Call for papers: Puerto Rico’s Population before and after Hurricane Maria Special Issue of Population and Environment

Puerto Rico’s Population before and after Hurricane Maria Special Issue of Population and Environment

Guest Editor: Fernando I. Rivera, Director, Puerto Rico Research Hub at the University of Central Florida

Deadline: March 15, 2019

On September 20, 2017 Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, which severely damaged the power, water, and transportation infrastructure of the island and left residents struggling to meet their basic needs. This disaster occurred in the context of a decade-long financial crisis, which severely hampers disaster recovery efforts. The scholarly response to the controversy over the death toll from Hurricane Maria has exposed the scarcity of population data and the challenges involved in collecting new data or analyzing existing administrative data or vital records. Many questions remain unanswered as a result, such as: How many Puerto Ricans have relocated to the continental US?; Where are they living?; Will they return to Puerto Rico?; What are the health and living conditions of Puerto Rico’s residents?; and the list goes on. The goal of this special issue is to assemble demographic knowledge about Puerto Rico’s population before and after Hurricane Maria that may prove useful as scholars, policy-makers, and others as they design plans to recover from Hurricane Maria and the financial crisis.

For this special issue, we seek empirical papers about Puerto Rico’s population, both before and after Hurricane Maria, although manuscripts should position their analyses to speak to that event. These might include, for example, an assessment of Puerto Rico’s demographic and economic data; past hurricanes and/or migration to the U.S. from Puerto Rico or elsewhere; analyses of new or existing data that reveal unique insights about the disaster; the impact of the disaster on Puerto Rico’s environment and its consequences for livelihoods or human wellbeing; etc… In January 2010, Population and Environment published a Special Issue titled, Demographic Dynamics and Natural Disasters: Learning from Katrina and Rita, which was guest edited by William H. Frey and Audrey Singer, Special Issue includes articles whose topics that would be of potential interest for this one, although any manuscript that treats population and environment issues in Puerto Rico is within the scope of the Special Issue on Puerto Rico.

Population and Environment is the sole social science journal focused on interdisciplinary research on social demographic aspects of environmental issues. The journal publishes cutting-edge research that contributes new insights on the complex, reciprocal links between human populations and the natural environment in all regions and countries of the world. Quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods contributions are welcome. Population and Environment has several submission categories which are described fully on the website: 25-page empirical research articles; 15-page research briefs; and 20-page review articles. Consult the website for instructions for authors and submission procedures.

Submission Deadline: March 15, 2019. Please submit questions prior to this deadline to Fernando Rivera (, Guest Editor of this Special Issue, or Elizabeth Fussell (, Editor-in-Chief. Submitted manuscripts should be formatted in accordance with Population and Environment guidelines available in the journal or at Manuscripts should be uploaded to the journal’s website Editorial Manager and authors should select the category “Puerto Rico & Maria”.