Data and Facts About Syrian Refugees 2015

The UN refugee agency is currently talking about about 2.9 million Syrians in exile. Most of them have found shelter in the neighboring countries: 1.1 million Syrian refugees are currently living in Lebanon – with a population of 4.4 million people. About 790,000 have escaped to Turkey, more than 600,000 to Jordan and some 225,000 to Iraq. About 138,000 refugees have gone to Egypt. Moreover, it is estimated that more than 6.5 million Syrians are displaced in their own country.

Compared to this, Europe’s commitment to the reception of Syrian refugees is low: Germany is the largest refugee in Europe. In view of the number of refugees, the so far announced contingent of 25,500 Syrian refugees by the federal government and the Länder programs is nevertheless little.

Global Trends – Annual Report 2015

The number of people fleeing from war, conflict and persecution has never been as high as it is today. By the end of 2015, 65.3 million people were on the run. By comparison, it was a year before 59.5 million people, ten years ago 37.5 million people.

15 Conflicts in five years are driving numbers up

The massive rise was mainly caused by the war in Syria . With 4.9 million refugees, Syria is the country with the most refugees. In addition, there are 6.6 million Syrians who were expelled in their own country.

But in many other countries too, there were thousands of refugees. In the last five years alone, at least 15 new conflicts have broken out or re-inflamed. In addition to Syria, also in Iraq , southern Sudan , the Central African Republic, Burundi, Yemen, Ukraine and Myanmar. A total of 12.4 million people were forced to flee in their own country or across borders in 2015.

“It is frightening to observe that those who are still in conflict will be punished. At the same time, the international community seems unable to work together to end wars, as well as to create and secure peace, “said former UN refugee commissioner António Guterres.

For example, decades of instability and conflict in Afghanistan, Somalia and elsewhere are continuing. This means that millions of people can not continue to return and are increasingly forced to live as refugees and internally displaced persons with an uncertain future at the margins of society. Last year, only 201,400 refugees were able to return to their homeland.

Most refugees in poor countries

Even in times of rapidly rising numbers, refugees are very unequally distributed globally. Richer countries have far fewer refugees than less wealthy. Nearly nine out of ten refugees (86 per cent) were in economically less developed countries in 2015. A quarter of all refugees were in countries that are on the UN list of the least developed countries. In comparison to its population, Lebanon is home to the highest number of refugees: 183 refugees are found there.

UN Refugee Commissioner António Guterres says: “In a time of unprecedented mass expulsion, we need equally unprecedented humanitarian aid and a renewed global commitment to tolerance and protection for people fleeing war and persecution.”

Selected facts

By the end of 2015, 65.3 million people were on the run. This is the highest number ever recorded by UNHCR.
If all the people were fleeing citizens of a single country, this would be the 21st-largest nation in the world.
By 2015 an average of 34,000 people fled every day.
50 percent of refugees worldwide are children.
In 2015, 98,400 unaccompanied refugee children presented asylum applications.
In 2015, only 201,400 refugees could return to their homeland.
9 out of 10 refugees (86%) live in developing countries.
Turkey is the country that has received the largest number of refugees worldwide (2.5 million – end 2015).

Global statistics of UNHCR *

* Numbers by the end of 2015
The six largest countries of origin of refugees

Syria – 4.9 million
Afghanistan – 2.7 million
Somalia – 1.12 million
Southern Sudan – 778,700
Sudan – 628,800
Democratic Republic of the Congo – 541,500

The six largest refugees of refugees

Turkey – 2.5 million
Pakistan – 1.6 million
Lebanon – 1.1 million
Iran – 979.400
Ethiopia – 736,100
Jordan – 664,100

Countries with the most internally displaced

Colombia – 6.9 million
Syria – 6.6 million
Iraq – 4.4 million
Sudan – 3.2 million
Yemen – 2.5
Nigeria – 2.2
South Sudan – 1.8 million
Democratic Republic of the Congo – 1.6 million
Afghanistan – 1.2
Somalia – 1.1
Pakistan – 1.1