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: 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 from UNHCR are available o

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Syrian Arab Republic 5,524,333.00 2016
2 Afghanistan 2,501,410.00 2016
3 Somalia 1,012,277.00 2016
4 Sudan 650,588.00 2016
5 Dem. Rep. Congo 537,429.00 2016
6 Central African Republic 490,869.00 2016
7 Myanmar 490,265.00 2016
8 Eritrea 459,390.00 2016
9 Burundi 408,036.00 2016
10 Vietnam 329,331.00 2016
11 Iraq 315,998.00 2016
12 Colombia 311,051.00 2016
13 Rwanda 286,033.00 2016
14 Ukraine 239,048.00 2016
15 Nigeria 229,261.00 2016
16 China 207,733.00 2016
17 Mali 156,390.00 2016
18 Sri Lanka 117,447.00 2016
19 Pakistan 105,376.00 2016
20 Iran 94,042.00 2016
21 Ethiopia 83,894.00 2016
22 Russia 62,737.00 2016
23 Turkey 57,885.00 2016
24 Côte d'Ivoire 46,741.00 2016
25 Serbia 36,898.00 2016
26 Mauritania 36,228.00 2016
27 Haiti 29,661.00 2016
28 Croatia 26,211.00 2016
29 Senegal 23,019.00 2016
30 Egypt 19,742.00 2016
31 El Salvador 19,595.00 2016
32 Yemen 18,396.00 2016
33 Bosnia and Herzegovina 18,179.00 2016
34 Zimbabwe 18,116.00 2016
35 Guinea 17,526.00 2016
36 Ghana 15,507.00 2016
37 Chad 14,146.00 2016
38 Bangladesh 13,810.00 2016
39 Congo 13,231.00 2016
40 Indonesia 13,046.00 2016
41 Guatemala 12,534.00 2016
42 Cambodia 12,408.00 2016
43 Bhutan 11,732.00 2016
44 The Gambia 11,569.00 2016
45 Albania 11,050.00 2016
46 Armenia 10,687.00 2016
47 Honduras 10,479.00 2016
48 Mexico 10,367.00 2016
49 Cameroon 10,328.00 2016
50 Azerbaijan 10,087.00 2016
51 Libya 8,796.00 2016
52 Angola 8,363.00 2016
53 Nepal 8,350.00 2016
54 Togo 8,286.00 2016
55 Venezuela 7,513.00 2016
56 Kenya 7,506.00 2016
57 India 7,243.00 2016
58 Lao PDR 7,224.00 2016
59 Liberia 6,513.00 2016
60 Georgia 6,365.00 2016
61 Uganda 6,189.00 2016
62 Cuba 5,925.00 2016
63 Lebanon 4,709.00 2016
64 Sierra Leone 4,628.00 2016
65 Belarus 3,824.00 2016
66 Uzbekistan 3,809.00 2016
67 Algeria 3,675.00 2016
68 Hungary 2,904.00 2016
69 Peru 2,589.00 2016
70 Kyrgyz Republic 2,546.00 2016
71 Burkina Faso 2,327.00 2016
72 Kazakhstan 2,326.00 2016
73 Moldova 2,291.00 2016
74 Mongolia 2,267.00 2016
75 Morocco 2,230.00 2016
76 Jamaica 1,988.00 2016
77 Jordan 1,889.00 2016
78 Macedonia 1,705.00 2016
79 Tunisia 1,667.00 2016
80 Guinea-Bissau 1,635.00 2016
81 Djibouti 1,417.00 2016
82 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 1,409.00 2016
82 Nicaragua 1,409.00 2016
84 Namibia 1,348.00 2016
85 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 1,330.00 2016
86 Czech Republic 1,266.00 2016
87 Niger 1,210.00 2016
88 Romania 1,190.00 2016
89 Poland 1,144.00 2016
90 Ecuador 1,021.00 2016
91 Kuwait 1,008.00 2016
92 St. Lucia 993.00 2016
93 Tajikistan 910.00 2016
94 Saudi Arabia 897.00 2016
95 Bulgaria 794.00 2016
96 Brazil 793.00 2016
97 Slovak Republic 792.00 2016
98 Fiji 791.00 2016
99 Montenegro 708.00 2016
100 Comoros 557.00 2016
101 Tanzania 554.00 2016
102 Bolivia 515.00 2016
103 Chile 490.00 2016
104 Israel 467.00 2016
105 Benin 464.00 2016
106 Bahrain 446.00 2016
107 Malaysia 443.00 2016
108 South Africa 427.00 2016
109 Philippines 421.00 2016
110 Malawi 407.00 2016
111 Papua New Guinea 391.00 2016
112 Turkmenistan 346.00 2016
113 Dominican Republic 344.00 2016
114 Estonia 298.00 2016
115 Trinidad and Tobago 295.00 2016
116 The Bahamas 293.00 2016
117 United States 277.00 2016
117 Madagascar 277.00 2016
119 Guyana 269.00 2016
120 Botswana 265.00 2016
121 Zambia 246.00 2016
122 Korea 243.00 2016
123 Swaziland 219.00 2016
124 Costa Rica 197.00 2016
125 Latvia 165.00 2016
126 Gabon 152.00 2016
127 Barbados 144.00 2016
128 Thailand 143.00 2016
129 Equatorial Guinea 126.00 2016
130 Argentina 115.00 2016
131 United Arab Emirates 103.00 2016
132 Mauritius 101.00 2016
132 Greece 101.00 2016
134 Grenada 100.00 2016
135 United Kingdom 78.00 2016
136 Antigua and Barbuda 77.00 2016
137 Canada 76.00 2016
138 Germany 67.00 2016
139 Solomon Islands 66.00 2016
140 Lithuania 64.00 2016
141 Paraguay 63.00 2016
142 Belize 53.00 2016
142 Japan 53.00 2016
144 France 45.00 2016
145 St. Kitts and Nevis 44.00 2016
145 Belgium 44.00 2016
145 Italy 44.00 2016
148 Singapore 33.00 2016
148 Panama 33.00 2016
148 Mozambique 33.00 2016
151 Spain 29.00 2016
152 Cabo Verde 28.00 2015
153 Netherlands 27.00 2016
154 São Tomé and Principe 26.00 2016
155 Tonga 25.00 2016
155 New Zealand 25.00 2016
157 Dominica 20.00 2016
157 Qatar 20.00 2016
157 Oman 20.00 2016
157 Australia 20.00 2015
161 Switzerland 17.00 2015
162 Suriname 16.00 2016
163 Slovenia 15.00 2016
164 Timor-Leste 14.00 2016
165 Uruguay 13.00 2016
166 Norway 12.00 2015
166 Puerto Rico 12.00 1996
168 Ireland 9.00 2015
168 Denmark 9.00 2015
170 Sweden 8.00 2016
170 Finland 8.00 2015
172 Cayman Islands 6.00 2016
173 Lesotho 5.00 2016
173 Andorra 5.00 2015
173 Portugal 5.00 2016
173 Seychelles 5.00 2016
173 Macao SAR, China 5.00 2015
173 Hong Kong SAR, China 5.00 2016
179 Cyprus 4.00 2015
179 Austria 4.00 2015
181 Monaco 3.00 2015
181 Nauru 3.00 2008
183 Tuvalu 2.00 2015
183 Kiribati 2.00 2015
183 Luxembourg 2.00 2015
183 Palau 2.00 2015
187 Malta 1.00 2015
187 Vanuatu 1.00 2015
187 Brunei 1.00 2014
187 Samoa 1.00 2015
187 San Marino 1.00 2015
187 Iceland 1.00 2014

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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