Issue

Population & Migration

Population and migration issues are fraught with moral positions, confusion, and unexpected connections.

We cannot talk about population growth without also discussing decline; or contraception, without faith and medical technology. It is the mother of cross-cutting issues—at the intersection of economics, environment, gender roles, culture, politics, and religion. The population question is about the possibility and necessity of balancing the needs of nature and human civilization—and whether we can hope to or should have any say over the process.

The issue is global. Overpopulation of one region will seek release in an under-populated region. Stronger economies will be a magnet for those from weaker economies. Local carbon emissions will increase temperatures and change global weather patterns, disrupting food supplies and sowing insecurity. Diseases that begin in crowded slums can travel the world. Aging populations could lead to long-term economic depression, decreasing our ability to address the great problems we face such as environmental degradation.

Changing demographics in countries where men far outnumber the women often leads to human trafficking. Basic human rights are abused in countries where entire communities live without citizenship rights—unable to vote, own property, travel, work legally, or attend school.
Pulitzer Center grantees look at the effects of migration on climate and business, the efforts of immigrants to preserve their cultural identity, and the sacrifices they make in leaving family behind. Our journalists ask tough questions: How do refugees mobilize to take care of themselves when aid agencies fail?

Population & Migration exposes the risks and dangers refugees and migrants face as they leave one nation to seek a better home and a fresh start—only to find more obstacles and new threats. Resettlement presents its own set of challenges; hopes and promises prove illusory.

Population & Migration

April 14, 2017

India: Migrating Into Slavery

Yardain Amron

Each winter hundreds of thousands of Indians migrate north to man the world's second largest brick industry. They're promised opportunity, but many are bonded into debt.

April 12, 2017

A Postcard Home

Diana Markosian

"A Postcard Home" is a collaborative series exploring a remarkable chapter in human migration through the viewpoint of a child.

April 10, 2017

Finding Home in an Era of Displacement

Jeanne Carstensen

What is home for war refugees and the communities trying to integrate them? Where do conflicts arise and how do diverse people find common ground? A series about war refugees starting over in Europe.

April 06, 2017

People of the Parting Rocks

David Maurice Smith

Gaining understanding of the suicide crisis facing the Cree community of Attawapiskat, Ontario through an understanding of the culture, values and perspectives of its residents.

April 03, 2017

We Have No Choice

Ben Taub

Most African migrants heading to Europe unwittingly follow the ancient caravan routes of the trans-Saharan slave trade. Along the way, many are trafficked, sold, and brutally exploited.

May 24, 2017|

Field Notes: The Gulf Art War

Field notes from Kerala, epicenter of a decades-long migration to the Gulf, and from the UAE's Saadiyat Island, popular with vacationers, golfers, and seasoned conference attendees.

May 14, 2017|

Here a City Shall Be Wrought

Fourteen miles down the road from their ruined homes, survivors of China's devastating 2008 Sichuan earthquake try to rebuild their lives in a new model town designed by the central government.