#UNHCR counts and tracks the numbers of refugees, internally displaced people, people who have returned to their countries or areas of origin, asylum-seekers, stateless people and other populations of concern to UNHCR.
as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations. By the end of 2016, 65.6 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations. That was an increase of 300,000 people over the previous year, and the world’s forcibly displaced population remained at a record high
20NEW DISPLACEMENTSEVERY MINUTE
The number of new displacements was equivalent to 20 people being forced to flee their homes every minute of 2016, or 28,300 every day.
Children below 18 years of age constituted about half of the refugee population in 2016, as in recent years. Children make up an estimated 31 per cent of the total world population.
Refugee returns increased from recent years. During 2016, 552,200 refugees returned to their countries of origin, often in less than ideal conditions. The number is more than double the previous year and most returned to Afghanistan (384,000).
1IN6PEOPLE A REFUGEE IN LEBANON
Lebanon continued to host the largest number of refugees relative to its national population, where 1 in 6 people was a refugee. Jordan (1 in 11)and Turkey (1 in 28) ranked second and third, respectively.
55%FROM THREE COUNTRIES
Altogether, more than half (55 per cent) of all refugees worldwide came from just three countries:
Syrian Arab Republic (5.5 million)
Afghanistan (2.5 million)
South Sudan (1.4 million)
2.9MILLION PEOPLE HOSTED BY TURKEY
For the third consecutive year, Turkey hosted the largest number of refugees worldwide, with 2.9 million people. It was followed by Pakistan (1.4 million), Lebanon (1.0 million), the Islamic Republic of Iran (979,400), Uganda (940,800), and Ethiopia (791,600).
2.0MILLION NEW ASYLUM CLAIMS
The number of new asylum claims remained high at 2.0 million. With 722,400 such claims, Germany was the world’s largest recipient of new individual applications, followed by the United States of America (262,000), Italy (123,000), and Turkey (78,600).
75,000UNACCOMPANIED OR SEPARATED CHILDREN
Unaccompanied or separated children – mainly Afghans, and Syrians – lodged some 75,000 asylum applications in 70 countries during the year, although this figure is assumed to be an underestimate. Germany received the highest number of these applications (35,900).
Some questions about the situation of concern people:
Where do the refugees come from?
More than half of the Syrian population lived in displacement in 2016, either displaced across borders or within their own country. The largest group of refugees was made up of the 5.5 million Syrians forced to flee.
Their numbers decreased from 2.7 million at the end of 2015 to 2.5 million at the end of 2016 due to returns from Pakistan, although a substantial number (1.4 million) still remain there.
The fastest-growing refugee population was spurred by the crisis in South Sudan. This group grew by 64 per cent during the second half of 2016 from 854,100 to over 1.4 million, the majority of whom were children.
Where are refugees being hosted?
hosted the largest number of refugees – a total of 2.9 million mostly from Syria. But also hosts refugees from Iraq, South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Eritrea and Burundi.
host the second largest refugee population – 1.4 million at the end of 2016, almost entirely from Afghanistan. This has reduced slightly because of refugee returns.
1 million refugees are hosted in Lebanon. Some 979,400 refugees continued to live in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
experienced a dramatic increase in the refugee population going from 477,200 at the end of 2015 to 940,800 at the end of 2016 - 68% are from South Sudan. The other part of populations are from Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Somalia and Rwanda.
doubled the number os refugee population to reach 669,500 - largely from Syria.
There has been an increase in refugees from some of the poorest countries in the world, fleeing to some of the poorest countries in the world. Nine of the top ten refugee hosting countries were in developing regions.
Where do individuals claim asylum?
has received the largest number of new asylum applications by far – 722,400 in 2016. Around one third of these applications were from Syrians. Applications from Afghanistan also increased and significant numbers of new applications came from Iraq, Islamic Republic of Iran, Eritrea, Albania and Pakistan.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
was the second largest receiving country for asylum applications with 262,000 – double the number received in 2014. Around half of applications to the US came from Central America especially Mexico and with a notable increase from El Salvador, after the number of people fleeing violence in Central America increased to levels not seen since the armed conflicts of the 1980s.
saw a sharp increase with 123,000 new claims compared with 83,200. The countries of origin of those seeking protection in Italy: Nigeria, Pakistan, Gambia, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Eritrea.
Syrians made up the majority of people seeking sanctuary in Turkey, where they benefit from protection on a group basis, however 78,600 new non-Syrian individual claims were lodged in 2016, many from people originating from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. This made Turkey the third largest recipient of new asylum claims. Overall, however, the numbers were lower than the previous year.
The origins of those seeking asylum in France have changed greatly in the last two years. In 2016, new claimants came from Albania, Sudan, Afghanistan, Syria, Haiti and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Greece was the sixth largest recipient of new individual asylum claims, with a four-fold increase in the number of claims from 2015, more than half from Syrians.