The world's refugees in numbers

© Giorgos Moutafis/Amnesty International

The world's refugees in numbers

The Global Solidarity Crisis

Many powerful politicians and influential media might give the impression that rich countries, particularly in the West, are doing more than enough to help people fleeing war and persecution. But in reality, the picture looks very different.

The international community, and in particular wealthy nations, are failing to meaningfully share the responsibility for protecting people who have fled their homes in search of safety. In other words, they are failing to agree on and support a fair and predictable system for protecting people forced to leave everything behind because of violence and persecution. Instead, lower and middle-income countries are doing much more than their fair share: 85%  of the world’s refugees lives in developing nations.

Refugees around the world - facts and figures

  • 25.4 million refugees globally
  • 1.2 million refugees need resettlement right now
  • 85% of refugees are hosted by developing countries
There are 22.5 million refugees world wide , 1.2 million refugees need resettlement now and 84% of refugees are hosted in developing countries There are 22.5 million refugees world wide , 1.2 million refugees need resettlement now and 84% of refugees are hosted in developing countries
Statistics about the refugee crisis around the world.

More than one million refugees, who are at particular risk of violence, have special medical needs, or for other reasons are particularly vulnerable, urgently need to be permanently  . And yet, rich countries massively dropped resettlement places from 2016 to 2017. As a result, 54% less cases were submitted for resettlement by the UNHCR.  

Wealthier countries aren’t doing nearly enough to share the cost of protecting people who have left everything behind. Appeals for humanitarian assistance for refugees are consistently – and often severely – underfunded.

In short, the world urgently needs a new, global plan based on genuine international cooperation and a meaningful and fair sharing of responsibilities.

The top 10 countries hosting the most refugees are Turkey (3.5 million) Jordan (2.9 million), Lebanon (1.5 million) Pakistan (1.4 million), Uganda (1.4 million) Iran (979,400 ) Germany (970,400 ), Bangladesh (932,200), Sudan (906,600), Ethiopia ( 889,400 ) The top 10 countries hosting the most refugees are Turkey (3.5 million) Jordan (2.9 million), Lebanon (1.5 million) Pakistan (1.4 million), Uganda (1.4 million) Iran (979,400 ) Germany (970,400 ), Bangladesh (932,200), Sudan (906,600), Ethiopia ( 889,400 )
A map of the countries hosting the most refugees.

Nearly 3 million  people had to flee their countries because of conflict and persecution in  2017. Most fled fighting in Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan. As a result, the number of refugees from South Sudan nearly doubled compared to 2016, . 655,500 Rohingya refugees fled to Bangladesh, the majority between August 2017 and the end of the year.  

Many wealthier states continue to prioritise policies that will deter people from seeking asylum, and finding ways to stop people coming altogether. At the same time, they are putting the onus on nearby countries to protect people fleeing for their lives. Such restrictive and short-sighted policies are forcing women, men and children to take dangerous land and sea journeys, putting their lives at risk and fuelling .

Who hosts the most refugees per 1000 inhabitants? Lebanon (164) Jordan (71) Turkey (43) Uganda (32) Chad (28) Sweden (24) South Sudan (23), Sudan (22) Malta (19) Djibouti (18) Who hosts the most refugees per 1000 inhabitants? Lebanon (164) Jordan (71) Turkey (43) Uganda (32) Chad (28) Sweden (24) South Sudan (23), Sudan (22) Malta (19) Djibouti (18)
A graphic depicting the number of refugees per 1000 residents in several countries around the world.

Amnesty International’s I Welcome global campaign is pushing for countries to agree a global and fairer system for protecting refugees and other people in need of international protection. Find out more here: https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/i-welcome/