KAUST offers me world-class research resources and support. Its highly international working environment allows me gain a global perspective.


Building 1 (West), Al-Khawarizmi, 4th floor, 4200-CU05


  • 2017: PhD in Biostatistics. Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore.
  • 2012: BSc (Hons) Statistics, National University of Singapore.


  • Aug 2013: XXVII IUSSP International Population Conference Best Poster Award.
  • May 2011: NUS Dean’s List: AY 2010/2011 Semester 2.
  • 2008–2012: NUS Undergraduate Scholarship (full scholarship).

Dr. Chao received her Ph.D. in 2017 from the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore. Her Ph.D. dissertation is “Bayesian Methods for Estimating Global Health Indicators”. She has collaborated actively with United Nations Population Division and UNICEF since 2012. She develops complex statistical models for sparse and noisy data for population indicators (e.g. sex ratio at birth, under-5 child mortality rate) across countries over time.

Research Interest

Statistical demography; Global health; Bayesian modeling; Time series analysis.

Professional Activities

Associate Editor: Foundation of Data Science (AIMS). Statistics and Computing.

Ad hoc reviewer by discipline:

  • Statistics/mathematics: Annals of Applied Statistics. Entropy. Risks. Stats. TEST.
  • Demography: Demographic Research. Demography. International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Journal of Population and Social Studies. Journal of Population Economics. Journal of Population Research. Mathematical Population Studies. Population Research and Policy Review. Spatial Demography. SSM - Population Health. Studies in Family Planning.
  • Global/public health: BMC Public Health. BMJ Global Health. Global Health Research and Policy. Healthcare. International Health. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Lancet Global Health. Public Health.
  • Inter & other disciplines: BMJ Open. Cogent Business & Management. Cogent Economics & Finance. Cogent Social Sciences. Diagnostics. Imaging Science Journal. Journal of Development Effectiveness. Life. Medical Principles and Practice. Nature. Nutrients. PeerJ. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. PLoS ONE. Social Sciences. Spatial Economic Analysis. Sustainability. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease. Violence Against Women.

Selected Publications

Chao, F., Masquelier, B., You, D., Hug, L., Liu, Y., Sharrow, D., Rue, H., Ombao, H., & Alkema, L., 2023. Sex differences in mortality among children, adolescents, and young people aged 0–24 years: a systematic assessment of national, regional, and global trends from 1990 to 2021. Lancet Global Health, 11(10), pp.e1519-e1530.
Chao, F., Wazir, M.A., & Ombao, H. (2022). Levels and Trends Estimates of Sex Ratio at Birth for Seven Provinces of Pakistan from 1980 to 2020 with Scenario-Based Probabilistic Projections of Missing Female Birth to 2050: a Bayesian Modeling Approach. International Journal of Population Studies, 8 (2), 51-70.
Chao, F., KC, S., & Ombao, H. (2022). Estimation and probabilistic projection of levels and trends in the sex ratio at birth in seven provinces of Nepal from 1980 to 2050: a Bayesian modeling approach. BMC Public Health, 22(1), 1-15.
Chao, F., Gerland, P., Cook, A. R., & Alkema, L. (2021). Global estimation and scenario-based projections of sex ratio at birth and missing female births using a Bayesian hierarchical time series mixture model. Annals of Applied Statistics, 15(3), 1499-1528.
Chao, F., Gerland, P., Cook, A. R., Guilmoto, C. Z., & Alkema, L. (2021). Projecting sex imbalances at birth at global, regional and national levels from 2021 to 2100: scenario-based Bayesian probabilistic projections of the sex ratio at birth and missing female births based on 3.26 billion birth records. BMJ Global Health, 6(8), e005516.
Chao, F., Guilmoto, C. Z., & Ombao, H. (2021). Sex ratio at birth in Vietnam among six subnational regions during 1980–2050, estimation and probabilistic projection using a Bayesian hierarchical time series model with 2.9 million birth records. PLoS ONE, 16(7), e0253721.
Chao, F., Guilmoto, C. Z., KC, S., & Ombao, H. (2020). Probabilistic projection of the sex ratio at birth and missing female births by State and Union Territory in India. PLoS ONE, 15(8), e0236673.
Guilmoto, C. Z., Chao, F., & Kulkarni, P. M. (2020). On the estimation of female births missing due to prenatal sex selection. Population Studies, 74(2), 283-289.
Chao, F., & Yadav, A. K. (2019). Levels and trends in the sex ratio at birth and missing female births for 29 states and union territories in India 1990–2016: A Bayesian modeling study. Foundations of Data Science, 1(2), 177-196.
Chao, F., Gerland, P., Cook, A. R., & Alkema, L. (2019). Systematic assessment of the sex ratio at birth for all countries and estimation of national imbalances and regional reference levels. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(19), 9303-9311.
Chao, F., You, D., Pedersen, J., Hug, L., & Alkema, L. (2018). National and regional under-5 mortality rate by economic status for low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic assessment. Lancet Global Health, 6(5), e535-e547.
Chao, F., & Alkema, L. (2014). How informative are vital registration data for estimating maternal mortality? A Bayesian analysis of WHO adjustment data and parameters. Statistics and Public Policy, 1(1), 6-18.
Alkema, L., Chao, F., You, D., Pedersen, J., & Sawyer, C. C. (2014). National, regional, and global sex ratios of infant, child, and under-5 mortality and identification of countries with outlying ratios: a systematic assessment. Lancet Global Health, 2(9), e521-e530.