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Refugee Facts

Refugee Statistics

More than 114 million individuals have been forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations. We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record.

Global Trends At-a-Glance

By the end of 2022, 108.4 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations. This includes:

  • 35.3 million refugees
  • 62.5 million internally displaced people
  • 5.4 million asylum seekers
  • 5.2 million people in need of international protection, a majority from Venezuela

By the end of September 2023, more than 114 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide. This marks the largest ever single-year increase in forced displacement in UNHCR’s history, propelled by the war in Ukraine and other deadly conflicts.

114 Million

More than the entire population of Germany.

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Noteworthy Facts and Statistics by Region/Country

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • The East and Horn of Africa, and Great Lakes region hosted nearly 5 million refugees at the end of 2022. 
  • The region hosts 20 percent of the global refugee population and almost 85 percent of all refugees in the region live in Chad (592,800), Cameroon (473,900) and Niger (255,300). 
  • Conflict in Sudan, beginning in April 2023, displaced 2.6 million people within Sudan and 738,000 others who fled to neighboring countries by July 2023. 

Central America and Venezuela

  • In recent years, Honduras has experienced an increase in violence by organized criminal groups, locally called maras. El Salvador has seen decreased organized violence. 
  • The number of refugees and Venezuelans displaced abroad grew in 2021, reaching 5.2 million by the end of the year.
  • By the end of 2022, an estimated 968,300 people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras were internally displaced or sought asylum in neighboring countries or countries in the Americas, as did 241,900 people identified as populations of concern.

Europe

  • By the end of 2022, Europe hosted 1 in 3 refugees in the world (36 percent). The number of refugees hosted in Europe rose from 7 million at the end of 2021 to
    12.4 million at the end of 2022. 
  • Turkey continues to be the world's largest refugee-hosting country, home to 3.6 million refugees or 10 percent of all people displaced across borders. 
  • Germany hosted nearly 2.1 million people, 6 percent of all refugees globally.
  • In 2022, more than 159,000 people risked their lives trying to reach Europe by land and sea; more than 2,439 are dead or missing.
  • In response to the enormous scale of displacement by the war in Ukraine, EU member states and other European states granted temporary protection to millions of refugees from Ukraine.

Iraq 

  • As of May 2023, nearly 1.2 million Iraqis continue to be internally displaced and the country also hosts 273,700 refugees from other countries.
  • Although Iraqi IDP returnees, around 4.8 million as of May 2023, consistently outnumber those who are internally displaced, many struggle to reintegrate and still require humanitarian assistance.

South Sudan

  • By the end of 2022, there were around 2.3 million South Sudanese refugees.
  • As of April 2023, more than 97 percent of South Sudanese refugees are hosted in Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya.
  • Outbreaks of violence led to 282,000 new internal displacements in 2022, increasing the total number of IDPs to 2.26 million as of April 2023.
  • Refugees from South Sudan continued to constitute the largest groups of returnees, with 151,300 returning in 2022.

Syria

  • Conflict in Syria reached its 12th year in 2022, over a decade. 
  • Syrians accounted for almost 1 in 5 refugees globally, with 6.5 million hosted in 131
    countries. 
  • There are 13.5 million displaced Syrians, representing more than half of Syria's total population, with 6.8 million internally displaced by late 2022.
  • Over three-quarters of refugees, 77 percent, resided in neighboring countries including Türkiye (3.5 million), Lebanon (814,700) and Jordan (660,900).

Rohingya Refugee Emergency

  • The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority in Myanmar. The vast majority of Rohingya refugees are women and children, including newborn babies. Many others are elderly people requiring additional aid and protection.
  • 1.2 million stateless Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar since the start of violence in 2017. 
  • 90 percent of Rohingya refugees live in Bangladesh and Malaysia. 

Ukraine

  • The war in Ukraine has captured global attention with more than 5 million Ukrainians displaced within their country and an additional 6.3 million displaced across borders as of June 2023. 
  • More than 17 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance inside Ukraine. 

Yemen

  • Fighting in Yemen, already one of the poorest countries in the Middle East, has severely compounded needs arising from long years of poverty and insecurity.
  • In 2022, the internally displaced population in Yemen reached 4.5 million people, with displaced families facing an acute risk of famine. 
  • Natural disasters have exacerbated conflict in Yemen, forcing Yemenis to flee multiple times. 

52%

of all refugees and other people in need of international protection come from three countries: Syria, Ukraine, and Afghanistan.

Education

General Trends for 2022:

  • At all levels, refugee enrollment is lower than that of non-refugees. As refugee children get older, they are at greater risk of being left behind.
  • Close to half of all refugee children – 48 percent – remain out of school.
  • Refugee learners lost an average of 142 days of school up to March 2021 because of school closures. 
  • Even before COVID-19, young refugees were around 30 percent less likely to complete primary school, and half as likely to complete lower-secondary school. 

Primary, Secondary and Higher Education:

  • Data collected from 40 countries shows that pre-primary enrollment rates for refugees is 42 percent.
  • At primary level, UNHCR data suggests that 68 percent of refugee children are enrolled in
    school.
  • By contrast, only 37 percent of refugee children are enrolled in secondary school.
  • The enrollment level for higher education in college or university has risen to 6 percent, up from 1 percent in recent years. 

Gender Gap:

  • At primary level, global gross enrollment rates for refugees were at 68 and 67 percent for boys and girls respectively;
  • at secondary level, the rates were 36 and 34 percent.

1.5 Billion

The COVID-19 pandemic affected 1.5 billion students around the world.

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