Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.


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Perhaps nowhere else in the country is the impact of recent immigration trends so pronounced as in New England, where the predominantly white population is quickly aging, and where the influx of young immigrants is changing the identity of the region.

The New England News Collaborative explores the inherent challenges and the valuable opportunities facing one of America’s oldest places in a series of reports called Facing Change.


It’s 1975. Saigon has fallen to the North Vietnamese. The end of the war is the beginning of a global humanitarian crisis. Fifteen years later, the poet Ocean Vuong and his refugee family arrive in Hartford.

Like many school districts across the country, Providence, Rhode Island Public Schools have a rapidly growing population of English language learners and programs to help them learn their new language. The problem is the state doesn’t have enough teachers certified to teach these students.

Many small towns in New England are eager to welcome refugees from the war in Syria, but that doesn’t seem likely under President Donald Trump’s shifting immigration policy. St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont has found a way around that -- they’re offering scholarships to refugees already living in the U.S.

Muslim immigrants don’t hold very much political power in the region yet, but Portland, Maine's first Muslim city councilor is steadily working his way into the power structure in a very practical way — by getting out the vote.

Muslims in America are the subject of heated political debate. But they account for a very small number of elected politicians in New England. One nonprofit, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is encouraging American-Muslims across the U.S. to run for political office.

It’s hard to avoid the hand-wringing about aging demographics in New England these days. The region's six states have the six lowest birth rates in the country.

As New England's baby boomers grow older, and live longer, the need for health care workers also grows.

In January, Syrian and Iraqi refugees will begin arriving in Rutland, Vermont -- the first of 100 to be resettled there over the next year.

A 2014 federal memo aimed to put an end to random deportations of people living illegally in the U.S. who aren't criminals. But there are still cases where immigration authorities are ignoring these policies.