Donald Bogue, a longtime sociology professor at the University of Chicago and a widely regarded demographer, studied the movement and habits of people on distant continents as well as closer to home.
Mr. Bogue, 96, died of natural causes Monday, April 21, in the Dyer, Ind., home of his daughter Gretchen Maguire.
Born in Utah, Mr. Bogue was the son of a farmer and homemaker and grew up near Independence, Mo. He received a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1939 from the University of Iowa, a master's in the field from Washington State College and a doctorate from the University of Michigan, according to the U. of C.
During World War II, he was an industrial statistician for the Navy and also did work for the U.S. Census Bureau. He went on to spend time in teaching and research before he arrived at the U. of C. in 1954.
Mr. Bogue spent six decades at the Hyde Park university, studying topics that included population, fertility patterns, migration, homelessness and metropolitan decentralization. His interests took him to Africa and Asia while he also examined the transient populations of Chicago.
Over his career, Mr. Bogue published a collection of books, reports and monographs, some of which would become standards in the field, including "Principles of Demography" and "Population of the United States," which painted a statistical portrait of the country in the late 1950s.
Kathleen Parks, senior vice president at NORC at the U. of C., an independent research organization, said Mr. Bogue conducted the first study on homelessness in America when he collaborated with the center in 1958 to study men living on Chicago's Skid Row.
Part of the study asserted "the notion that homelessness was something that's generated by an economic and social system and not just by the individual moral failure of human beings," said Mr. Bogue's daughter Sister Edith Bogue, who is a sociology professor.
In 1964, he founded Demography, the official journal of the Population Association of America. Also in the 1960s, amid concerns over a population explosion, Mr. Bogue asserted that the world would not overpopulate itself and that people would be able to make changes and have smaller families, said Sister Bogue.
"He told me on several occasions that the things he wrote didn't necessarily match what people hoped for but that wasn't his business," Maguire said. "His business was just trying to collect accurate data and make accurate projections based on that."
In 1978, Mr. Bogue co-authored a report predicting that minorities would account for two-thirds of Chicago's population by 2000, which proved true. He also forecast the migration of various groups to the suburbs.
For about two decades, Mr. Bogue ran summer workshops in Chicago that brought in dozens of practitioners from developing countries to learn computer skills, theories and research techniques that they could return to their countries with to do demographic work. In later years, he ran sessions of the program overseas.
"He had enormous research energy which carried through until even the most recent time period," said Michael White, a professor of sociology at Brown University and a former student of Mr. Bogue's.
Only in the last year had Mr. Bogue stopped his daily walk from his home in Hyde Park to his office at NORC. And earlier this year, his most recent work was published, "A Treatise on Migration: National and International."
Two years ago, Mr. Bogue, perhaps best known for his work in migration studies, published "The Economic Adjustment of Immigrants to Twelve Nations of Latin America." The monograph was the first scholarly work to compare migration within Latin America to migration from Latin America to the United States.
Mr. Bogue found that, in many situations, those who moved within Latin America didn't improve their economic situations whereas those moved to the U.S. did — this, in large part to the availability of more resources, Sister Bogue said.
Mr. Bogue was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth Mullen, with whom he worked on a number of research projects.
Survivors also include four grandchildren and longtime friend Isabel Garcia.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun