As a lifelong academic, the breadth of Dowell’s research is immense. He specializes in something known as “integrated demography”. This means his work combines demography with trend analysis, public planning, and social theory to create a more comprehensive understanding of how people, and the places they live in, adapt. He is also an expert in immigration trends, census policy, and housing needs. Dowell’s focus on California’s changing demographics has made him an indispensable resource for policy makers, city planners, and immigration specialists.
Dowell’s research has been cited thousands of times and has made a huge impact in the field of policy, planning, and demographics. In fact, Dowell received the Haynes Award for Research Impact in 2006, an award that recognizes the importance of his work for the citizens of Southern California. In 2007, Dowell published Immigrants and Boomers: Forging a New Social Contract for the Future of America. In this book he assesses the relationship between the influx of immigrants and the dying baby boomer demographic. The book has been massively influential in understanding the impacts of illegal immigration in the United States. Notably, Dowell’s expertise on this subject led him to testify in the House Judiciary Committee on immigration policy reform.
Currently, Dowell serves on many councils and is an avid public speaker who shares his research and findings. At USC he is the director of the Population Dynamics Research Group. He also teaches PPD 245, an introductory urban context class for undergraduates.