UNHCR refugee statistics: full 2010 data

Post Date: Jun 16th, 2010 | Categories: Advocacy | COMMENT

The UN’s High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) releases its annual global report, Global Trends, today – which this year shows the highest numbers of displaced people worldwide since the 1990s. This means there are now 43.3m people forcibly displaced around the world – including: 27.1m internally displaced people (IDP) and 15.6m refugees.

Those refugee numbers have dropped a negligible amount, but a 4% rise in people displaced within their own country and a huge fall in returning refugees – to the lowest level in 20 years – means overall numbers are up.

UNHCR refugee statistics 2010


Simply put, as conflicts rumble on, those who fled the initial fighting cannot safely return until the gunfire falls silent.

The key drivers of these trends are continuing conflicts in countries such as AfghanistanSomalia and the Congo, Democratic Republic of and as-yet-unresolved situations in places such as Iraq and SudanColombia‘s 3.3 million internally-displaced persons is the highest in the world, with African nations accounting for 40% of the world’s internally-displacedpopulation.

Most interesting, perhaps, is the rubbishing of so-called conventional wisdom with regards to refugee relocation. Forget our over-burdened immigration system; four out of every five refugees are housed in the developing world, with Europe only accounting for the resettlement of 16% of the global population.

So who takes the most refugees? Pakistan leads the way, with 1.7 million, and Iran and Syria, at just over 1 million each, make up the podium. The US and the UK? They barely make the Top 10. 

The amount of data in this report is staggering, and there are more convention-shattering facts to be found inside, including:
• Breakdown of where refugees from each country go to
• Ratio of refugees per 1,000 population
• Repatriations
• Every UNHCR refugee camp and settlement listed, with data
• Demographic breakdown

If you want to map it – click the last tab. This has both UNHCR and ISO country codes to help you. How we mapped the data is above. What can you do with the numbers?