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The Global Trends Report is published every year to analyze the changes in UNHCR’s populations of concern and deepen public understanding of ongoing crises. 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. These data are kept up to date and analyzed in terms of various criteria, such as where people are, their age and whether they are male or female. This process is extremely important in order to meet the needs of refugees and other populations of concern across the world and the data help organizations and States to plan their humanitarian response. The data presented are based on information available as of 15 May 2018 unless otherwise indicated.

Below Euorpa.blog presents the top 5 myth-busting facts about refugees indicated and published by UNHCR.

To access the whole Global Trends Report on 2017 please click here.

Fact 1: 85% refugees are hosted in the developing world

There is a perception that most refugees are making their way to countries in the global north. The data shows the opposite to be true – with 85 per cent of refugees in developing countries, many of which are desperately poor and receive little support to care for these populations.

At the end of 2017, Turkey continued to be the country hosting the world’s largest number of refugees, with 3.5 million.

While Turkey remained the world’s leading refugee hosting country in terms of absolute numbers, Lebanon continued to host the largest number of refugees relative to its national population, where 1 in 6 people was a refugee under the responsibility of UNHCR.

Fact 2: Two-thirds of all refugees come from just five countries

Altogether, more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of all refugees worldwide came from just five countries, namely:
1. Syrian Arab Republic (6.3 million)
2. Afghanistan (2.6 million)
3. South Sudan (2.4 million)
4. Myanmar (1.2 million)
5. Somalia (986,400)

Fact 3: Four out of five refugees remain in countries next door to their own

About 2.7 million people were newly registered as refugees during 2017. Crises in South Sudan and Myanmar caused new refugee numbers to grow. Most of them fled to neighboring countries or elsewhere in their immediate region.

Sub-Saharan Africa is now home to 31 per cent of the global refugee population.

The third-largest group of new refugees originated from Myanmar. Due to the outbreak of violence in Rakhine State at the end of August 2017.

Fact 4: 52% of the world’s refugee population are children

Children below 18 years of age represented over half of the world’s refugees are children in 2017. A total of 138,700 unaccompanied and separated child refugees and asylum seekers were reported.

Fact 5: 61.4% of the refugees live outside of camps*

In urban locations 95 per cent of refugees were living in individual accommodation with very few in camp locations. As for previous years, the Syrian refugee crisis was characterized overwhelmingly by refugees living in private or individual accommodation rather than camps, with 90 per cent doing so.

By the end of the year, 68.5 million individuals (including 25.4 million of refugees) were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, or violence. As a result, the world’s forcibly displaced population remained yet again at a record high.

* Has been corrected by UNHCR on 25.07.2018 (previous version: Fact 5: 58% of refugees are not living outside of camps and urban settings)

Titelfoto: TUNISIA, Reuters/Yannis Behrakis; BRQ-Network TUNISIA CC BY 2.0

Evacuees cast their shadows on tents as they arrive at a UNHCR refugee camp fleeing violence in Libya near the border crossing of Ras Jdir March 5, 2011. Many foreign nationals have already been evacuated from Libya, where Muammar Gaddafi’s forces are battling rebels on several fronts and unrest has erupted in the capital Tripoli. An organized international airlift has started to help some of the tens of thousands of foreign workers who have fled into Tunisia. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis (TUNISIA – Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS SOCIETY IMAGES OF THE DAY) | Foto: BRQ-Network_TUNISIA CC BY 2.0