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Meet Professor Jason Jurjevich
Meet Professor Jason Jurjevich

Director, Population Research Center

Associate Research Professor, Urban Studies and Planning

Exploring the spatial implications of demographic change

Ph.D. in Geography, University of Arizona
MA in Geography, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
BBA in Accounting, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater


  • Director, Population Research Center
  • Associate Research Professor, Urban Studies and Planning
  • Chair of Portland State University, Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, Recruitment and Diversity Committee, 2010-2011

Population geography with an emphasis on migration, and political geography

  • 419/519 Population and Society
  • 520 Applied Demographic
    Methods I

Compositional and Contextual Effects Across Political Landscapes: Case Studies of Migration and Same-Sex Marriage, 2010.


Phone: (503) 725-8590
Office: Urban Center 780G

A broadly trained human geographer, Dr. Jurjevich’s research interests focus on the socio-spatial implications of demographic change, with a particular emphasis on mobility and migration. Arriving at Portland State in 2010 to serve as the Assistant Director of the Population Research Center, he also works closely with the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies to explore political, economic, and demographic trends in the Portland metro area. Dr. Jurjevich also teaches courses in population geography and applied demographic methods.

Pursuing his doctorate at the University of Arizona, his dissertation research spanned dual interests of population and political geography by illustrating the various ways migration leads to compositional changes in Republican and Democrat partisanship at the state level, while also contextualizing the electoral implications of migration. Also during his tenure at Arizona, he worked at the Immigration Policy Program of the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy as the lead population geographer in a U.S. Department of Homeland Security federal grant addressing the fundamentals of an enforceable U.S. immigration policy. The grant examined spatial patterns of employment, industry, and earnings for native and foreign-born populations.

Currently, Dr. Jurjevich is working on a joint project (with Dr. Greg Schrock) exploring the relative importance of economic opportunities, urban and rural amenities, and other social influences on the longitudinal migration patterns for young, college-educated workers to U.S. metro areas. The research focuses on cities like Portland, Oregon, which have been particularly successful in attracting young, college-educated workers in the face of higher than average levels of unemployment and underemployment. Another current research project considers the social, political, and cultural implications of the all-too-common approach of inferring same-sex demographic statistics from U.S. Census data. 

In the classroom, Dr. Jurjevich strives to connect with students by demonstrating how population and geography affect people in their daily lives. Following a learner-centered teaching approach, he aims to help students highlight important narratives with demographic data.

Since moving to Oregon, Dr. Jurjevich has worked with organizations across the state to address population-related issues in Oregon. As a geographer with a belief in the importance of local context, Dr. Jurjevich has traveled to communities throughout Oregon. His belief is that the work of the Population Research Center, and his own research, can be better informed by collecting as much information about communities as possible.

Recent Projects

Is Portland Really the Place Where Young People Go To Retire? Migration Patterns of Portland’s Young and College-Educated, 1980-2010.  With Greg Schrock.

Reading between the lines of recent media accounts, and in particular the television show Portlandia, the shift from economic to non-economic factors has been portrayed in a most interesting way:  because young migrants to Portland place relatively low value on work and traditional careers, their desire to exchange employment opportunities for quality of life (amenity) factors indeed makes Portland the city “where young people go to retire.”  The question is: in the short and long-term, how sustainable is Portland’s trend of attracting and retaining YCE migrants if labor market outcomes continue to remain worse compared to other metro areas? What are the facts? In this paper, the team draws upon U.S. Census Bureau data from the 2000 Census and more recent American Community Surveys from 2005-2007 and 2008-2010, to compare migration patterns in Portland to the other 50 largest U.S. metros.

Is Portland Really the Place Where Young People Go To Retire? Analyzing Labor Market Outcomes for Portland’s Young and College-Educated.  With Greg Schrock.

In recent years there has been growing concern about the poor labor market prospects for Portland’s young and college-educated (YCEs), in particular the problem of underemployment.  The television show Portlandia has amusingly captured this concern, dubbing the city “the place where young people go to retire.”  To the extent that Portland’s YCEs face a chronically difficult job market, there is cause for concern that college graduates will stop moving to Portland, or that those who have moved here won’t stay. What are the facts? In this paper, the team draws upon Census Bureau data from the 2000 Census and more recent American Community Surveys from 2005-07 and 2008-10, comparing the labor market outcomes for Portland’s YCE population against those of the other 50 largest metropolitan regions in the United States. 

What Professor Jurjevich has to say...

BEST PARTS OF JOB: The combination of working with students in the classroom, who I have found to be incredibly engaged and plugged into their communities at the local, regional, and global levels, along with the opportunity to engage in various interesting research projects.

UNIQUENESS OF THE TOULAN SCHOOL: The intellectual diversity of students and faculty.

APPROACH TO TEACHING: Learner-centered, challenging, engaging, critical, and explorative

WHAT STUDENTS SHOULD TAKE AWAY: To develop an understanding and appreciation of the reciprocal relationship between contemporary geopolitical issues and our individual values. 

FAVORITE URBAN PLACE: Chicago, because as a native Midwesterner, it feels most like home.

ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS: Travel. As Mark Twain said: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.”

FAVORITE NON-URBAN PLACE: The Northwoods of Wisconsin and U.S. National Parks and Monuments—a favorite is Chiricahua National Monument in Arizona. 

WHEN NOT TEACHING I... : Hike, swim, run, and roadtrip.

CIVIC PROJECTS I FOLLOW: The urban-rural divide. Growing up in rural Wisconsin, I am intimately familiar with the challenges facing rural communities.