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

June 04, 2015

From Paradise to Peril: The Amazon's Isolated Tribes

Heather Pringle, Andrew Lawler

Some of the world’s last isolated tribes are poised to make contact with the outside world as illegal loggers, miners, cocaine traffickers and others penetrate their territory.

February 25, 2015

Polio's Last Stand

Tim McGirk, Jason Motlagh

After dozens of vaccination workers were killed in Afghanistan, polio once again began to spread into the borderlands. The same strain is now re-surfacing in Syria.

February 22, 2015

Kiribati: Casualties of Climate Change

Kenneth R. Weiss

As the low-lying island nation of Kiribati edges closer to a climate change end game, what will happen to its people, its territory, its sovereignty?

Paying Migrants to Stay

Brussels is betting on an ambitious plan to transform countries like Mali into places people will want to live. But will a makeover be enough to keep would-be migrants home?

Outsourcing the Dirty Work

Europe is partnering with Libyan militias to prevent African migrants from ever reaching Europe. The result is a detention-industrial complex that turns African migrants into commodities.

Left Behind in Rural China

A report for PBS NewsHour shows the challenges faced by three siblings among an estimated 9 million children left in the Chinese countryside by parents working in wealthier cities

Lesson Plan: Revolution in Tunisia

In this lesson students will understand the conditions in Tunisia that led to Jasmine Revolution in December 2010, and the examine the consequences, both intended and unintended, of the rebellion.

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.

Pulitzer Center Gender Lens Conference Highlights

Two-day conference illuminates why diversity of perspective, across gender, race, ethnicity, religion, matters so much in storytelling.