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

September 16, 2014

The Last Refugees: Bhutanese in Nepal

Julia Rendleman, Moriah Balingit

Bhutanese refugees in Nepal never got much international attention and now, after more than 20 years living in camps, they are being resettled around the world. Will their cultural identity survive?

September 11, 2014

Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Selin Thomas

Boston University student fellow Selin Thomas documents people on the margins as she tells stories of the Syrian conflict.

September 05, 2014

Feeding China

Lynn Hicks, Rodney White

China faces huge challenges in feeding its people sustainably and safely. Iowa and U.S. agribusinesses believe they have the solutions. Are they the right ones?

August 28, 2014

Peru: An Aging Revolution

Michelle Ferng

Peru, along with the rest of Latin America, is experiencing one of the fastest demographic shifts in the world. Older people over 60 will outnumber children under 14 by 2040. Is the country ready?

August 27, 2014

Istanbul: Housing for the Displaced

Paul Short

Few world cities match the speed of Istanbul’s urban transformation. As new mass housing projects, business districts and suspended bridges dot the city’s horizon, the urban poor are being displaced.

July 21, 2014

The Parsis of Mumbai

Nell Freudenberger, Chiara Goia

Mumbai’s influential Zoroastrian community faces extinction even as its conservative and reform-minded factions debate who counts as a legitimate member of the 3,000 year-old faith.

The Paradox Of Prosperity

Europe is spending billions of dollars to jump-start Africa’s poorest economies. But that may just accelerate the exodus.

In Search of a Past in Macau

Adopted at age of 2, Qiang Zhang spent the last four decades of his life trying to find his biological parents—unsuccessfully. Now, he works at a cemetery so others won't have the same fate.

Meet Students From Bangladesh

Students at solar-powered school boats along the Atrai River in northwestern Bangladesh talk about their studies, ambitions and daily life in an area marked by monsoons, water and sanitation challenges and one of the most densely populated regions on earth.

Meet Jon Sawyer

Jon Sawyer is founding director of the Pulitzer Center. His assignments have taken him to some five dozen countries, with special projects ranging from southern Africa, Cuba and Haiti to Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and China.