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 200 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 reporters for national media. He has received over 5,000 media mentions since 2010. His research has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, 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 was recently named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow and received the country’s most prestigious fellowship to advance research in the social sciences and humanities. As a Carnegie Fellow, Johnson is analyzing the impact that the Great Recession is having on the demographic structure of rural America and its implications for policy. Dr. Johnson was also recently honored by the University of New Hampshire, which named him the Class of 1940 Professor for his excellence in interdisciplinary research and teaching and received UNH's Faculty Excellence in Research Award based on the quality, originality and significance of his scholarly work. The Rural Sociological Society also honored him with its Excellence in Research award.
  • Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    2018 The Influence of Human Demography on Land Cover Change in the Great Lakes States, USA.Environmental Management.  62:1089-1107. 2018
    2018 Sprawling and diverse: The changing U.S. population and implications for public lands in the 21st Century.Advances in Environmental Research Journal of Environmental Management Advances in Environmental Research.  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 Diversity (vol 35, pg 705, 2016)Population Research and Policy Review.  35:899-899. 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 Journal of Population.  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.  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.  72:331-358. 2007
    2006 Emerging Rural Settlement Patterns and the Geographic Redistribution of America's New ImmigrantsRural Sociology.  71:109-131. 2006
    2005 RURAL LAND-USE TRENDS IN THE CONTERMINOUS UNITED STATES, 1950–2000Ecological Appplications.  15:1851-1863. 2005
    2005 Population Trends in Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan America: Selective Deconcentration and the Rural ReboundPopulation Research and Policy Review.  24:527-542. 2005
    2005 Temporal and Spatial Variation in Age-Specific Net Migration in the United StatesDemography.  42:791-812. 2005


    Year Title
    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
    2011 Rural Natural Increase in the New Century 2011

    Teaching Activities

  • 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

    73 Main St




  • University of New Hampshire


    345B McConnel Hall, Dept of Sociology

    Durham, New Hampshire  03824