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Population Responses to Environmental Change: Looking Back, Looking Forward


Entwisle, Barbara (2021). Population Responses to Environmental Change: Looking Back, Looking Forward. Population and Environment, 42, 431-444.


Over the past two decades, population researchers have engaged in a far-reaching and productive program of research on demographic responses to changes in the natural environment. This essay "looks back" to the origins of these developments, identifying pivotal agenda-setting moments in the 1990s and tracing the impact on contemporary research. The essay also "looks forward" to identify critical gaps and challenges that remain to be addressed and to set an agenda for future research on population responses to environmental change. It recommends that the multidimensionality of environmental contexts and change be fully embraced, long run as well as short term effects be investigated, variability in the effects of environmental change in relation to social institutions, policy implementation, and environmental context be examined, movement between contexts as well as change in situ as sources of environmental change be considered, and interconnections among demographic processes in response to environmental change be explored. Taking these steps will position demographers to contribute significantly to a larger and deeper understanding of environmental change and its consequences, locally, regionally, and globally.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type


Year Published


Journal Title

Population and Environment


Entwisle, Barbara