LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Wars, persecution and other violence have driven a record 68.5 million people from their homes, more than the population of Britain or France, the U.N. refugee agency said on Tuesday.
Here are some facts from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees’ annual global trends study, published on the eve of World Refugee Day.
- One person was uprooted every two seconds on average in 2017.
- Worldwide, one in every 110 people is displaced.
- The global number of refugees grew by 2.9 million in 2017 to 25.4 million - the biggest increase the UNHCR has seen in a single year.
- People uprooted inside their own country accounted for 40 million of the total, marginally down on 2016.
- Syrians are the largest displaced population with
12.6 million people forced from their homes.
- Worldwide, an estimated 16.2 million people were newly displaced last year.
- Major drivers were the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the war in South Sudan and the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya from Myanmar.
- Some 3.1 million asylum-seekers were awaiting decisions on applications for refugee status by the end of 2017, up by 300,000.
- Just over a fifth of the world’s refugees are Palestinian.
- Two-thirds of the rest come from five countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia.
- Some 85 percent of refugees are hosted by developing countries, many of which are desperately poor.
- Four in five refugees remain in countries neighboring their own.
- Turkey hosts the highest number of refugees, with 3.5 million people, mainly Syrians, followed by Pakistan and Uganda, both hosting 1.4 million.
- Lebanon hosts the largest number of refugees relative to its national population, with one in four people a refugee.
- Most refugees worldwide live in urban areas rather than in camps or rural regions.
- More than half of displaced people are children, including many who are unaccompanied or separated from their families.
- Some 102,800 refugees were resettled in 2017, a 46 percent fall from 2016. The drop was due to a reduction in the number of resettlement places on offer.
Writing by Emma Batha, Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org to see more stories.