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

January 10, 2014

Bishan: Reinventing China’s Emptying Countryside

Yunfan Sun, Leah Thompson

As China rapidly urbanizes, many villages—and their distinct cultural heritage and folk traditions—disappear daily. Two urban Chinese artists go back to the land in search of meaning in modern China.

November 17, 2013

Nepali Lives, Foreign Dreams

Anup Kaphle

A special election in Nepal fuels hope for an end to years of gridlock but thousands of Nepalis are voting with their feet—leaving the country in pursuit of better opportunities.

September 05, 2013

Rio de Janeiro on World Cup Watch

Jawad Wahabzada

With the 2014 World Cup fast approaching, 170,000 Brazilian favela residents are scheduled to relocate. Losing their homes will mean losing their identity and their past.

July 10, 2013

Beyond 7 Billion

Kenneth R. Weiss

The largest generation in history is entering its prime childbearing years, poised to add 2 billion more people to the planet. Ken Weiss investigates the causes and consequences of such rapid growth.

June 09, 2012

Russia: On The Move

Anna Nemtsova

After 20 years of fading industry, rampant corruption, and no clear ideology, Russia is now on the move. Its young people are finding new homes in—and out—of the country.

Hide and Seek in Panama

Cuban migrants' reluctance to speak with reporters demonstrates the gravity of their situation as they make their way to the U.S.

Promised Land

Is Angela Merkel's Germany really the paradise refugees believe it to be?

All for Nothing

Migrants who fail to reach Europe face humiliation, isolation, and impoverishment at home.

The Savior’s Dilemma

Are naval search-and-rescue operations saving migrants’ lives—or just encouraging them to take greater risks?

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