Largest Refugee Populations by Country of Destination, 1960-2019


Largest Refugee Populations by Country of Destination, 1960-2019

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 2015 and 2019. 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). The tool does not include asylum seekers or internally displaced persons (IDPs). For more information on the UN Population Division’s methodology to estimate the size of refugee population, visit:

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) Note that although the UN Trends in International Migrant Stock: The 2019 Revision reports data for 2019, the data were based on projections from earlier years (see point 2) rather than reflect actual estimates of the refugee population in 2019.


Migration Policy Institute tabulation of data from the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2019), Trends in International Migrant Stock: Migrants by Destination and Origin (United Nations database, POP/DB/MIG/Stock/Rev.2019). Available here: