Smith Hall
Center for Demographics and Policy

» Center for Demographics and Policy

“Demographics is destiny” has become somewhat an overused phrase, but that does not reduce the critical importance of population trends to virtually every aspect of economic, social and political life. Concern over demographic trends has been heightened in recent years by several international trends — notably rapid aging, reduced fertility, large scale migration across borders. On the national level, shifts in attitude, generation and ethnicity have proven decisive in both the political realm and in the economic fortunes of regions and states.

The Center focuses on research and analysis of global, national and regional demographic trends and explores policies that might produce favorable demographic results over time. In addition, it involves Chapman students in demographic research under the supervision of the Center’s senior staff. Students work with the Center’s director and engage in research that will serve them well as they look to develop their careers in business, the social sciences, and the arts. They also have access to our advisory board, which includes distinguished Chapman faculty and major demographic scholars from across the country and the world.

+ - Latest Research and Publications




Infinite Suburbia
Edited by Alan M. Berger and Joel Kotkin, Infinite Suburbia is the culmination of the MIT Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism’s yearlong study of the future of suburban development.

The Human City
Around the globe, most new urban development has adhered to similar tenets: tall structures, small units, and high density. The Human City questions these nearly ubiquitous practices, suggesting that they do not consider the needs and desires of the vast majority of people.

To read Mr. Kotkin’s latest articles, see his other books, and hear recent interviews visit his website.

+ - Upcoming Events

Distinguished Speaker Series: How to Save California's Middle Class - April 17, 2019
Join Joel Kotkin for a discussion about the state of California's middle class featuring special guests President Daniele Struppa, and Joe Lowsowski, CEO of Tangram Interiors.

For more information please email

Distinguished Speaker Series April 17 at 7:30 a.m. at the Pacific Club

Joel Kotkin - Director

Joel Kotkin - Director

Joel Kotkin is the Roger C. Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and director of the Center for Demographics and Policy. He is author of eight books and co-editor of the recently released Infinite Suburbia. He also serves executive editor of the widely read website and a regular contributor to the Orange County Register,, Real Clear Politics, the Daily Beast and the City Journal.

Described by the New York Times as “America’s uber-geographer,” Mr. Kotkin is an internationally-recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends. Over the past decade, he has completed studies focusing on several major cities, including a worldwide study focusing on the future of London, Mumbai and Mexico City, and studies of New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Houston, San Bernardino and St. Louis, among others. Mr. Kotkin also serves as the Executive Director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism and the senior advisor to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.

Advisory Board

photo of Howard Ahmanson, Jr.

Howard Ahmanson, Jr.

Howard Fieldstad Ahmanson, Jr. is a philanthropist and writer whose public activities focus on deepening awareness and fostering better policy regarding issues of affordable housing, land use, and eminent domain as well as life issues, particularly the beginning and ending of human life. A regular attender at the Congress on New Urbanism, Ahmanson is proud to have sponsored the local government conference series at Chapman University in Orange, California.
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Cullum Clark

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Deborah Diep

Ms. Deborah Diep is the Director of the Center for Demographic Research at California State University, Fullerton. Deborah Diep joined the Center for Demographic Research in 1999 and has served as the Director of the center since 2005. Working closely with the ten sponsoring agencies of the CDR and all 35 Orange County jurisdictions, she oversees the development of the Orange County Projections, the official demographic forecast for Orange County, California. At the CDR, her work focuses on producing demographic and economic estimates and projections used in research and policy analysis related to social, economic, health, housing, environmental programs and issues, along with short- and long-range program and infrastructure planning and financing.
photo of Karla López del Río

Karla López del Río

Karla López del Río is a community development executive committed to supporting low- and moderate-income families build wealth and thriving communities. Karla is the Principal at Connexions Consulting. Her work fosters public-private- grassroots partnerships resulting in innovative community-led projects, affordable housing solutions, homeownership opportunities, and small business development across Southern California. Karla contributes to the field her insight as a first-generation immigrant, a background in real estate, and experience in social enterprise management.
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Ali Modarres

Ali Modarres is the Director of Urban Studies and the Assistant Chancellor for Community Engagement at University of Washington Tacoma. Dr. Modarres serves on a number of governing and advisory boards of academic associations, nonprofits, and policy centers including Economic Roundtable (Los Angeles), Urban Affairs Association, South Sound Regional Leadership Council of Forterra, and the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.
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Ken Murphy

Dr. Kenneth E. Murphy is an Associate Professor of Operations Management and the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs at the Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University.
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Pete Saunders

Pete is a writer and researcher whose work focuses on urbanism and public policy. He is a practicing urban planner with more than twenty years’ experience in planning, economic development, and community development, with stops in the public, private and non-profit sectors. His current role is as the principal for PDS Consulting, an urban planning consulting and research firm. Pete has been the editor/publisher of the Corner Side Yard, an urbanist blog, since 2012. His principal research areas include: race and public policy; urban migration dynamics; global city demographics; economic and social inequality; gentrification; Rust Belt metro analysis; and Midwest regional analysis.
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Marshall Toplansky

Marshall Toplansky, MBA serves as a research fellow at the C. Larry Hoag Center for Real Estate and at the Center for Demographics and Policy. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Management Science at the Argyros School of Business and Economics.
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Thomas Tseng

Thomas Tseng is Principal of Sengo Insights, LLC, a Los Angeles-based market research agency with global capabilities extending from the U.S. to the Asia Pacific (China, Japan, Taiwan). With over 20 years of industry experience, Thomas is a seasoned marketing research professional and has amassed a strong, proven track record of success in delivering strategic, actionable consumer insights for a diverse range of clients spanning across Fortune 500 clients, non-profit organizations, academia, and government agencies.
no photo available for Morley Winograd

Morley Winograd

Morley Winograd is an American author, speaker and Millennial generation guru. He serves as Senior Fellow at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School’s Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.