Thursday, October 04, 2018

Which Countries Take the Most Refugees


Earlier this week Australian broadcaster SBS released an interactive map of migrant deaths around the world. The broadcaster has now created a map showing the countries where refugees come from and the countries where refugees end up. This new map uses data from UNHCR to visualize the number of refugees or asylum seekers living in each country and the number of refugees who have left each country.

As you can tell from the screenshot above the richest countries in the world aren't exactly pulling their weight in looking after the world's most needy. In fact the country who has taken in the most refugees is Turkey, followed by Pakistan. Germany is about the only leading economic power who has accepted its responsibility in supporting the world's dispossessed.

The interactive map in SBS's Seven Surprising Facts About Human Migration allows you to view both where refugees have ended up and where they come from. The countries which have created the most refugees are Syria (6.1 million), Afghanistan (2.9 million) and South Sudan (1.9 million).

You can view SBS's map on where migrants have died around the world at How many asylum seekers never make it to their destination. This map uses data from the Missing Migrants Project to show dead and missing migrants across the globe from 6 January 2014 to September 2018.


The UN refugee agency says there are more than 25 million refugees in the world. It isn't exactly a global crisis. About 85 percent of those 25 million refugees are being helped by low and middle-income countries. Countries in the developing world have housed about 15% of the world's refugees.

The Center for Global Development has created an interactive map visualizing refugee numbers in 31 of the 37 developing countries hosting at least 25,000 refugees. You can click on individual countries on the map to view the total number of refugees living in the country. The map was created to show how many refugees are living near urban job opportunities but it also (inadvertently) provides a good visualization of how many developing countries are taking on the burden of housing the world's refugees.

The World Bank has also created an interactive map showing the number of refugees living in each country. The Refugee Population by Country or Territory of Asylum uses data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to visualize how many refugees lived in a country in each year from 1990-2016. Again the map reveals that countries in the developed world have taken in the least refugees. For example in 2016 the USA had a refugee population of around 273,000. In the same year Jordan and Turkey both had refugee populations of over 2,800,0000.
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