Refugee Council of Australia
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How many refugees are there in the world?

About these statistics

This page draws from the statistics produced by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Key publications

UNCHR publishes two key annual publications, from which this page draws:

  • Global Trends: this is published in the middle of each year, reporting data for the previous year (so, for example, Global Trends 2020 was published in June 2021), and is updated at the end of the year by Mid-Year Trends, with provisional data
  • Projected Resettlement Needs: this is published around the same time as UNHCR’s annual consultations on resettlement, usually in the middle of the year, and ‘projects’ the need for refugees to be resettled the following year (so Projected Resettlement Needs 2021 was published in the middle of 2020).

Key data portals

UNHCR also now has two key data portals, from which this page draws:

  • Refugee Data Finder: This provides data for displaced populations, asylum applications and decisions, and other data about forcibly displaced people. You can use this to create custom reports. Links to these custom reports are provided under graphs where used.
  • Resettlement Data Finder: This provides data on resettlement, namely when refugees are ‘resettled’ to another country. Importantly, this records data where UNHCR was involved in or organised resettlement, but does not include resettlements outside of those processes. Importantly, Australia resettles more than two-thirds of people under its Humanitarian Program outside of UNHCR’s processes.

Australia’s declining use of UNHCR referrals

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