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.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Where Are the Syrians?

Given the photos and stories that appear in the media, it is hard to imagine that life functions well anywhere in what used to be Syria. What we know with some certainty is that the population has been hugely displaced. The U.S. State Department's Humanitarian Information Unit has put up a very nice infographic summarizing what's going on in this regard. I have copied some of it below, but you need to see it all online to get the details.

The numbers are truly staggering: 15 million people displaced due to conflict in Syria and Iraq, on top of the more than a quarter of a million killed in the conflict since 2011. Despite the headlines and angst in Europe about the flow of refugees into Europe, the HIU estimates that 89% of Syrian and Iraqi refugees remain in the area. They are internally displaced or living in camps in neighboring Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon. It is so much easier to destroy than to build, and it is very hard to imagine the scope of rebuilding of lives that will be required when, at some point in the future, the conflict ends. In the meantime, death rates remain high, and life is complicated by high birth rates, migration, and the degradation of education for the younger generation. 

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