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Kenneth Johnson

Professor of Sociology
Senior Demographer
Andrew Carnegie Fellow
Phone: (603) 862-1958
Office: Sociology, McConnell Hall Rm 345B, Durham, NH 03824

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.

Courses Taught

  • SOC 725/825: Social Demography
  • SOC 901: Sociological Methods I


  • 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

Selected Publications

  • Johnson, K. M. (2023). Population Redistribution Trends in Nonmetropolitan America, 2010 to 2021. Rural Sociology, 88(1), 193-219. doi:10.1111/ruso.12473

  • Lichter, D. T., & Johnson, K. M. (2023). Urbanization and the Paradox of Rural Population Decline: Racial and Regional Variation. Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World, 9, 237802312211498. doi:10.1177/23780231221149896

  • Johnson, K. M., & Scala, D. J. (2022). The Rural-Urban Continuum and the 2020 U. S. Presidential Election. FORUM-A JOURNAL OF APPLIED RESEARCH IN CONTEMPORARY POLITICS, 20(2), 229-255. doi:10.1515/for-2022-2057

  • Lichter, D., & Johnson, K. (2022). A Demographic Lifeline to Rural America: Latino Population Growth in New Destinations, 1990-2019. In D. Davis, & A. Dumont (Eds.), Investing in Rural Prosperity (pp. 1-601). St Louis, MO: The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

  • Lichter, D. T., & Johnson, K. M. (2021). Opportunity and Place: Latino Children and America's Future. ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE, 696(1), 20-45. doi:10.1177/00027162211039504

  • Johnson, K. M., & Scala, D. J. (2021). The Rural-Urban Continuum of Polarization: Understanding the Geography of the 2018 Midterms. FORUM-A JOURNAL OF APPLIED RESEARCH IN CONTEMPORARY POLITICS, 18(4), 607-626. doi:10.1515/for-2020-2102

  • Johnson, K. M. (2020). As Births Diminish and Deaths Increase, Natural Decrease becomes More Widespread in Rural America*. RURAL SOCIOLOGY, 85(4), 1045-1058. doi:10.1111/ruso.12358

  • Lichter, D. T., & Johnson, K. M. (2020). A Demographic Lifeline? Immigration and Hispanic Population Growth in Rural America. POPULATION RESEARCH AND POLICY REVIEW, 39(5), 785-803. doi:10.1007/s11113-020-09605-8

  • Johnson, K. M., & Lichter, D. T. (2020). Metropolitan Reclassification and the Urbanization of Rural America. DEMOGRAPHY, 57(5), 1929-1950. doi:10.1007/s13524-020-00912-5

  • Johnson, K. M. (2020). Subnational Non-Hispanic White Natural Decrease in the United States. POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT REVIEW, 46(1), 7-31. doi:10.1111/padr.12323

  • 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

  • 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-+. 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. ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE, 672(1), 162-184. doi:10.1177/0002716217712696

  • Johnson, K. M., & Lichter, D. T. (2016). Diverging Demography: Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Contributions to U.S. Population Redistribution and Diversity. Population Research and Policy Review, 35(6), 705-725. doi:10.1007/s11113-016-9403-3

  • Winkler, R. L., & Johnson, K. M. (2016). Moving Toward Integration? Effects of Migration on Ethnoracial Segregation Across the Rural-Urban Continuum. DEMOGRAPHY, 53(4), 1027-1049. doi:10.1007/s13524-016-0479-5

  • Johnson, K. M., Field, L. M., & Jr, P. D. L. (2015). More Deaths Than Births: Subnational Natural Decrease in Europe and the United States. POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT REVIEW, 41(4), 651-+. doi:10.1111/j.1728-4457.2015.00089.x

  • Scala, D. J., Johnson, K. M., & Rogers, L. T. (2015). Red rural, blue rural? Presidential voting patterns in a changing rural America. POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY, 48, 108-118. doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2015.02.003

  • Johnson, K. M., & Winkler, R. L. (2015). Migration signatures across the decades: Net migration by age in U.S. counties, 1950-2010.. Demogr Res, 32, 1065-1080. doi:10.4054/DemRes.2015.32.38