Refugee population by country or territory of origin - Country Ranking

Definition: Refugees are people who are recognized as refugees under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees or its 1967 Protocol, the 1969 Organization of African Unity Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, people recognized as refugees in accordance with the UNHCR statute, people granted refugee-like humanitarian status, and people provided temporary protection. Asylum seekers--people who have applied for asylum or refugee status and who have not yet received a decision or who are registered as asylum seekers--are excluded. Palestinian refugees are people (and their descendants) whose residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948 and who lost their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. Country of origin generally refers to the nationality or country of citizenship of a claimant.

Source: Data before 2018 are from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Statistics Database, Statistical Yearbook and data files, complemented by statistics on Palestinian refugees under the mandate of the UNRWA as published on its website. Data

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Syrian Arab Republic 6,654,386.00 2018
2 Afghanistan 2,681,269.00 2018
3 Myanmar 1,145,154.00 2018
4 Somalia 949,652.00 2018
5 Sudan 724,791.00 2018
6 Dem. Rep. Congo 720,307.00 2018
7 Central African Republic 590,874.00 2018
8 Eritrea 507,267.00 2018
9 Burundi 387,862.00 2018
10 Iraq 372,342.00 2018
11 Vietnam 334,475.00 2018
12 Nigeria 276,853.00 2018
13 Rwanda 247,481.00 2018
14 China 212,050.00 2018
15 Mali 158,275.00 2018
16 Colombia 138,586.00 2018
17 Pakistan 132,259.00 2018
18 Iran 129,940.00 2018
19 Sri Lanka 113,963.00 2018
20 Ukraine 93,263.00 2018
21 Ethiopia 92,234.00 2018
22 Turkey 68,903.00 2018
23 Russia 61,463.00 2018
24 Cameroon 45,139.00 2018
25 Côte d'Ivoire 38,323.00 2018
26 Mauritania 37,059.00 2018
27 El Salvador 32,564.00 2018
28 Serbia 32,370.00 2018
29 Yemen 31,154.00 2018
30 Haiti 27,531.00 2018
31 Egypt 24,864.00 2018
32 Croatia 24,107.00 2018
33 Guinea 23,493.00 2018
34 Venezuela 21,046.00 2018
35 Bangladesh 21,036.00 2018
36 Guatemala 19,132.00 2018
37 Honduras 18,860.00 2018
38 Senegal 18,222.00 2018
39 Ghana 18,086.00 2018
40 The Gambia 17,251.00 2018
41 Bosnia and Herzegovina 16,964.00 2018
42 Zimbabwe 15,629.00 2018
43 Libya 13,874.00 2018
44 Albania 13,518.00 2018
45 Congo 13,352.00 2018
46 Mexico 12,870.00 2018
47 Indonesia 12,157.00 2018
48 Cambodia 12,139.00 2018
49 Burkina Faso 11,460.00 2018
50 Azerbaijan 11,246.00 2018
51 Armenia 11,047.00 2018
52 Chad 10,898.00 2018
53 India 9,602.00 2018
54 Nepal 8,594.00 2018
55 Angola 8,253.00 2018
56 Togo 8,040.00 2018
57 Kenya 7,489.00 2018
58 Bhutan 7,104.00 2018
59 Uganda 7,035.00 2018
60 Georgia 6,975.00 2018
61 Lao PDR 6,938.00 2018
62 Lebanon 5,639.00 2018
63 Liberia 5,525.00 2018
64 Cuba 5,488.00 2018
65 Sierra Leone 4,837.00 2018
66 Algeria 4,201.00 2018
67 Hungary 3,927.00 2018
68 Morocco 3,888.00 2018
69 Belarus 3,539.00 2018
70 Uzbekistan 3,284.00 2018
71 Kyrgyz Republic 2,942.00 2018
72 Niger 2,725.00 2018
73 Peru 2,592.00 2018
74 Kazakhstan 2,529.00 2018
75 Jamaica 2,453.00 2018
76 Jordan 2,442.00 2018
77 Moldova 2,401.00 2018
78 Mongolia 2,254.00 2018
79 Djibouti 2,132.00 2018
80 Guinea-Bissau 2,049.00 2018
81 Tunisia 1,999.00 2018
82 North Macedonia 1,731.00 2018
83 Tajikistan 1,701.00 2018
84 Nicaragua 1,673.00 2018
85 Saudi Arabia 1,493.00 2018
86 Ecuador 1,431.00 2018
87 Namibia 1,336.00 2018
88 Kuwait 1,257.00 2018
89 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 1,255.00 2018
90 Czech Republic 1,240.00 2018
91 Slovak Republic 1,221.00 2018
92 Romania 1,160.00 2018
93 Poland 1,087.00 2018
94 Brazil 1,038.00 2018
95 St. Lucia 1,027.00 2018
96 Malaysia 823.00 2018
97 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 802.00 2018
98 Tanzania 735.00 2018
99 Montenegro 716.00 2018
100 Fiji 678.00 2018
101 Benin 665.00 2018
102 Bulgaria 627.00 2018
103 Comoros 622.00 2018
104 Bahrain 543.00 2018
105 Philippines 527.00 2018
106 Bolivia 510.00 2018
107 Israel 502.00 2018
108 South Africa 489.00 2018
109 Chile 482.00 2018
110 Dominican Republic 477.00 2018
111 Malawi 475.00 2018
112 Turkmenistan 461.00 2018
113 Papua New Guinea 427.00 2018
114 The Bahamas 418.00 2018
115 Gabon 347.00 2018
116 United States 342.00 2018
117 Trinidad and Tobago 322.00 2018
118 Madagascar 298.00 2018
119 Botswana 294.00 2018
120 Zambia 284.00 2018
121 Guyana 283.00 2018
122 Estonia 280.00 2018
123 Korea 279.00 2018
124 Eswatini 240.00 2018
125 Barbados 214.00 2018
126 Costa Rica 211.00 2018
127 Thailand 192.00 2018
128 United Arab Emirates 177.00 2018
129 Mauritius 161.00 2018
130 Latvia 156.00 2018
131 Equatorial Guinea 144.00 2018
132 Argentina 117.00 2018
133 Greece 107.00 2018
133 Antigua and Barbuda 107.00 2018
135 Grenada 97.00 2018
136 Canada 84.00 2018
137 United Kingdom 82.00 2018
138 Paraguay 76.00 2018
139 Germany 71.00 2018
140 Lithuania 70.00 2018
141 Italy 69.00 2018
141 Belize 69.00 2018
143 France 61.00 2018
144 Mozambique 58.00 2018
145 St. Kitts and Nevis 57.00 2018
146 Belgium 54.00 2018
147 Panama 49.00 2018
148 Singapore 48.00 2018
148 Spain 48.00 2018
148 Japan 48.00 2018
151 Netherlands 47.00 2018
152 Oman 42.00 2018
153 Dominica 40.00 2018
154 New Zealand 38.00 2018
155 Qatar 36.00 2018
156 Tonga 33.00 2018
156 Solomon Islands 33.00 2018
158 São Tomé and Principe 30.00 2018
159 Austria 23.00 2018
160 Slovenia 20.00 2018
160 Suriname 20.00 2018
162 Uruguay 19.00 2018
162 Portugal 19.00 2018
162 Sweden 19.00 2018
165 Timor-Leste 16.00 2018
166 Cabo Verde 13.00 2018
166 Seychelles 13.00 2018
166 Australia 13.00 2018
166 Hong Kong SAR, China 13.00 2018
170 Puerto Rico 12.00 1996
171 Lesotho 11.00 2018
172 Cyprus 10.00 2018
173 Norway 9.00 2018
174 Switzerland 7.00 2018
174 Cayman Islands 7.00 2018
176 Finland 5.00 2018
177 Ireland 4.00 2018
177 Iceland 4.00 2018
177 Malta 4.00 2018
180 Luxembourg 3.00 2018
180 Palau 3.00 2018
180 Nauru 3.00 2008
180 Andorra 3.00 2018
180 Monaco 3.00 2018
180 Brunei 3.00 2018
186 Macao SAR, China 2.00 2018
186 Tuvalu 2.00 2018
186 San Marino 2.00 2018
186 Denmark 2.00 2018
190 Vanuatu 1.00 2018
190 Samoa 1.00 2018
190 Kiribati 1.00 2018

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Development Relevance: Movement of people, most often through migration, is a significant part of global integration. Migrants contribute to the economies of both their host country and their country of origin. Yet reliable statistics on migration are difficult to collect and are often incomplete, making international comparisons a challenge. In most developed countries, refugees are admitted for resettlement and are routinely included in population counts by censuses or population registers. Globally, the number of refugees at end 2010 was 10.55 million, including 597,300 people considered by UNHCR to be in a refugee-like situation; developing countries hosted 8.5 million refugees, or 80 percent of the global refugee population. Global migration patterns have become increasingly complex in modern times, involving not just refugees, but also millions of economic migrants. But refugees and migrants, even if they often travel in the same way, are fundamentally different, and for that reason are treated very differently under modern international law. Migrants, especially economic migrants, choose to move in order to improve the future prospects of themselves and their families. Refugees have to move if they are to save their lives or preserve their freedom. They have no protection from their own state - indeed it is often their own government that is threatening to persecute them. If other countries do not let them in, and do not help them once they are in, then they may be condemning them to death - or to an intolerable life in the shadows, without sustenance and without rights.

Limitations and Exceptions: There are difficulties in collecting accurate statistics on refugees. Many refugees may not be aware of the need to register or may choose not to do so, and administrative records tend to overestimate the number of refugees because it is easier to register than to de-register. In addition, most industrialized countries lack a refugee register and are thus not in a position to provide accurate information on the number of refugees residing in their country. Many countries have registries that are only maintained at the local level, so the data is not centralized. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) collects and maintains data on refugees, except for Palestinian refugees residing in areas under the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Registration is voluntary, and estimates by the UNRWA are not an accurate count of the Palestinian refugee population. The data shows estimates of refugees collected by the UNHCR, complemented by estimates of Palestinian refugees under the UNRWA mandate. Thus, the aggregates differ from those published by the UNHCR. Statistics concerning the former USSR have been reported under the Russian Federation, those concerning the former Czechoslovakia have been reported under the Czech Republic and those concerning the former Yugoslavia and 'Serbia and Montenegro' have been reported under Serbia. Since 2006, separate statistics are available for Serbia and for Montenegro. Prior to 2006, no separate statistics are available and both countries have been reported under Serbia.

Original Source Notes: The refugee population category from 2007 onwards also includes people in a refugee-like situation, most of who were previously included in the Others of concern group. This sub-category is descriptive in nature and includes groups of persons who are outs

Statistical Concept and Methodology: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) collects and maintains data on refugees in their Statistical Online Population Database. The refugee data does not include Palestinian refugees residing in areas under the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). However, the Palestinian refugees living outside the UNRWA areas of operation do fall under the responsibility of UNHCR and are thus included in the Statistical Online Population Database. Refugees are an important part of migrant stock. The refugee data refer to people who have crossed an international border to find sanctuary and have been granted refugee or refugee-like status or temporary protection. There are three main providers of refugee data: governmental agencies, UNHCR field offices and NGOs. Registrations, together with other sources - including estimates and surveys - are the main sources of refugee data. In the absence of Government estimates, UNHCR has estimated the refugee population in most industrialized countries, based on recognition of asylum-seekers. Prior to 2007, resettled refugees were included in these estimates. Up to and including 2006, to ensure that the refugee population in countries that lack a refugee registry is reflected in the global statistics, the number of refugees was estimated by UNHCR based on the arrival of refugees through resettlement programmes and the individual recognition of refugees over a 10-year (Europe and, since 2006, the United States) or 5-year (the United States before 2006, Canada and Oceania) period. Starting with the 2007 data, the cut-off period has been harmonized and now covers a 10-year period for Europe and non-European countries. Resettled refugees, however, are excluded from the refugee estimates in all countries. The 2007-2011 refugee population category includes people in a refugee-like situation, most of who were previously included in the Others of concern group. This sub-category is descriptive in nature and includes groups of persons who are outside their country or territory of origin and who face protection risks similar to those of refugees, but for whom refugee status has, for practical or other reasons, not been ascertained. Asylum seekers - people who have applied for asylum or refugee status and who have not yet received a decision or who are registered as asylum seekers - and internally displaced people - who are often confused with refugees - are not included in the data. Unlike refugees, internally displaced people remain under the protection of their own government, even if their reason for fleeing was similar to that of refugees. Palestinian refugees are people (and their descendants) whose residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948 and who lost their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict.

Aggregation method: Sum

Periodicity: Annual