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Total Refugees Originated

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Refugees by Country 2024

Refugees are people who have been forced to flee their home country in order to escape conflict, violence, natural disaster, or persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political stance, or association with a particular social group. According to the United Nations, an estimated 100 million people around the world were forcibly displaced by the midway point of 2023. This total included 30 million international refugees living in a nation other than their country of birth, 57 million individuals displaced in their own country, and 6 million people seeking asylum in a new country (as well as several million niche cases, such as stateless individuals). Half of today’s refugees are children.

The 2022 Ukrainian refugee crisis

Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 triggered a massive exodus of refugees out of Ukraine. In April 2022, the UN called the Ukraine refugee crisis "the fastest and largest displacement of people in Europe since World War II." By the end of 2023, even though more than a million Ukrainians had returned to their homes during the year, approximately 5.8-6.2 million Ukrainians remained international refugees and another 5 million were still internally displaced within Ukraine.

Top 10 Countries Hosting the Highest Number of International Refugees (mid-2021 data):

Country
International
Syria6,494,141
Afghanistan6,110,219
Palestine6,042,673
Ukraine5,865,447
South Sudan2,227,684
Myanmar1,266,022
Sudan1,027,070
DR Congo948,417
Somalia814,561
Central African Republic750,875

Refugee relief efforts are often complicated by the fact that 80% of international refugees are escaping one of the world's developing countries only to settle in another—usually the closest neighboring country—with limited resources and capacity to offer aid. For instance, Uganda and Sudan are two of the leading refugee host nations in the world, but also two of the UN's least-developed countries according to the Human Development Index (HDI). In fact, Sudan is also one of the world's leading generators of refugees (see list further down this page). Wealthier, developed states typically have greater capacity to aid, accept, and incorporate refugees, but often also display less motivation to do so.

Refugee classifications

While the classic image of a refugee is that of a person moving to an entirely new country, these international refugees make up only a portion of the world's total displaced people. Many refugees who are forced to evacuate their homes lack the wherewithal and/or opportunity to travel to a new country, and so become refugees in their own home nation. These internally displaced people (IDPs) are actually more common than international refugees, whom IDPs outnumbered 48 million to 26.6 million in mid-2021. Other non-typical refugee types include asylum seekers, who arrive seeking international protection, and stateless people, who are not claimed as nationals by any country.

Note also that the definition of a refugee may include not only the person displaced, but the children of refugees as well, operating under the logic that the child of a displaced person is also displaced regardless of whether that child ever lived in the country from which their parent was displaced. According to the United Nations, both the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which serves Palestinian refugees throughout the Middle East, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which serves the rest of the world, apply this same broad definition:

"Under international law and the principle of family unity, the children of refugees and their descendants are also considered refugees until a durable solution is found. Both UNRWA and UNHCR recognize descendants as refugees on this basis, a practice that has been widely accepted by the international community, including both donors and refugee hosting countries.

Palestine refugees are not distinct from other protracted refugee situations such as those from Afghanistan or Somalia, where there are multiple generations of refugees, considered by UNHCR as refugees and supported as such."

Which countries do most refugees come from?

Because refugees seek asylum due to specific causes such as violence, war, and persecution, certain countries prone to these conditions generate far more refugees than countries that are safer and more stable.

Due to the Syrian Civil War, Syria has generated the most international refugees in the world several years running. Mid-2021 data from the United Nations confirmed that most of the 6.7 million refugees to leave Syria had remained in the Middle East, hosted predominantly by Turkey (3.69 million), Lebanon (852k), Jordan (668k), and Germany (616k). In addition, nearly 6.8 more people who could not leave remained within Syria as internally displaced people (IDPs), refugees within their own country.

Colombia, too, hosts a massive IDP population, due largely to ongoing land ownership conflicts. Additionally, the 2022 Russo-Ukrainian War also had a massive impact on refugee totals, and the civil and economic turmoil in Venezuela continues to displace millions of people both domestically and internationally. However, as of mid-2023, Syria remained the leading origin country for international refugees.

Top 10 Origin Countries of International Refugees (mid-2023):

Country
Total Refugees Originated
Syria13.5M
Ukraine12.6M
Venezuela10.2M
Afghanistan9.7M
Colombia7.8M
DR Congo7.5M
Palestine6.1M
Somalia4.9M
Yemen4.6M
Sudan4.2M

Note: Totals include international refugees and individuals in refugee-like situations, asylum seekers, others of concern to UNHCR, and the unique-to-Venezuela "Other people in need of international protection" category. Totals exclude internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees who returned home during 2023.

Causes of refugee migration

Armed conflicts and wars are the most common reasons refugees leave their homes, as demonstrated by not only Syria, but also South Sudan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria, and (obviously) 2022 Ukraine. Drought and famine, primarily brought on or amplified by climate change, is another prominent cause (as is the attendant food insecurity, such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Many countries face multiple issues, such as Sudan and Somalia suffering through both drought and civil unrest; or Afghanistan enduring armed conflict, droughts, and also natural disasters.

  • Data in Table 1 indicate refugees by Country of Origin. Values are mid-year 2023 tallies for all indicators except IDPs, which are 2022 end-of-year totals. All refugee counts are best-possible estimates, but may not be backed by official census data.
  • Refugees Originated is an umbrella category that includes international refugees and people living in refugee-like conditions, IDPs, asylum seekers, and all other UN categories of displaced people, commonly referred to as "refugees".
  • Data for Serbia include Kosovo.
  • Palestine total combines 119,583 individuals served by UNHCR and 5,936,247 served by UNRWA.
  • Venezuela totals include 5,322,120 individuals classified as "Other people in need of international protection", a category unique to Venezuela, which refers to Venezuelans living abroad in refugee-like conditions but who have not been reported under other categories (asylum-seekers, refugees).
  • In addition to per-country totals, UNHCR data include another 596,708 individuals whose nationality is unknown, as well as 4,391,680 "stateless" individuals, who live in refugee-like conditions but are not legally considered nationals of any country.

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Country
Total Refugees Originated
International
Domestic (IDPs)
Asylum Seekers
Others of Concern
Came Home
Syria13.5M6,494,1416,673,353160,2094,441142,410
Ukraine12.6M5,865,4475,088,00037,190377,3681,274,000
Venezuela10.2M300,7591,184,8893,354,830
Afghanistan9.7M6,110,2193,252,741324,52936,4457,340
Colombia7.8M111,3946,886,426220,456542,773
DR Congo7.5M948,4175,969,254156,16117,165432,800
Palestine6.1M6,042,67310,3862,771
Somalia4.9M814,5613,860,09993,076101,009333
Yemen4.6M43,5314,523,02233,427239
Sudan4.2M1,027,0703,020,517124,2231,90717,228
Nigeria3.9M381,1493,417,93684,432818,797
South Sudan3.9M2,227,6841,490,0646,700161148,238
Myanmar3.3M1,266,0221,845,20849,52247389,402
Ethiopia3M145,0392,123,435129,9045,360607,195
Burkina Faso2.2M43,1242,062,53471,515
Iraq1.8M330,6671,157,115223,82425,92313,571
Central African Republic1.4M750,875485,82513,7552,205104,220
Cameroon1.2M133,9451,027,29529,283828,122
Mozambique893K111834,3048,6901549,865
Azerbaijan708.4K43,305658,7936,289
Honduras674.6K72,341247,090209,130146,089
Mali672.1K233,188375,53910,9261052,416
Eritrea632.9K537,16186,0569,687
Chad570.1K9,447381,28939,642139,760
Mexico420.1K18,944262,411138,7555
Burundi405.5K323,4878,17763,2846,0354,505
Niger399.5K23,280335,2773,14437,779
Philippines367.1K60395,1935,365183,04482,895
Cuba350K15,981319,17014,819
Haiti349.4K116,463195,42537,482
Georgia344.4K14,426294,43135,523
Guatemala308.1K32,220169,416106,506
El Salvador300.8K62,24871,500142,46924,625
Nicaragua295.1K18,545271,7404,785
China288.1K161,574120,9475,567
Rwanda281.5K249,54318,73912,2461,003
Serbia248.3K30,333209,7968,1332040
Iran225.2K147,23877,7981445
Turkey221.9K115,708105,957197
Russia195.1K85,38294,14615,596
Libya187K18,559161,6136,751385
Pakistan181.4K115,66265,388389
Sri Lanka174.8K147,6247,14818,34371,628
India141.8K23,243118,133388
Bosnia and Herzegovina117.1K19,32696,3051,480
Papua New Guinea91.9K61090,634609
Western Sahara91.8K91,016751
Bangladesh91K25,31165,598111
Ecuador78K3,77446,51127,753
Brazil66.3K3,24862,128926
Guinea65.6K38,08927,479
Egypt61K24,65236,151212
Peru52.2K4,48147,690
Ivory Coast48K25,26422,73141
Mauritania46.7K37,2169,509
Albania45.9K21,75024,181
Angola45.2K12,45619,40813,363
Lebanon39.4K7,4679,98421,920
Armenia31.6K15,55316,02113
Vietnam30K18,04511,88768
Morocco27.2K10,45115,966753
Senegal27.1K13,46213,624
Republic of the Congo24.5K13,22411,17183
Belarus24K13,56410,45811
Indonesia23.8K11,82011,079950
Ghana23.7K14,7338,943
Nepal22.7K7,31414,994423
Malaysia21.7K1,38020,321
Uganda20.8K7,71913,01038
Chile20.6K1,61916,8962,134
Kenya20.1K7,59412,5365
Uzbekistan19.5K4,55111,5303,442
Algeria17.9K7,78810,03445
Croatia17.7K17,58711317
Gambia16.3K10,9645,334
Zimbabwe15.6K7,2688,187172
Togo15.2K7,9637,256
Sierra Leone13.9K6,9904,9691,910
Kazakhstan13.7K3,7489,969
Cambodia12.7K11,6701,018
Jordan12.5K3,8897,3491,306
Moldova12.2K5,6116,5685
Tunisia9.7K2,9306,8058
Romania9.3K1,7647,498
Liberia8.9K4,9143,124866
Kyrgyzstan8.9K3,3345,569
Dominican Republic8.4K8047,563
Tajikistan7.9K3,6794,197
Mongolia7.9K2,4205,4405
Jamaica7.2K1,9935,158
Laos7.1K6,641506
Bhutan7.1K6,682447
North Macedonia7.1K1,8625,2095
Kuwait4.8K2,0302,71210
South Africa4.6K8113,8166
Turkmenistan4K2,8741,161
Saudi Arabia3.9K2,1001,74828
Fiji3.6K3323,317
Argentina3.6K2683,3475
Hungary3.6K1,9871,626
Bolivia3.6K5643,048
Thailand3.5K2183,318
Guinea Bissau3.3K2,1061,223
Tanzania3.2K8522,27631
Djibouti3K1,7871,224
Bahamas2.7K9451,714
Namibia2.6K3352,19543
Comoros2.6K2,074496
Benin2.4K8621,499
Trinidad and Tobago2K301783955
Poland2K9531,056
Malawi1.9K5061,361
Israel1.8K813985
Montenegro1.7K6131,111
Costa Rica1.7K2271,466
Paraguay1.7K1561,535
Panama1.6K1901,454
Solomon Islands1.6K461,000576
Gabon1.5K825706
Italy1.5K1321,320
Tonga1.4K401,311
Guyana1.3K2481,091
Hong Kong1.2K2101,014
Botswana1.1K10297928
Spain1.1K621,017
South Korea1.1K120943
Madagascar85953529925
Zambia8383035305
Mauritius833214619
Czech Republic830608222
Portugal81943776
Bulgaria8113954115
Slovakia759612147
Uruguay74491653
Belize71065645
Equatorial Guinea708383325
Timor Leste6996693
Germany693148545
United Kingdom680227453
Vanuatu6435638
Barbados591280311
Bahrain542336206
France49355438
Canada483201282
Samoa4038395
United Arab Emirates398209189
North Korea372239133
Greece349119230
French Guiana34411333
Dominica33063267
Latvia315143172
Eswatini31012217612
Saint Lucia29998201
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines290133157
Netherlands23957182
Ireland2086202
Cape Verde20410194
Grenada19254138
Sweden18719168
Suriname18741146
Lithuania18657129
Japan18351132
Oman1707892
Singapore16737130
Belgium13512123
Maldives1169026
Estonia1136251
Antigua and Barbuda1125557
Qatar1054956
Guadeloupe1001783
Australia882959
Saint Kitts and Nevis782256
New Zealand754827
Bermuda5656
Austria472819
Slovenia38731
Lesotho3712196
Sao Tome and Principe311120
Finland3030
Macau301020
Denmark2828
Cyprus2828
Switzerland2626
Norway251015
Kiribati2525
Turks and Caicos Islands25196
Nauru24519
Curacao2121
Seychelles1798
Brunei1414
Niue1385
Malta88
Andorra88
Luxembourg55
Iceland55
Marshall Islands55
Liechtenstein55
Palau55
Anguilla55
showing: 199 rows

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Country
Total Refugees Harbored
International
Domestic (IDPs)
Asylum Seekers
Stateless
Others
Went Home
Afghanistan3,346,18252,1623,252,741227033,7127,340
Albania7,1373,828052,1261,1780
Algeria103,13999,38903,750000
Angola56,02524,983028,29402,7480
Anguilla560000560
Antigua and Barbuda10500001050
Argentina231,0684,109011,68924215,2460
Armenia35,91634,757062853100
Aruba17,000000017,0000
Australia147,47954,430090,5498,3132,5000
Austria314,259277,158035,7433,30100
Azerbaijan668,8176,280658,7931593,58500
Bahamas7641003107230
Bahrain3772550122000
Bangladesh961,817961,801016961,72900
Barbados101000000
Belarus37,53231,60203445,58600
Belgium198,479156,921040,8809396780
Belize11,57914501,98209,4520
Benin9,2632,67506,588000
Bolivia16,6051,116061015,4280
Bosnia and Herzegovina97,99331096,30565311,2990
Botswana9227540970710
Brazil593,648193,976089,5195310,1480
Brunei20,86300020,86300
Bulgaria199,238189,57709,59599800
Burkina Faso2,099,31836,2262,062,534558000
Burundi102,14784,1878,1773,0137831,4824,505
Cambodia75,029240575,00000
Cameroon1,534,283469,2771,027,2958,55401,03528,122
Canada322,844150,1920169,0924,08400
Cape Verde11500011500
Cayman Islands40947024601160
Central African Republic645,93811,322485,82544,57100104,220
Chad1,289,063762,731381,2895,3920139,6510
Chile454,1292,173012,4401,728437,7880
China1,0442870757000
Colombia9,906,3281,4976,886,42623,839112,994,5550
Comoros101000000
Costa Rica424,52515,6110195,463287213,1640
Croatia26,21723,78901,2737334350
Cuba186157022070
Curacao14,000000014,0000
Cyprus68,14033,872034,2687700
Czech Republic353,875351,33801,0461,5775370
Denmark80,45569,33702,56311,40800
Djibouti30,52721,61208,915000
Dominica0000000
Dominican Republic118,01366502,5430114,8050
DR Congo6,925,576520,0735,969,2543,44900432,800
Ecuador566,28661,44109,3640495,4810
Egypt384,287300,128084,1541000
El Salvador81,03910671,50015809,2750
Eritrea136119000170
Estonia108,68640,371021468,1100
Eswatini2,6111,18001,4190120
Ethiopia3,657,100921,8222,123,4354,0380610607,195
Fiji21160500
Finland89,15680,18905,9883,4030
France708,600641,626065,2224,1111,752
Gabon28120507600
Gambia4,1743,749042500
Georgia321,98426,096294,4319315260
Germany2,873,4272,509,5060349,03429,5620
Ghana11,0756,86604,20900
Greece190,816169,393017,7854,4883,638
Grenada2340000234
Guatemala123,98278801,8630121,331
Guinea2,2552,20105400
Guinea-Bissau542403000
Guyana19,783320116019,635
Haiti000000
Hon Kong30430400000
Honduras508,576176247,0901210261,189
Hungary58,02657,939051430
Iceland9,0626,19302,827640
India260,055247,822012,23322,1100
Indonesia12,3369,22702,930911179
Iran3,443,5343,443,52207705
Iraq1,471,262279,2401,157,11511,2468,0002,09013,571
Ireland116,53599,048017,487370
Israel68,3971,221025,4533541,688
Italy413,682308,6630102,0283,0020
Ivory Coast952,4062,293019,009931,041630
Jamaica983100067
Japan28,42315,451012,4735080
Jordan741,326695,821044,160641,345
Kazakhstan9,24834506378,2660
Kenya742,798519,3530104,49016,779102,176
Kuwait93,651693094592,00013
Kyrgyzstan1,25525307752270
Laos000000
Latvia233,16145,2370360187,5640
Lebanon834,600799,17507,769027,656
Lesotho635308032106
Liberia1,7731,146062700
Libya206,0721,552161,61342,902005
Liechtenstein62160501600
Lithuania75,81973,17002692,4270
Luxembourg13,30210,63902,561182102
Madagascar429520358019
Malawi51,47134,972016,49405
Malaysia245,226133,821046,937114,45955,771
Mali492,84863,999375,5398940052,416
Malta13,40211,41301,98900
Mauritania108,199103,44104,75800
Mauritius1350800
Mexico856,912105,272262,411259,36413229,852
Moldova112,047106,94501,7953,3070
Monaco17170000
Mongolia321000175
Montenegro41,55740,5970146485329
Morocco19,4848,244011,24000
Mozambique917,5495,331834,30427,389066049,865
Myanmar2,410,97901,845,2080630,000089,402
Namibia7,2224,89502,242085
Nauru000000
Nepal20,34919,5620220474567
Netherlands259,444224,320033,1735,1720
New Zealand2,6621,787087550
Nicaragua1,01931101240584
Niger675,162251,755335,27750,356037,774
Nigeria3,535,36792,9643,417,9365,6700018,797
North Macedonia8,6588,2520323695
Norway93,40586,44905,2593,8240
Oman716295042100
Pakistan2,129,5332,080,501048,89359139
Panama353,7922,59608,2660342,930
Papua New Guinea104,45610,51690,6343,30600
Paraguay7,5205,89101,3180311
Peru1,534,2126,7510538,9750988,486
Philippines308,16790395,193884266128,03382,895
Poland995,025989,87703,8201,4251,328
Portugal60,20759,3110896240
Qatar1,53319301401,2000
Republic of the Congo71,55242,172019,069010,3110
Romania141,169139,08101,918294170
Russia1,343,8851,249,342077393,8020
Rwanda144,943118,50109,1169,5006,8231,003
Saint Kitts and Nevis740014060
Saint Lucia000000
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines700007
Samoa000000
Saudi Arabia74,41047303,93770,0000
Senegal12,10611,821028500
Serbia246,06430,866209,7962012,3972,77640
Sierra Leone2100000210
Singapore1,1140051,1090
Sint Maarten1310013100
Slovakia108,084105,1040542,9350
Slovenia11,83010,68401,136225
Solomon Islands1,00001,000000
Somalia3,896,60616,7363,860,09919,2620176333
South Africa144,47562,537081,93800
South Korea24,3523,907020,2142390
South Sudan1,957,177314,8831,490,0642,6061,30086148,238
Spain532,640369,7220154,4408,5248,478
Sri Lanka9,5675677,14822414001,628
Sudan4,001,147926,4333,020,51733,27203,69717,228
Suriname2,8362502,81100
Sweden291,700258,117012,54640,4370
Switzerland204,183189,100014,9861,07497
Syria7,018,61013,0246,673,3535,832160,00023,991142,410
Tajikistan13,3778,17701,0564,1440
Tanzania254,580203,605038,643012,332
Thailand678,50294,93801,161582,403473
Togo32,74618,846013,90000
Trinidad and Tobago39,5073,407024,267011,833
Tunisia8,5253,40905,093023
Turkey3,630,0203,368,9760260,6054390
Turkmenistan3,36514003,3510
Turks and Caicos Islands770000
Uganda1,628,6371,512,681048,95667,0000
Ukraine6,748,4132,5325,088,00046036,235347,2591,274,000
United Arab Emirates8,6171,39307,1060118
United Kingdom541,049365,2620175,4385,596349
United States of America2,584,635389,33502,195,30000
Uruguay46,0011,222021,151523,628
Uzbekistan38,43813,0250025,4130
Venezuela3,237,49429,33901,57803,206,577
Vietnam26,830190026,8110
Yemen4,594,49857,4494,523,02214,0030159
Zambia88,03366,51304,317017,203
Zimbabwe23,13910,181011,9860972
showing: 184 rows

Refugees by Country 2024

Which country has the highest rate of refugees?

Syria has the highest number of refugees, with 13.5M.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources