You are here

Directory Profile

Richard E. Bilsborrow

Research Professor, Dept. of Geography
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Country of residence:
United States

Nationality: United States
Gender: M

Member since: 1974
Membership No: 20127
Membership Type: regular

Field of Study: Demography, Economics, Population and Development , Methods of data collection

Specialization: Data Collection and Processing, Economic Demography, Fertility, Human Ecology, Internal Migration, International Migration, Population and Development, Population and Environment

Regional focus: Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa (MENA), East Asia

Education: Doctorate (Ph.D, MD) , 1968 , University of Michigan , Economics

Working languages: English , Spanish , French

Other association membership in population or related fields: International Statistical Institute (ISI), Population Association of America (PAA) , Association of American Geographers

Curriculum Vitae:

Professional Summary:

University professor with life-long focus on population implications for development, poverty and the environment in developing countries. A founder of new field of population and environment c. 1990, including on-line resource PERN.  Designed and applied household and community surveys on migration, fertility, livelihoods and environment implemented in many countries. Developed questionnaires and sampling methods for MEDHIMS survey program on international migration from Mediterranean Arab countries. Consulted
widely with UN agencies, including UN Population and Statistics Divisions, UNDP, UNFPA, FAO, ILO, World Bank, etc., and worked on three USAID projects on demographic data collection (POPLAB), population and development (RAPID), and Amazonian education. Have attended and made presentations in all but two IUSSP International Population Conferences since 1973, and was one of six global members of IUSSPl Committee on Population and Environment (1990-94).  I have over 200 publications, including over 30 books and monographs, journal articles, and book chapters and other publications, most with current or former students.


Bilsborrow, R. 2021. Population and Agricultural Change. Ch. 17 in Handbook on Population & Environment, L. Hunter, C. Gray and J. Verons, editors. Springer. In Press. Wang, Y., R. Bilsborrow, Q. Zhang, S. Tao, X. Chen, K. Sullivan-Wiley, Q. Huang, J. Li, & C. Song. 2020. Effects of payments for ecosystem services programs in China on rural household labor allocation and land use: Identifying complex pathways. Land Use Policy. In press. Gray, C., and R. Bilsborrow. 2020. Stability and change within indigenous land use in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Global Environmental Change 63. In press. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2020.102116 Davis, J., R. Bilsborrow and C. Gray. 2015. Delayed Fertility Transition among Indigenous Women: A Case Study in the Ecuadorian Amazon. International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 41(1): 1-10. Bilsborrow, R. 2009. Collecting Data on the Migration-Environment Nexus. In F. Laczko and C. Aghazarm, eds. Migration and the Environment: Assessing the Evidence. Geneva, Switz. International Organization of Migration, pp. 113-196.

Honorary or professional positions and awards:
Fulbright Fellowship, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia, 1965-66; Postdoctoral Fellowship, Office of Population Research, Princeton University, 1971-72 (Ford Foundation); PAA Board of Directors, 1994-96; Deputy Editor, Demography, 1975-78; Hofstee Award, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute, 1997-98; Shannon Award, US National Institute for Child Health and Development (NIH), 1993-95; International Organization for Migration GMDAC, Member of International Advisory Committee, 2016-present.

Research grants:
Since 1999 I have had research, data collection and/or policy-related grants/contracts from NICHD (on indigenous livelihoods and demographics in the Ecuadorian Amazon); NASA and NSF on the design, implementation and analysis of a survey on migrant colonists in the Amazon; then later from NSF on the effects of payments for ecosystem services in 3 provinces of China; from the World Bank. EU. etc. to develop the MEDHIMS methodology (questionnaires and sample designs) for household surveys on international migration in Arab Mediterranean countries, and analyze the data for Egypt; from the World Bank to design and link household surveys of international migration in Tajikistan and Russia and analyze the data; from USAID to improve education at the university level and knowledge about the Amazon in Andean countries); from NSF as Coo-PI to study impacts of ecosystem services in China; from IOM to make the case for a World Migration Survey and post on its GMDAC website; from NASA to conduct meta-analysis of the literature on demographic and economic factors affecting land use on islands in low-income countries; from NSF to study community forestry effects on land use in rural Nepal..