Refugee and Asylum Seeker Populations by Country of Origin and Destination, 2000-2020


Refugee and Asylum Seeker Populations by Country of Origin and Destination, 2000-2020

Using data from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), this map shows countries of origin and destination for the overall UNHCR populations of concern, as well as four main subpopulations: Refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, and Venezuelans displaced abroad. Select a country of origin or destination for one of these groups. Population bubbles will display over countries based on estimated population size. The default year for the tool is 2020; by using the slider at the top, the year setting can be changed.


* The refugee numbers include Venezuelans who have been displaced abroad, even though they may not have formal refugee status in the country of destination.

UNHCR's Statistical Online Population Database is a work in progress and is updated from time to time; as a result, data in this tool might not always match UNHCR reports. For more information on sources, methods, and data considerations in the UNHCR Online Population Database, visit:

The total UNHCR populations of concern include refugees and Venezuelans displaced abroad, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are protected/assisted by UNHCR, stateless persons, and returnees (returned refugees and IDPs).

  • Refugees are those recognized under UN conventions and protocols as well as UNHCR statutes as deserving of protection. The refugee data provided here are for those under UNHCR mandate, which excludes the estimated 5.7 million Palestinian refugees residing as of 2020 in areas of operation of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) but includes Venezuelans displaced abroad.
  • Asylum seekers are those who have sought international protection and whose claims for refugee status have not yet been determined.
  • IDPs are people who have been forced to leave their homes to escape armed conflict, violence, violations of human rights, or natural disasters, and who have not crossed an international border. (For the purposes of UNHCR's statistics, this population includes only conflict-generated IDPs to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance; since 2007 the IDP population category also includes people in IDP-like situations).
  • Returnees include returned refugees and IDPs. Returned refugees are former refugees who have returned to their country of origin spontaneously or with assistance but are yet to be fully integrated. Returned IDPs are IDPs who have returned to their place of origin or habitual residence. Stateless persons are individuals who are not considered as nationals by any State under the operation of its law. 
  • Others of concern are individuals who do not necessarily fall directly into any of the groups above, but to whom UNHCR extends its protection and/or assistance services, based on humanitarian or other special grounds. This category also included stateless persons until 2003 and people in refugee-like and IDP-like situations until 2007.  
  • For detailed definitions, visit the UNHCR Statistical Online Population Database.

Migration Policy Institute tabulation of data from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Population Statistics Database, extracted June 17, 2021. Available here: