About Us

The Population Dynamics Lab (PDL) is an open science forum currently hosted at the University of Washington’s Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology. It is an online platform for sharing demographic research methods, insights and building scholarly community. Its aim is to provide tools and evidence for understanding the distribution and change in human wellbeing at the population level.  These tools and evidence are peer-reviewed in real time and rapidly made available to address developing events, advance demographic science and increase popular understanding of population processes and change.

Methods and measurement innovation are central to the scientific advancement of population research and demography. Recent advances in computational data science are accelerating those innovations. Many population researchers are at the forefront of combining computational data science tools with demographic methods and measures to meet the growing demands for reproducibility and greater accessibility of research products, while also generating scientific innovations.  Their work is generating research products (e.g., code, synthetic data, and visualizations) that are invaluable for the scholarly community, but not routinely or systematically peer-reviewed until much later in a publication process. 

Instead of waiting for a full-length, peer-reviewed publication, the Population Dynamics Lab aims to create:

  • A place for timely, peer-reviewed demographic research methods and measures;
  • A repository for citable code, data, and methods documentation  of demographic research;
  • Accessible visualizations and explanation of results generated from methodological innovations in population research.  

Every submission will have a long-form methodological component published in The Denominator and a public-facing summary of the main takeaway published in The Download. Our editorial team includes leading demographers and data scientists dedicated to advancing population research, growing applicable computational tools, and supporting reproducibility. The peer review process will provide extensive review of code, documentation, and reproducibility of results prior to publication. Our focus is to provide rapid, technical and computational peer feedback prior to, or just after, publication in a journal or book, so as to offer reproducible research methods, and to foster connections between disciplines, institutions, and individuals. By sharing their work on this site, demographic scientists are agreeing to make it available to a wide audience, collaborate, receive feedback, and provide timely revisions and updates.  Contributors are also available for public comments from the media or other inquiries.

We are seeking submissions for methodological and computational developments across all substantive areas of demography including, but not limited to, dynamics of population growth and composition, population disparities, health & mortality, migration, fertility, and families & households. At present, we are only accepting submissions implemented in R. Submit here

Institutional Sponsorship

University of Washington’s Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology


Partial support for this research came from a Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development research infrastructure grant, P2C HD042828, and training grant, T32 HD101442-01, to the Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology at the University of Washington, along with a Shanahan Endowment Fellowship provided by the University of Washington’s Graduate School.