Skip to main content



Explore more of Isaaffik

Polar Peoples: Past, Present, and Future


Project start
Project end
Type of project
Project theme
Society, economy and culture
Project topic
Culture & history

Project details

Science / project summary

This award will support a project to examine population trends across the Arctic in the past, the present, and into the future, using tools of demographic and geographic analysis. The project will describe temporal and spatial trends in the size and composition of the Arctic populations, examine the causes of these changes, and the implications of these trends for the economies and societies of the Arctic regions and countries. Three different time periods will be examined, each using different data and methods and exploring different question. The three time periods are: The Past, which examines the period from the first International Polar Year (IPY) in 1882-1883, the time of increased exploration of the Polar regions and start of intense interaction between the indigenous peoples of the Arctic and outsiders, to the most recent IPY of 2007-2008; The Present, which is an analysis of current population trends in the Arctic is based on data from 2010 round of population censuses and other current demographic statistics; and The Future, which is an examination of future population trends in the Arctic that projects out one generation to 2050. With globalization, climate change, technological advances, as well as drivers of demographic change, which are occurring elsewhere in the world, the populations of the Arctic regions are poised to undergo considerable transformation over the next generation. The project will result in articles in academic journals, a book, policy briefs and a conference which brings together researchers, government demographers, and policy makers from across the Arctic. This project will make these important analyses and data easily accessible to researchers, community members, and policy makers. By making these data and analyses easily accessible by these diverse Arctic stakeholders, the project ensures that future decision making can be based on actual data and analysis not just perceived trends.