Research Areas research areas


  • Kenneth M. Johnson is senior demographer at the Carsey School of Public Policy and professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. He is a nationally recognized expert on U.S. demographic trends. His research examines national and regional population redistribution, rural and urban demographic change, the growing racial diversity of the U.S. population, the relationship between demographic and environmental change and the implications of demographic change for public policy.

    Dr. Johnson has published a book and more than 250 articles, reports and papers. His peer-reviewed publications have appeared in leading academic journals. He is also sought after for his expertise and ability to explain demographic information to a broad audience both by policy groups and by the media. His research has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He received his doctorate in sociology and demography from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and his undergraduate training at the University of Michigan.

    Dr. Johnson is an Andrew Carnegie Fellow awarded by the Andrew Carnegie Corporation to scholars identified as among the country's most creative thinkers to advance research in the social sciences and humanities. Dr. Johnson has also been honored by the University of New Hampshire, which named him the Class of 1940 Professor for his excellence in interdisciplinary research and teaching. He has also received UNH's Faculty Excellence in Research Award and a a UNH Faculty Scholar award based on the quality, originality and significance of his scholarly work. In addition, he received the UNH Faculty Excellence in Research Silver Medal for Sustainability Research. The Rural Sociological Society also honored him with its Excellence in Research award.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    2023 Population Redistribution Trends in Nonmetropolitan America, 2010 to 2021Rural Sociology: devoted to scientific study of rural and community life.  88:193-219. 2023
    2023 Urbanization and the Paradox of Rural Population Decline: Racial and Regional VariationSocius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World.  9:237802312211498-237802312211498. 2023
    2022 The Rural-Urban Continuum and the 2020 U. S. Presidential ElectionForum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics.  20:229-255. 2022
    2021 Opportunity and Place: Latino Children and America's FutureAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.  696:20-45. 2021
    2021 Remote Sensing of Lake Water Clarity: Performance and Transferability of Both Historical Algorithms and Machine LearningRemote Sensing.  13:1434-1434. 2021
    2021 The Rural-Urban Continuum of Polarization: Understanding the Geography of the 2018 MidtermsForum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics.  18:607-626. 2021
    2020 As Births Diminish and Deaths Increase, Natural Decrease becomes More Widespread in Rural America.Rural Sociology: devoted to scientific study of rural and community life.  85:1045-1058. 2020
    2020 A Demographic Lifeline? Immigration and Hispanic Population Growth in Rural AmericaPopulation Research and Policy Review.  39:785-803. 2020
    2020 Metropolitan Reclassification and the Urbanization of Rural America.Demography.  57:1929-1950. 2020
    2020 Subnational Non-Hispanic White Natural Decrease in the United StatesPopulation and Development Review.  46:7-31. 2020
    2019 Rural Depopulation: Growth and Decline Processes over the Past CenturyRural Sociology: devoted to scientific study of rural and community life.  84:3-27. 2019
    2018 The Influence of Human Demography on Land Cover Change in the Great Lakes States, USA.Environmental Management (New York): an international journal for decision-makers, scientists and environmental auditors.  62:1089-1107. 2018
    2018 Sprawling and diverse: The changing U.S. population and implications for public lands in the 21st Century.Journal of Environmental Management.  215:153-165. 2018
    2017 Frozen in Place: Net Migration in sub-National Areas of the United States in the Era of the Great Recession.Population and Development Review.  43:599-623. 2017
    2017 Political Polarization along the Rural-Urban Continuum? The Geography of the Presidential Vote, 2000-2016Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.  672:162-184. 2017
    2016 Diverging Demography: Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Contributions to U.S. Population Redistribution and DiversityPopulation Research and Policy Review.  35:705-725. 2016
    2016 Moving Toward Integration? Effects of Migration on Ethnoracial Segregation Across the Rural-Urban Continuum.Demography.  53:1027-1049. 2016
    2016 The relocation bump: Memories of middle adulthood are organized around residential moves.Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.  145:935-940. 2016
    2016 Red Rural, Blue Rural: The Geography of Presidential Voting in Rural AmericaGeography Teacher.  13:118-123. 2016
    2015 More Deaths Than Births: Subnational Natural Decrease in Europe and the United StatesPopulation and Development Review.  41:651-+. 2015
    2015 Hispanics at the Starting Line: Poverty among Newborn Infants in Established Gateways and New DestinationsSocial Forces.  94:209-235. 2015
    2015 Red rural, blue rural? Presidential voting patterns in a changing rural AmericaPolitical Geography.  48:108-118. 2015
    2015 Migration signatures across the decades: Net migration by age in U.S. counties, 1950-2010.Demographic Research.  32:1065-1080. 2015
    2013 Spatial and temporal residential density patterns from 1940 to 2000 in and around the Northern Forest of the Northeastern United StatesPopulation and Environment.  34:400-419. 2013
    2013 Demographic Trends in Nonmetropolitan America: Implications for Land Use Development and ConservationVermont Journal of Environmental Law.  15:31-31. 2013
    2012 Hispanic Assimilation and Fertility in New Destinations.International Migration Review.  46:767-791. 2012
    2011 The Continuing Incidence of Natural Decrease in American CountiesRural Sociology: devoted to scientific study of rural and community life.  76:74-100. 2011
    2010 Growing Diversity among America's Children and Youth: Spatial and Temporal DimensionsPopulation and Development Review.  36:151-+. 2010
    2009 Immigrant Gateways and Hispanic Migration to New Destinations(1)International Migration Review.  43:496-518. 2009
    2008 Natural increase: A new source of population growth in emerging Hispanic destinations in the United StatesPopulation and Development Review.  34:327-+. 2008
    2007 The changing spatial concentration of America's rural poor populationRural Sociology: devoted to scientific study of rural and community life.  72:331-358. 2007
    2006 Emerging rural settlement patterns and the geographic redistribution of America's new immigrantsRural Sociology: devoted to scientific study of rural and community life.  71:109-131. 2006
    2005 Rural land-use trends in the conterminous United States, 1950-2000Ecological Applications.  15:1851-1863. 2005
    2005 Temporal and spatial variation in age-specific net migration in the United States.Demography.  42:791-812. 2005
    2005 Population trends in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan America: Selective deconcentration and the rural reboundPopulation Research and Policy Review.  24:527-542. 2005
    2003 Racial/ethnic diversification in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan population change in the United States: implications for health care provision in rural America.Journal of Rural Health.  19:425-432. 2003
    1998 The identification of recreational counties in nonmetropolitan areas of the USAPopulation Research and Policy Review.  17:37-53. 1998
    1995 LOCAL-GOVERNMENT FISCAL BURDEN IN NONMETROPOLITAN AMERICARural Sociology: devoted to scientific study of rural and community life.  60:381-398. 1995
    1994 THE RECENT REVIVAL OF WIDESPREAD POPULATION-GROWTH IN NONMETROPOLITAN AREAS OF THE UNITED-STATESRural Sociology: devoted to scientific study of rural and community life.  59:655-667. 1994
    1993 Demographic Change in Nonmetropolitan America, 1980 to 19901Rural Sociology: devoted to scientific study of rural and community life.  58:347-365. 1993
    1993 DEMOGRAPHIC-CHANGE IN NONMETROPOLITAN AMERICA, 1980 TO 1990Rural Sociology: devoted to scientific study of rural and community life.  58:347-365. 1993
    1993 When deaths exceed births: natural decrease in the United States.International Regional Science Review.  15:179-198. 1993
    1989 RECENT POPULATION REDISTRIBUTION TRENDS IN NONMETROPOLITAN AMERICARural Sociology: devoted to scientific study of rural and community life.  54:301-326. 1989
    1982 Organization Adjustment to Population Change in Nonmetropolitan America: A Longitudinal Analysis of Retail TradeSocial Forces.  60:1123-1139. 1982
    1980 Recent nonmetropolitan population change in fifty-year perspective.Demography.  17:57-70. 1980


    Year Title
    2019 U.S. Fertility Rate Hits Record Low and Births Continue to Diminish 2019
    2019 Migration Fuels a Second Year of Higher Population Gain in New Hampshire 2019
    2019 Rural America Growing Again Due to Migration Gains 2019
    2019 Data Snapshot: Hispanic Population of Child-Bearing Age Grows, but Births Diminish 2019
    2019 Rural Depopulation in a Rapidly Urbanizing America 2019
    2018 Data Snapshot: U.S. Population Growth Continues to Slow Due to Fewer Births and More Deaths 2018
    2018 Population, Greenspace, and Development Conversion Patterns in the Great Lakes Region 2018
    2018 More Young Adult Migrants Moving to New Hampshire from Other U.S. Locations 2018
    2018 Data Snapshot: Ten Years After the Great Recession Began, U.S. Birth Rate Is at Record Low 2018
    White Deaths Exceed Births in Majority of U.S. States.


    Year Title
    2022 A Demographic Lifeline to Rural America: Latino Population Growth in New Destinations, 1990-2019.  1-601. 2022
    2017 Where is Rural and Who Lives There 2017
    2012 Rural Natural Increase in the New Century: America's Third Demographic Transition.  17-34. 2012

    Conference Paper

    Year Title
    2000 Continuity and change in rural migration patterns, 1950-1995Rural Sociology: devoted to scientific study of rural and community life. 27-49. 2000

    Teaching Activities

  • Sociological Methods I Taught course
  • Social Demography Taught course 2023
  • Social Demography Taught course 2021
  • Sociological Methods I Taught course 2019
  • Social Demography Taught course 2018
  • Sociological Methods I Taught course 2015
  • Sociological Methods I Taught course 2014
  • Social Demography Taught course 2014
  • Education And Training

    Full Name

  • Kenneth Johnson
  • Mailing Address

  • University of New Hampshire

    Carsey School of Public Policy

    New England Center




  • University of New Hampshire


    345B McConnel Hall, Dept of Sociology

    Durham, New Hampshire  03824