Canadian Population Society Award

Description of Award:

This award honors a Canadian scholar every two years who has shown outstanding commitment to the profession of demography and whose cumulative work has contributed in important ways to the advancement of the discipline in Canada, through publications, teaching and/or service. The body of lifetime work may include theoretical, substantive, methodological and/or applied contributions. This honorific award is intended as a one time recognition of a person's career contributions, and carries no monetary stipend. The CPS Award will be presented at the Annual General Assembly of the Canadian Population Society (Procedures for Nomination)


Citation for Professor T.R. Balakrishnan, recipient of the 2010 Canadian Population Society Award.

The CPS Award honors a Canadian scholar every two years who has shown outstanding commitment to the profession of demography, and whose cumulative work has contributed in important ways to the advancement of the discipline in Canada, through publications, teaching and/or service.

The Canadian Population Society Award Committee has chosen Professor T.R. Balakrishnan as recipient of the 2010 CPS Award. I am honored and delighted to be asked to give the citation to Bala, colleague, friend and mentor to many of us.

Bala represents the high mark of a distinguished career as researcher, educator and in service to the profession. With an Honours B.A. in Mathematics in 1952 and M.A. in Mathematics and Statistics in 1953 from the University of Madras, then a two-year post graduate Diploma in Statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute in Calcutta, Balakrishnan then obtained his PhD in Sociology-Demography in 1963 from the University of Michigan, as a Population Council Fellow.

Professor Balakrishnan worked as a statistician for the National Sample Survey of the Indian Statistical Institute before obtaining his PhD, then he was Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta for 1963-65. It was in 1965 that we first knew him in Canada, as he joined the Department of Sociology at the University of Western Ontario, becoming Associate Professor in 1967, Professor in 1971, Faculty Research Professor in 1988-89, and Professor Emeritus in 1997.

Bala was the Founding Director of the Population Studies Centre at the University of Western Ontario, a position that he held for 1974-1984. For 1989-1992 he served as Chair of the Department of Sociology. He was also visiting scholar or research associate at Indiana University (1969-70), University of California at Berkeley (1972), United Nations Latin American Demographic Centre (CELADE, 1973) and East-West Population Institute (1980-81).

As an educator, Professor Balakrishnan was the senior demographer who ensured graduate education in population studies at the University of Western Ontario as of the beginning of the MA program in 1966, and in establishing a PhD program in Social Demography in 1978. At the undergraduate level, Bala ensured that population studies would be a real program within sociology, placing population, along with social organization and social psychology, as core areas of the Sociology program at the University of Western Ontario.

As a researcher, Dr Balakrishnan has made a mark in several areas, but especially in fertility studies and in ethnic settlement patterns.  Already in 1955-58, he was involved in the National Sample Survey through the Indian Statistical Institute. Along with Jack Kantner and J.D. Allingham, he obtained a Canada Council grant in 1967 for the Toronto Fertility Survey that produced Fertility and Family Planning in a Canadian Metropolis (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1975). With G. Edward Ebanks and Carl Grindstaff, he was responsible for the 1971 census monograph on fertility (Patterns of Fertility in Canada, Statistics Canada, 1979). Then in 1983-85 he obtained another SSHRC grant with Karol Krotki and Evelyne Lapierre-Adamcyk, to undertake a national fertility survey, and to write Family and Childbearing in Canada: A Demographic Analysis (University of Toronto Press, 1993).

Balakrishnan has clearly been the foremost demographer from English Canada in the area of fertility and family studies. He has documented the trends and determinants as the family context of Canadian fertility underwent significant changes. From contraception and family planning, his research went on to include cohabitation, union formation and dissolution. In 1993, he was associated with the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies, producing reports that have appeared in The Prevalence of Infertility in Canada (Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies, 1993).

In terms of Professor Balakrishnan’s work on ethnicity, let me quote from Feng Hou, now Senior Researcher at Statistics Canada: Bala is the pioneer in the studies of Canadian urban neighbourhoods. He has systematically examined the socioeconomic differentiation and neighbourhood changes in urban Canada over the 1950s through 1990s. Most importantly, he has done extensive studies on racial/ethnic concentration in Canada’s large metropolitan areas. His research shows that ethnic concentration in urban Canada has gradually increased over recent decades and the variations in residential concentration across cities and ethnic groups have remained relatively stable. From his studies we know that Canadian urban society is likely to exhibit an increasingly strong multicultural dimension in its spatial structure. His research findings also suggest that unlike in the United

States, ethnic concentration in Canada is mostly voluntary in the sense that group differences in residential concentration primarily reflect own-group preference and capacity to build ethnic communities. His over 20 publications on minority residential patterns have become the knowledge foundation for Canadian studies on immigrant settlement patterns and neighbourhood effects


Procedures for Nomination: 


The file for nominations should include the following materials: (1) a copy of the nominee's curriculum vitae (which the nominee should be willing to submit); (2) a covering letter by the person making the nomination; (3) four signed letters of support of the nomination addressing the contributions to the body of knowledge made by the person being nominated.

The person making the nomination and the nominated individual must be members of the Canadian Population Society. Hard copies of the covering letter and letters of support must be submitted to the Chair of the CPS Awards Committee, by February 15 of the year in which an Award is to be given. Unsuccessful nominations remain under active consideration for the next award cycle. An individual may be re-nominated after two years from the last year of competition have elapsed. In such cases a new file would be required containing all the necessary documents. In compelling cases, the Award may be given posthumously. The CPS Awards Committee reserves the option of not recommending an award in any given competition.