Refugee Council of Australia
Panama migrants and refugees continue to cross the darien jungle in

Is Australia’s response to refugees generous? An analysis of UNHCR Global Trends statistics from 2013 to 2022

Asylum seekers recognised as refugees

Of the 4.8 million people granted refugee status in 2022, 3.9 million were Ukrainians fleeing the war in their country. The receiving countries which granted refugee status to the largest numbers of refugees in 2022 were Germany (989,662), Poland (963,627), Czechia (433,350), Spain (192,225) and Italy (157,655). Australia was ranked 54th, with 3,923 asylum seekers given refugee status in 2022 (0.08% of the global total). On a per capita basis, Australia was 61st (well behind Czechia, Estonia, Poland and Lithuania) and 81st relative to GDP (well behind Uganda, Chad and Bulgaria).

Over the 10 years from 2013 to 2022, 22,983,506 asylum seekers were recognised as refugees through individual assessment and group recognition processes. The largest numbers of refugees were recognised by Türkiye (3.97 million), Germany (2.29 million), Uganda (1.87 million), Sudan (1.28 million) and Lebanon (1.19 million). On a per capita basis, the most significant contributions were made by Lebanon (216.7 refugees recognised per 1000 population), Jordan (83.6), Türkiye (46.5), Czechia (39.6) and Uganda (30.6). Relative to national GDP, the most significant contributions were from Lebanon, Uganda, 12,000 Sudan, Jordan and Burundi.

Over the 10 years to December 2022, 48,523 asylum seekers were recognised as refugees in Australia (including around 19,500 refugees given temporary protection). The number of refugees recognised each year in Australia peaked at 10,926 in 2018 and fell to just 2,276 in 2020. Over the 10 year period, Australia was ranked 53rd for the number of refugees recognised and was 65th on a per capita basis and 94th relative to national GDP.

RCOA comment: While not distinguishing between temporary and permanent protection, these statistics indicate the numbers of people given refugee status. However, resettlement is excluded.

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