Top Refugee Destinations

Top 10 Countries by Refugee Population

This article details where refugees are most likely to be in the world in early 2015. Unsurprisingly, most of these countries are located near or in the Middle East or in Africa, where much of the world's worst conflicts have been in recent years. The charts below show refugees as percentages of total populations.

 

Honourable Mentions

Liberia is just 24th in total refugee population but 11th in refugee ratio.

Refugees in Liberia

1 refugee for every 70 people

Montenegro has relatively few refugees - mostly from Kosovo and Serbia - but has the 8th most refugees as a percentage of the population.

Refugees in Montenegro

1 refugee for every 48 people

Djibouti has only the 51st most refugees in the world, but it is a small country with a tiny population. Djibouti is 6th in refugee ratio. Most of these refugees are from Somalia.

Refugees in Djibouti

1 refugee for every 42 people

 

Though nowhere near the Top 10 in terms of refugee population - it ranks 20th - the refugee population in the Republic of the Congo is nearly 4 percent, the fourth highest ratio in the world. Refugees come primarily from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Cong.

Refugees in the Republic of the Congo

1 refugee for every 26 people

 

10. China - 301,018 Refugees

The most populous country in the world, also has the 10th most refugees in the world. However, because China is so big, this doesn't make a dent in China's overall population:

Refugees in China

1 refugee for every 4,560 people

There are over 300,000 refugees in China, but they don't make a dent in the total population. Note, this number does not include refugees in China's Special Administrative Regions (Hong Kong, Macau), so that total population could be higher. Most of these refugees are from North Korea, Myanmar and other neighbouring countries.

 

9. Chad - 366,494 Refugees

Chad has the second most refugees in Africa, at last check, due to the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan, which makes up the entirety of Chad's eastern border. 260,000+ of these refugees are from Sudan, the remaining refugees are primarily from Nigeria.

Refugees in Chad

1 refugee for every 31 people

Chad is 5th worldwide in native to refugee ratio.

 

8. Lebanon - 441,543 Refugees

Lebanon has long been a place Palestinians sought refuge, in prior to the Civil War (which lasted until the country was invaded by Syria in 1990), but now that Syria has left, it is a refuge for Syrians fleeing the war there.

Refugees in Lebanon

1 refugee for every 10 people

Over 10% of the population of Lebanon is currently made up of refugees. That's the second highest ratio in the world, behind only Jordan.

 

7. Germany - 571,685 Refugees

The economic giant of Europe has long been a preferred destionation of refugees. It has the most refugees of any country entirely within Europe.

Refugees in Germany

1 refugee for every 144 people

Though there are lots of refugees, they barely make a dent in Germany's overall population. Refugees in Germany are from all over, unlike countries on other continents where the refugees are from one or two neighbouring countries. In Germany, the refugees are from Europe and Asia, but not neighbouring countries. Most recently refugees are coming from Kosovo more than anywhere else. See this chart.

 

6. Kenya - 650,610 Refugees

Kenya has the most refugees of any country in Africa, which should come as no surprise, given its proximity to Somalia.

Refugees in Kenya

1 refugee for every 70 people

One camp in Kenya holds 350,000 Somalians alone, over half the total refugee population in the country.

 

5. Iran - 996, 468

There are nearly one million refugees in Iran in part because it sits directly between the two countries invaded by the US this century, Afghanistan and Iraq. The vast majority of these refugees have been from Afghanistan - 950,000 are from there. Only about 30-40,000 are from Iraq. 

Refugees in Iran

1 refugee for every 74 people

Despite having nearly a million refugees, Iran ranks only 13th in population to refugee ratio.

 

4. Syria - 1,254,634 Refugees

Given the issues in Syria right now, it's shocking that there are so many refugees in Syria. But before the situation deteriorated, Syria was where many refugees fled from Iraq and, before that, from Lebanon and the West Bank.

Refugees in Syria

1 refugee for every 17 people

Given what is currently happening in Syria, this number probably isn't correct (see below), but before the recent war, Syria was a place of refuge. Based on these numbers, Syria has the third highest refugee to native population ratio in the world, but that information is likely out of date.

 

3. Turkey - 1,633,560

Shockingly, Turkey has a lot of refugees right now.

Refugees in Turkey

1 refugee for every 44 people

First, they came from Iraq. Now they come from Syria. And the Syrian refugee problem is significantly greater than the Iraqi/Kurdish one was. Turkey has the 7th highest native to refugee ratio in the world.

 

2. Jordan - 2,485,650 Refugees

No country has been impacted by the crisis in Syria more than Jordan (besides Syria, obviously). And no country in the world has a higher percentage of refugees to their total population.

Refugees in Jordan

1 refugee for every 3 people

At last count, Jordan has one refugee for every 3 natives, three times the ratio of Lebanon's 10-1 ratio.

 

1. Pakistan - 2,600,000 Refugees

Pakistan has the most refugees of anywhere in the world at last count, most of which have come from Afghanistan over the last decade plus. However, Pakistan has long been a destination Muslims from India, as well as Burmese who fled due to the persecution of Muslims in which has been a factor in that country for hundreds of years, but has peaked a few times recently, including in 1978 and 1991.

Refugees in Pakistan

1 refugee for every 70 people

However, Pakistan is an extremely populous country, so refugees still make up just a fraction of the population; they are 9th worldwide in native population to refugee ratio.

 

Top 10 Countries by Refugee Ratio

Top 10 Countries by Refugee Ratio

All numbers from the United Nations - some are as recent as March 2015 and others are old as 2013. Refugees are constantly moving so these numbers are, by their very nature, imprecise.


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