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

October 11, 2016

Life Inside: Art in Brazil Prisons

Kate Toporski

What happens when you send 20 University of Michigan students into Brazilian prisons to facilitate theater workshops? Join the Prison Creative Arts Project as they travel to Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

September 27, 2016

Oji-Cree Youth: Connecting Cultures

Dillon DeWitt

For individuals and families living in the remote First Nations reserve of St. Theresa Point, life teeters between traditional expectations and encroaching Western influences, producing a lifelong tension.

September 19, 2016

Examining the Alexandra Renewal Project

Christian Belanger

The South African government is working to reform Alexandra Township, one of the poorest, most densely populated areas of Johannesburg, still struggling to overcome the legacy of apartheid. Can it succeed?

September 15, 2016

Are Refugees Welcome in Europe?

Ben Mauk, George Butler

The crisis in Europe has created entire towns of refugees in rural Germany and prompted an epidemic of xenophobic arson attacks across the country.

This Week: Living on the Margins

This week: Economic despair drives migration to Moscow, the Catholic Church's response to Duterte's killings, and PBS NewsHour revisits reporting on the US's nuclear arsenal.