Largest Refugee Populations by Country of Destination, 1960-2010


Largest Refugee Populations by Country of Destination, 1960-2010

Refugee populations are highly variable between decades, but a few countries stand out as regularly hosting large refugee communities. This map displays which countries report refugee populations greater than 500,000 in each decade since 1960 and in 2010.  Furthermore, it lists the 25 largest refugee populations by the country of destination and the refugee share of the total population.


1) Refugees are those recognized under UN conventions and protocols as well as UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) statutes as deserving of protection. Data in this tool are based on the estimates of refugee populations or persons in refugee-like situations prepared by UNHCR and, where appropriate, by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). For more information on the UN Population Division’s methodology to estimate the size of refugee population, click here:

2) The UN Population Division may base population estimates on projections from data collected in earlier years. The term 'estimate year' reflects that data are aggregated from different sources and standardized.

3) Although the UN Trends in International Migrant Stock: The 2013 Revision reports data for 2013, this tool does not display refugee data from that year because the 2013 data were based on projections from earlier years (see point 2) rather than reflect actual estimates of the refugee population in 2013. The Syrian civil war that began in 2011 displaced several million people, with many fleeing Syria. This refugee flow also affects the number of refugees reported in other countries. We will add more recent data when they become available.


Migration Policy Institute tabulation of data from the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2013). Trends in International Migrant Stock: The 2013 Revision (United Nations database, POP/DB/MIG/Stock/Rev.2013). Available here: