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 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.

March 02, 2017

Urbanization in the Developing World

Daniel Brook

This global reporting project on urbanization in the developing world examines how three major countries—China, India, and Mexico—are dealing with a similar challenge in their own unique ways.

February 22, 2017

The East African Migrant Smuggling Trail

Michael Scott Moore

Smugglers along the trail from East Africa to Europe, through Libya, tend to look after their own. Are former Somali pirates running Somali migrants?

January 13, 2017

Singapore Runaways

Xyza Cruz Bacani

Singapore is a prosperous country in Asia and migrant workers have played an important role in its success, but at what cost?

January 04, 2017

China's Human Snakes Return

Rong Xiaoqing

Why are people who were smuggled to the U.S. from a rural high school in China three decades ago now going back to China?

Jewish Poland: A Lost Connection, a Forgotten Identity

When Polish Jews immigrated to Israel, they shaped and adopted a new, Zionist identity. Today, Polish Jews and non-Jewish Poles re-examine complex memories, a shared past, and the roots of judgment about each other's nations.

Millions of Chinese Kids Are Parenting Themselves

A short version of the documentary Down from the Mountains, which focuses on three children left behind by migrant parents in the mountains of southwest China, is featured on The Atlantic Selects.

Meet the Journalist: Laura Flanders

The first time she visited Northern Ireland, Laura Flanders, who grew up in London, was just 22 years old. Thirty years later, she returns to report on how the country may have changed.

Meet the Journalist: Alexandria Bombach

Documentary filmmaker Alexandria Bombach talks about the making of "Afghanistan by Choice," a film that features the lives of five Afghans who are choosing to stay, leave on a special visa, or leave illegally.