well-being; contemporary changes in nuptiality (marriage, cohabitation, divorce) and fertility; and family background and children’s education.

I am currently accepting M.A. and Ph.D. students interested in any of the above areas.


I received my Ph.D. in Demography from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006. I was drawn to demography to study changes in marriage and fertility and their implications. I worked on research related to women’s status, religious affiliation and fertility as well as co-authored studies on the relationship between polygynous unions and HIV. I developed an interest in work related to health and aging. My research examined inequalities in health in old age and the dynamics of intergenerational assistance. I also published work on the impact of family background on educational inequality as well as the relationship between educational inequality and conflict.

Currently, I am working on two projects. The first project examines the interrelations between gender, caregiving and well-being in Canada. My second project looks at how economic strain is shaping family relations and patterns in Canada.

I have mentored and supervised a number of graduate students and acted as a consultant on research design and data analyses. I have taught numerous and wide-ranging courses including research methods, quantitative data analysis, classical sociological theory, power and stratification, sociology of the family, studies in population, studies in urban sociology, women in contemporary Middle Eastern Societies, advanced social statistics, and demographic analysis.

Selected Publications

Tfaily, R. (Forthcoming). Spring babes, summer weddings, fall divorces and winter deaths: Seasons and populations. In T. Davidson & O. Park (Eds.), Seasonal Sociology. Toronto: Toronto University Press.

Tfaily, R. (2016). Gender, sibship composition and education in Egypt. Comparative Education Review, 60(3), 480-500.

Tfaily, R., Diab, H., & Kulczycki, A. (2013). Educational disparities and conflict: evidence from Lebanon. Research in Comparative and International Education, 8(1), 55-73.

Reniers, G., & Tfaily, R. (2012). An inquiry into the mechanisms linking polygyny, partnership concurrency and HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. Demography, 49, 1075-1011.

Prus, S. G., Tfaily, R., & Lin, Z. (2010). Comparing racial and immigrant health status and health care access in later life in Canada and the United States. Canadian Journal on Aging, 29, 383-395.

Tfaily, R. (2010). Cross-community comparability of attitude questions: an application of item response theory. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 13(2), 95-110.

Noel-Miller, C., & Tfaily, R. (2009). Financial transfers to husbands’ and wives’ elderly mothers in Mexico: do couples exhibit preferential treatment by lineage? Research on Aging, 31(6), 611-637.

Reniers, G., & Tfaily, R. (2008). Polygyny and HIV in Malawi. Demographic Research, 19, 1811-1830.

Soldo, B. J., Mitchell, O. S., Tfaily, R., & McCabe, J. F. (2007). Cross-cohort differences in health on the verge of retirement. In B. Madrian, O. S. Mitchell, & B. J. Soldo (Eds.), Redefining retirement: how will boomers fare? (pp. 138-158). UK: Oxford University Press.

Tfaily, R. (2005). Do women with higher autonomy have lower fertility? Evidence from Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand, Genus, LX (2), 7-32.