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October 2014, Volume 21, Number 4

Global: Refugees

There were 11.7 million refugees at the end of 2013 (excluding Palestinians), and another 33.3 million internally displaced persons. Afghanistan produced the most refugees, 2.6 million at the end of 2013; followed by Syria, 2.5 million; Somalia, 1.1 million; Sudan, 650,000; and Congo, 500,000. Pakistan hosted 1.6 million refugees; Iran and Lebanon, 860,000 each; Jordan, 640,000; and Turkey, 610,000.

Some 613,000 foreigners made new asylum applications in 2013 in the 44 industrialized countries, including almost 400,000 who applied in one of the 28 member-states of the EU and almost 90,000 who applied in the US. Citizens of Syria, Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Serbia accounted for a third of the new asylum applications in industrialized countries.

UNHCR in September 2014 projected over 700,000 asylum applications in 2014, the most in two decades. Syria is poised to overtake Afghanistan as the leading source of asylum applicants. Over two-thirds of asylum applicants in the first half of 2014 applied in six countries: France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Turkey and the US.