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

May 15, 2018

We Became Fragments

Lacy Jane Roberts, Luisa Conlon, Hanna Miller

After losing his mother and four siblings in a bombing that left him injured, Syrian teenager Ibraheem Sarhan and his father make a new life for themselves in Winnipeg, Canada.

March 28, 2018

Cambodia's Floating Villages

Ben Mauk

In Cambodia’s floating villages, tens of thousands of ethnic Vietnamese eke out precarious lives on the Tonle Sap. Born into statelessness, they are not permitted to vote, work, or even live on land.

January 25, 2018

Tomas van Houtryve's Pulitzer Center Catchlight Fellowship

Tomas van Houtryve

The Pulitzer Center Catchlight Media fellow, Tomas van Houtryve, reports on the U.S.-Mexico border and the “weaponization” of photography using historical photographic techniques alongside cutting-edge surveillance technology.

A Teenager Starting Over in Canada

Samantha Power met Ibraheem Sarhan in 2014 after his home in Syria was bombed. Here, having watched this Op-Doc film, she reflects on his progress.

Meet the Journalists: Phil Caller and Tania Rashid

Phil Caller and Tania Rashid discuss their three-part series for PBS NewsHour on the Rohingya refugee crisis—reporting on the mass exodus, rape, child marriage, and human trafficking—and finding a strong will to live and tenacity among the people.

Meet the Journalist: Daniel Brook

Daniel Brook reports on the building of instant, modern cities in the developing world and examines the effects of major infrastructure projects on citizens living in Mexico, China, and India.

Meet the Journalist: Melissa Noel

As they immigrate for a chance to provide for their famlies, parents are leaving their children behind in Jamaica—possibly creating a mental health problem among Jamaican youth.

Meet the Journalist: Alice Su

Journalist Alice Su speaks about her 2017 project on religion among resettled refugees in Germany, a country that has accepted more asylum seekers than any other European country.