7 Billion Humans | Immigration

Immigration: In this urbanized world where rich, poor, young and old from all cultures and with different customs and speaking different languages are packed more and more tightly together in places as unlikely as Cleveland, it may be hard to see how much these diverse groups actually need each other—but they do. As the empty pockets in Sub-Saharan Africa produce a huge population of young workers, the empty nests in Japan are building robots to take care of their elderly because they can’t import enough Filipinos.  The obvious solution is immigration. The empty pockets need good educations and salaries and the empty nests need workers to take care of them.  Like a rising tide—which you can watch from a lawn …

7 Billion Humans | Immigration

Immigration: In this urbanized world where rich, poor, young and old from all cultures and with different customs and speaking different languages are packed more and more tightly together in places as unlikely as Cleveland, it may be hard to see how much these diverse groups actually need each other—but they do. As the empty pockets in Sub-Saharan Africa produce a huge population of young workers, the empty nests in Japan are building robots to take care of their elderly because they can’t import enough Filipinos.  The obvious solution is immigration. The empty pockets need good educations and salaries and the empty nests need workers to take care of them.  Like a rising tide—which you can watch from a lawn chair, willing it to stop, but it will rise anyway—immigration is an economic necessity that cannot be stopped. As the world’s population reaches 7 billion in 2011, 8 billion in 2025, and 9 billion in 2043, the repercussions for all of us will depend on how people move around our planet and the decisions they make as they go. Add to this the schizophrenic immigration laws in places like Russia where they push former Soviet Bloc workers out with one hand and with the other hand create programs that have huge incentives for the same workers to come in to their under-populated country. This schizophrenia just ends up hurting the tired, poor, huddled masses, and ultimately all of us.

According to the UN, the world’s population reached 7 billion on October 31, 2011. Two hundred years ago, there were only 1 billion people on the planet. In the past fifty years alone, the world’s population has more than doubled. When I started photographing the “7 Billion” story for National Geographic Magazine, I thought I would be doing a story about carrying capacity—basically that there are not enough resources and there are too many people and we are going to be screwed in a Malthusian way.  Then I read a book called “How Many People Can the World Support,” by Joel Cohen which is all about all the predictions for the planet’s carrying capacity over the last couple hundred years and how each prediction was wrong.  Bottom line is, you can’t really talk about how many people the planet can support when things like fertilizer keep being invented, but you can talk forever about population shift. With the realization that this story was about population shift and how that affects the planet, we came up with four subcategories within which to concentrate the field photography: Urbanization, Immigration, Empty Pockets (the very fertile poor), and Empty Nests (the depopulation of aging, rich countries). These four concepts are interrelated. This gallery is the immigration portion of this story.

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Spanish World Immigrants on Subway | Barcelona, Spain Indian Immigrants in Ramblas Catalunya | Barcelona, Spain Indian Immigrants, Ramblas Catalunya | Barcelona, Spain China’s Masses of Migrant Workers | Beijing Rapid Indigenous Migration | Huastec Village, Mexico Mexico, Texas Border | Laredo Texas, USA Immigrants From Former Spanish Empire arrive in Barcelona Spanish World Immigrants in Subway | Barcelona Sudden Inflow of Immigrants | Social Tension | Spain Immigrant Health Care Workers Help Elderly | Milan, Italy Indian Immigrant Children, Ramblas Catalunya | Barcelona, Spain Association for Senegalese Street Salesmen | Barcelona, Spain Fly Zone Night Club | Kampala, Uganda Immigrant Nannies | Istanbul, Turkey Immigrant Cook Watches Turk | Armenian Demonstration Kumkapi Immigrant Street | Istanbul, Turkey Accused Terrorist’s Family | Social Tensions | Barcelona, Spain Kumkapi Immigrant Neighborhood | Istanbul, Turkey Immigrant Nannies and Domestics | Istanbul, Turkey Iraqi Families Bags Packed for 5 years | Istanbul, Turkey Gultepe Immigrant Neighborhood | Istanbul, Turkey Georgia Dukhobors Immigrant Village | Outside Moscow Federal Immigration Service Raid | Moscow, Russia Immigration Service Raid Squatter Area | Moscow, Russia Federal Immigration Service Raid Squatter Area | Moscow, Russia Federal Immigration Raid | Moscow, Russia Federal Immigration Deportation Van | Moscow, Russia Phoenix Naturalization Ceremony | Arizona, USA Phoenix Naturalization Ceremony | USA Largest Migration in Human History From Rural to China’s Cities A Fun Ti Carnival Ethnic Restaurant | Beijing, China
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