Emilio Zagheni was born in 1981 in Italy. He studied economics, statistics, and social sciences at Bocconi University in Milan. In 2006 and 2008 he received MA degrees in demography and statistics from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was also awarded a PhD in demography in 2010. From 2010 to 2012 Emilio Zagheni worked as a research scientist at the MPI for Demographic Research in Rostock. Since 2014 he has been employed as a professor of sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle, first as an assistant professor, and, since 2016, as an associate professor. Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research as of 2018.
For his research Emilio Zagheni has received numerous awards. His research focuses on migration, in particular on how migration and the integration of migrants can be managed against a background of population aging and crises. Zagheni's methodological focus is also on developing a digital demography - in other words, implementing techniques that turn the traces people leave on the internet and on social media into data suitable for use in demographic research.