Kenneth Johnson

Class of 1940 Professor of Sociology
Senior Demographer
Andrew Carnegie Fellow
Phone: (603) 862-2205
Office: Sociology, McConnell Hall Rm 345B, Durham, NH 03824
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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 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 which is 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 he also 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.


  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • M.A., Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • B.A., Sociology, University of Michigan

Research Interests

  • Demographic Change
  • Demography
  • Quantitative analysis
  • Rural and urban sociology
  • Rural Studies
  • Sociology

Courses Taught

  • SOC 725: Social Demography
  • SOC 901: Sociological Methods I

Selected Publications

Johnson, K. M., & Lichter, D. T. (2019). Rural Depopulation: Growth and Decline Processes over the Past Century. Rural Sociology, 84(1), 3-27. doi:10.1111/ruso.12266

Ducey, M. J., Johnson, K. M., Belair, E. P., & Cook, B. D. (2018). The Influence of Human Demography on Land Cover Change in the Great Lakes States, USA. Environmental Management, 62(6), 1089-1107. doi:10.1007/s00267-018-1102-x

Mockrin, M. H., Stewart, S. I., Matonis, M. S., Johnson, K. M., Hammer, R. B., & Radeloff, V. C. (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. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.03.053

Johnson, K. M., Curtis, K. J., & Egan-Robertson, D. (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(4), 599-623. doi:10.1111/padr.12095

Scala, D. J., & Johnson, K. M. (2017). Political Polarization along the Rural-Urban Continuum? The Geography of the Presidential Vote, 2000–2016. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 672(1), 162-184. doi:10.1177/0002716217712696

Lichter, D. T., & Johnson, K. M. (2009). Immigrant Gateways and Hispanic Migration to New Destinations. International Migration Review, 43(3), 496-518. doi:10.1111/j.1747-7379.2009.00775.x

Johnson, K. M., & Lichter, D. T. (2008). Natural Increase: A New Source of Population Growth in Emerging Hispanic Destinations in the United States. Population and Development Review, 34(2), 327-346. doi:10.1111/j.1728-4457.2008.00222.x

Lichter, D. T., & Johnson, K. M. (2006). Emerging Rural Settlement Patterns and the Geographic Redistribution of America's New Immigrants. Rural Sociology, 71(1), 109-131. doi:10.1526/003601106777789828

Brown, D. G., Johnson, K. M., Loveland, T. R., & Theobald, D. M. (2005). RURAL LAND-USE TRENDS IN THE CONTERMINOUS UNITED STATES, 1950–2000. Ecological Applications, 15(6), 1851-1863. doi:10.1890/03-5220


Most Cited Publications