Facts and Figures about Refugees
Facts and figures are vital to UNHCR for planning and preparedness. UNHCR’s full-time statisticians keep track of the number of people of concern to the Agency. These figures are released every June in the annual Global Trends report, while the Norwegian Refugee Council releases annual global figures for internally displaced people.
Number of forcibly displaced worldwide: 42.5 million
There were 15.2 million refugees worldwide at the beginning of 2012, 10.4 million under the mandate of UNHCR, down slightly from the previous year.
The other 4.8 million Palestinian refugees are registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
Developing countries host four fifths (80%) of the world’s refugees.
In 2011, the country hosting the largest number of refugees remained Pakistan, with 1,702,700 refugees. Afghanistan retained the position as biggest source country with 2,664,400 refugees.
Last year, 46% of refugees were under 18 years old and 48% were female.
Almost three-quarters of the refugee population under the UNHCR mandate are in a protracted situation, that’s 7.1 million people living in 26 different countries.
About two-thirds of the world's forcibly uprooted people are displaced within their own country and are known as internally displaced people (IDPs).
2011 was a year of crises, resulting in over 26.4 million IDPs worldwide by the end of the year, with approximately 15.5 million receiving protection and assistance from UNHCR - the second highest figure on record.
In 2011, the countries with the most number of IDPs were Colombia (3.8 million), Sudan (2.4 million), Democratic Republic of Congo (1.7 million), Somalia (1.4 million) and Iraq (1.3 million).
Over 876,100 people submitted applications for asylum in 2011. UNHCR offices registered and processed 11 per cent of these claims.
South Africa was the world’s largest recipient of individual applications, followed by the United States of America (76,000) and France (52,100). UNHCR advocates fair and efficient procedures for asylum-seekers. Approximately 17,700 asylum applications were lodged by unaccompanied or separated children.
Find out about asylum in the UK.
Statelessness refers to the condition of an individual who is not considered a national by any state. Although stateless people may sometimes also be refugees, the two categories are distinct and both groups are of concern to UNHCR.
It’s almost impossible to determine the true number of stateless people. UNHCR estimates that statelessness affected up to 12 million people by the beginning of 2012. However, official data from governments puts the number at 3.5 million stateless individuals in 64 countries.
In November 2011 to coincide with the 60th Anniversary of the UN Statelessness Convention, UNHCR and Asylum Aid published a detailed report called Mapping Statelessness in the UK.
(Source: 2011 Global Trends Report)
Annual budget figures are compiled by the Donor Relations and Resource Mobilisation service, while the Division of Human Resources Management keeps details on personnel.
UNHCR regular staff members: 6,696
Staff members in the field: 5,827
Number of countries in which UNHCR is present: 125