Refugee population by country or territory of asylum - 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 asylum is the country where an asylum claim was filed and granted.

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 Turkey 3,681,685.00 2018
2 Jordan 2,950,529.00 2018
3 Lebanon 1,424,592.00 2018
4 Pakistan 1,404,019.00 2018
5 Uganda 1,165,653.00 2018
6 Sudan 1,078,287.00 2018
7 Germany 1,063,837.00 2018
8 Iran 979,435.00 2018
9 Bangladesh 906,645.00 2018
10 Ethiopia 903,226.00 2018
11 Syrian Arab Republic 576,621.00 2018
12 Dem. Rep. Congo 529,061.00 2018
13 Chad 451,210.00 2018
14 Kenya 421,248.00 2018
15 Cameroon 380,329.00 2018
16 France 368,352.00 2018
17 China 321,756.00 2018
18 United States 313,241.00 2018
19 Iraq 283,022.00 2018
20 Tanzania 278,322.00 2018
21 Yemen 264,369.00 2018
22 Sweden 248,226.00 2018
23 Egypt 246,749.00 2018
24 India 195,891.00 2018
25 Italy 189,243.00 2018
26 Niger 175,418.00 2018
27 Rwanda 145,360.00 2018
28 Austria 128,769.00 2018
29 United Kingdom 126,720.00 2018
30 Malaysia 121,302.00 2018
31 Canada 114,109.00 2018
32 Switzerland 104,037.00 2018
33 Thailand 102,245.00 2018
34 Netherlands 101,837.00 2018
35 Ecuador 101,564.00 2018
36 Algeria 94,350.00 2018
37 South Africa 89,285.00 2018
38 Mauritania 83,191.00 2018
39 Russia 77,397.00 2018
40 Afghanistan 72,231.00 2018
41 Burundi 71,507.00 2018
42 Venezuela 67,289.00 2018
43 Greece 61,460.00 2018
44 Norway 57,026.00 2018
45 Australia 56,933.00 2018
46 Zambia 49,879.00 2018
47 Belgium 42,168.00 2018
48 Angola 39,865.00 2018
49 Congo 37,494.00 2018
50 Denmark 36,631.00 2018
51 Nigeria 34,738.00 2018
52 Serbia 30,954.00 2018
53 Mali 26,539.00 2018
54 Burkina Faso 25,122.00 2018
55 Finland 22,295.00 2018
56 Nepal 20,808.00 2018
57 Spain 20,457.00 2018
58 Bulgaria 19,918.00 2018
59 Israel 18,569.00 2018
60 Djibouti 18,295.00 2018
61 Armenia 17,970.00 2018
62 Somalia 16,741.00 2018
63 Mexico 16,549.00 2018
64 Senegal 14,359.00 2018
65 Malawi 13,782.00 2018
66 Poland 12,506.00 2018
67 Togo 12,336.00 2018
68 Ghana 11,899.00 2018
69 Brazil 11,327.00 2018
70 Cyprus 11,014.00 2018
71 Indonesia 10,793.00 2018
72 Papua New Guinea 10,026.00 2018
73 Liberia 9,122.00 2018
74 Libya 8,794.00 2018
75 Malta 8,579.00 2018
76 Zimbabwe 7,797.00 2018
77 Central African Republic 6,655.00 2018
78 Ireland 6,041.00 2018
79 Hungary 6,040.00 2018
80 Morocco 5,940.00 2018
81 Bosnia and Herzegovina 5,229.00 2018
82 Mozambique 4,907.00 2018
83 Guinea-Bissau 4,850.00 2018
84 Costa Rica 4,547.00 2018
85 Guinea 4,294.00 2018
86 Romania 4,157.00 2018
87 The Gambia 4,034.00 2018
88 Argentina 3,468.00 2018
89 Korea 2,903.00 2018
90 Tajikistan 2,657.00 2018
91 Ukraine 2,620.00 2018
92 Peru 2,529.00 2018
93 Panama 2,518.00 2018
94 Namibia 2,400.00 2018
95 Eritrea 2,252.00 2018
96 Belarus 2,234.00 2018
97 Czech Republic 2,186.00 2018
98 Portugal 2,136.00 2018
99 Botswana 2,047.00 2018
100 Luxembourg 2,046.00 2018
101 Chile 2,033.00 2018
102 Georgia 1,991.00 2018
103 Japan 1,895.00 2018
104 Côte d'Ivoire 1,810.00 2018
105 Lithuania 1,734.00 2018
106 New Zealand 1,564.00 2018
107 Benin 1,174.00 2018
108 United Arab Emirates 1,164.00 2018
109 Azerbaijan 1,131.00 2018
110 Tunisia 1,066.00 2018
111 Vietnam 990.00 2011
112 Nauru 962.00 2018
113 Slovak Republic 949.00 2018
114 Eswatini 879.00 2018
115 Bolivia 810.00 2018
116 Sri Lanka 800.00 2018
117 Croatia 787.00 2018
118 Trinidad and Tobago 785.00 2018
119 Slovenia 749.00 2018
120 Montenegro 729.00 2018
121 Gabon 687.00 2018
122 Kuwait 673.00 2018
123 Latvia 670.00 2018
124 Philippines 642.00 2018
125 Sierra Leone 592.00 2018
126 Kazakhstan 574.00 2018
127 Iceland 573.00 2018
128 Moldova 418.00 2018
129 North Macedonia 412.00 2018
130 Uruguay 391.00 2018
131 Guatemala 390.00 2018
132 Kyrgyz Republic 333.00 2018
133 Nicaragua 326.00 2018
134 Estonia 325.00 2018
135 Colombia 310.00 2018
136 Oman 308.00 2018
137 Cuba 287.00 2018
138 Paraguay 266.00 2018
138 Saudi Arabia 266.00 2018
140 Bahrain 263.00 2018
141 Qatar 190.00 2018
142 Dominican Republic 170.00 2018
143 Liechtenstein 168.00 2018
144 Hong Kong SAR, China 141.00 2018
145 Albania 131.00 2018
146 Cambodia 61.00 2017
147 Lesotho 57.00 2018
148 El Salvador 48.00 2018
149 Madagascar 44.00 2018
150 Suriname 43.00 2018
151 Cayman Islands 34.00 2018
152 Belize 28.00 2018
153 Honduras 27.00 2018
154 Monaco 25.00 2018
155 Guyana 23.00 2018
156 Turkmenistan 22.00 2018
157 The Bahamas 15.00 2018
157 Jamaica 15.00 2018
159 Mauritius 14.00 2018
159 Uzbekistan 14.00 2018
161 Haiti 8.00 2018
162 Mongolia 7.00 2018
163 Fiji 4.00 2018
163 St. Kitts and Nevis 4.00 2018
165 Samoa 3.00 2018
165 Tonga 3.00 2013
165 Singapore 3.00 2014
165 Solomon Islands 3.00 2015
169 Vanuatu 2.00 2013
169 Grenada 2.00 2018
169 Lao PDR 2.00 1998
169 St. Lucia 2.00 2018
169 Cabo Verde 2.00 1992
169 Seychelles 2.00 2016
175 Barbados 1.00 2018
175 Antigua and Barbuda 1.00 2018
175 Palau 1.00 2016
175 Comoros 1.00 2006
175 Timor-Leste 1.00 2010
175 Macao SAR, China 1.00 2011

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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. Asylum-seekers are persons who have applied for asylum or refugee status, but who have not yet received a final decision on their application. A distinction should be made between the number of asylum-seekers who have submitted an individual request during a certain period ("asylum applications submitted") and the number of asylum-seekers whose individual asylum request has not yet been decided at a certain date ("backlog of undecided or pending cases"). Caution should therefore be exercised when interpreting data on asylum-seekers. 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