David Voas (born 1955) is a quantitative social scientist. He is currently Professor of Social Science and Head of the Department of Social Science at the UCL Institute of Education. He was previously Professor of Population Studies at the University of Essex[1] and Simon Professor of Population Studies at the University of Manchester.[2]

David Voas
Voas in November 2017
Born1955 (age 67–68)
Academic background
EducationAtlantic College
London School of Economics
University of Cambridge
Academic work
Sub-disciplineSociology of religion
InstitutionsUniversity of Manchester
University of Essex
University College London

Voas is on the executive committee of the European Values Study and is co-director of British Religion in Numbers, an online centre for British data on religion. He serves on the council of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion and on the editorial boards of the British Journal of Sociology and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. His research concerns religious change and value change in modern societies, the intergenerational transmission of religion and values, and attitudes of and towards ethno-religious minorities.

Early lifeEdit

David Voas was born in the United States. His father is Robert B. Voas, a psychologist who had a key role in selecting and training the first group of NASA astronauts and in recent decades has been a leader in policy research on alcohol and highway safety. David Voas left the US at the age of 15 to attend Atlantic College, an international school in South Wales. He subsequently received bachelor's and master's degrees from London School of Economics and a PhD from Cambridge.


Voas worked in the private sector for a number of years and also spent extended periods outside the UK, particularly in France, the United States, and Bulgaria.

Academic careerEdit

He returned to academic life in 1998, first as a researcher at the University of Liverpool and subsequently as a lecturer at the University of Sheffield. He was awarded a Simon Research Fellowship at the University of Manchester in 2003 and remained there for eight years, first in the Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research and later in the Institute for Social Change. In 2007, he was promoted to professor and given a chair in the Institute for Social Change, later merged into the Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research.[3]

Voas was Professor of Population Studies in the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex from November 2011 to January 2016. He took up his present position at UCL in February 2016.


  1. ^ "University of Essex Staff Biography". University of Essex. Archived from the original on 21 January 2015. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  2. ^ "University of Manchester Staff Biography". University of Manchester. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  3. ^ "Prof David Voas - personal details". People. University of Manchester. Retrieved 21 January 2015.