This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

You can download an iPhone app for the 13th edition from the App Store (search for Weeks Population).

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Syrian Refugee Situation Just Keeps Getting Worse

As the civil war in Syria drags on, its neighbors are coping however they can with what has become a flood of refugees. This week's Economist summarizes data from the UN and adds some analysis of its own:
The office of the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) previously said it reckoned 1m people would have fled Syria by June. But already more than 700,000 have done so—and that includes only those who have been registered. The UNHCR will have to reassess an already dire situation.
Note that the UN also estimates that at least 2 million people are displaced within Syria and that overall the UN refugee agency is helping about one in five Syrians (out of 23 million) who are either in or out of the country.
Western governments are still loth to arm the rebels. Meanwhile, a sea of tents is growing on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, where refugee camps are already bursting. And Jordan is turning back Palestinians fleeing from Syria, fearing lest they brew trouble among Jordan’s own disgruntled Palestinian people. The Jordanian government has threatened to shut the borders completely if the rate of incoming refugees gets even bigger.
On January 29th around 80 male corpses, their hands bound and heads holed with gunshot wounds, were pulled out of a river near Aleppo. Mr Assad is pummelling rebel-held areas such as the Damascus suburb of Daraya into rubble in his determination to keep them under his control. In such circumstances, the incentive to leave is plainly growing. Syria’s refugee crisis is out of hand.


  1. I saw this and thought it was quite sharo--relating college debt to family formation (and thus demographics):

    * One of the biggest cultural roadblocks in America to holy marriages and religious vocations is COLLEGE DEBT. If a Catholic young man and a catholic young lady have a combined debt of $80,000 from their Catholic college experience, will they not be tempted to delay marriage or contracept? Likewise, religious orders don't take novices who have debt. There are hundreds of young people wanting to enter the religious life, but they are shackled with debt. Creating "zero-debt" graduations is one of the major planks in the apostolate at Fisher More College.

    Seems like a creative and innovative approach to contemporary problems. I don't know of any other college doing this.