People > Migration > Refugees and internally displaced persons > Refugees > Country of origin: Countries Compared

DEFINITION: This entry includes those persons residing in a country as refugees or internally displaced persons (IDPs). The definition of a refugee according to a United Nations Convention is "a person who is outside his/her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution." The UN established the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1950 to handle refugee matters worldwide. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has a different, operational definition for a Palestinian refugee: "a person whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948 and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict." However, UNHCR also assists some 400,000 Palestinian refugees not covered under the UNRWA definition. The term "internally displaced person" is not specifically covered in the UN Convention; it is used to describe people who have fled their homes for reasons similar to refugees, but who remain within their own national territory and are subject to the laws of that state.
Algeria 90,000 (Western Saharan Sahrawi, mostly living in Algerian-sponsored camps in the southwestern Algerian town of Tindouf)
Angola 12,615 (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Armenia 113,295 (Azerbaijan)
Azerbaijan 2,400 (Russia)
Bangladesh 26,268 (Burma)
Benin 9,444 (Togo)
Bosnia and Herzegovina 7,269 (Croatia)
Burundi 9,849 (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Cameroon 20,000-30,000 (Chad); 3,000 (Nigeria); 24,000 (Central African Republic)
Central African Republic 7,900 (Sudan); 3,700 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); note - UNHCR resumed repatriation of Southern Sudanese refugees in 2006
Chad 234,000 (Sudan); 54,200 (Central African Republic)
China 300,897 (Vietnam); estimated 30,000-50,000 (North Korea)
Congo, Republic of the 46,341 (Democratic Republic of Congo); 6,564 (Rwanda)
Costa Rica 9,699-11,500 (Colombia)
Cote d'Ivoire 25,615 (Liberia)
Democratic Republic of the Congo 132,295 (Angola); 37,313 (Rwanda); 17,777 (Burundi); 13,904 (Uganda); 6,181 (Sudan); 5,243 (Republic of Congo)
Djibouti 8,642 (Somalia)
Ecuador 11,526 (Colombia); note - UNHCR estimates as many as 250,000 Columbians are seeking asylum in Ecuador, many of whom do not register as refugees for fear of deportation
Egypt 60,000 - 80,000 (Iraq); 70,198 (Palestinian Territories); 12,157 (Sudan)
Ethiopia 66,980 (Sudan); 16,576 (Somalia); 13,078 (Eritrea)
Gabon 7,178 (Republic of Congo)
Gaza Strip 1.017 million (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA))
Georgia 1,100 (Russia)
Ghana 35,653 (Liberia); 8,517 (Togo)
Guinea 21,856 (Liberia); 5,259 (Sierra Leone); 3,900 (Cote d'Ivoire)
Guinea-Bissau 7,454 (Senegal)
India 77,200 (Tibet/China); 69,609 (Sri Lanka); 9,472 (Afghanistan)
Iran 914,268 (Afghanistan); 54,024 (Iraq)
Iraq 10,000-15,000 (Palestinian Territories); 11,773 (Iran); 16,832 (Turkey)
Jordan 1,835,704 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)); 500,000 (Iraq)
Kazakhstan 3,700 (Russia); 508 (Afghanistan)
Kenya 173,702 (Somalia); 73,004 (Sudan); 16,428 (Ethiopia)
Lebanon 405,425 (Palestinian refugees (UNRWA)); 50,000-60,000 (Iraq)
Liberia 12,600 (Cote d'Ivoire)
Libya 8,000 (Palestinian Territories)
Malaysia 15,174 (Indonesia); 21,544 (Burma)
Mali 6,300 (Mauritania)
Montenegro 7,000 (Kosovo); note - mostly ethnic Serbs and Roma who fled Kosovo in 1999
Namibia 4,700 (Angola)
Nepal 107,803 (Bhutan); 20,153 (Tibet/China)
Nigeria 5,778 (Liberia)
Pakistan 1,043,984 (Afghanistan)
Papua New Guinea 10,177 (Indonesia)
Rwanda 46,272 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); 4,400 (Burundi)
Saudi Arabia 240,015 (Palestinian Territories)
Senegal 19,630 (Mauritania)
Serbia and Montenegro 71,111 (Croatia); 27,414 (Bosnia and Herzegovina); 206,000 (Kosovo), note - mostly ethnic Serbs and Roma who fled Kosovo in 1999
Sierra Leone 27,311 (Liberia)
South Africa 10,772 (Democratic Republic of Congo); 7,818 (Somalia); 5,759 (Angola)
Sudan 157,220 (Eritrea); 25,023 (Chad); 11,009 (Ethiopia); 7,895 (Uganda); 5,023 (Central African Republic)
Syria 1-1.4 million (Iraq); 522,100 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA))
Tanzania 352,640 (Burundi); 127,973 (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Thailand 132,241 (Burma)
The Gambia 5,955 (Sierra Leone)
Togo 5,000 (Ghana)
Turkmenistan 11,173 (Tajikistan); less than 1,000 (Afghanistan)
Uganda 215,700 (Sudan); 28,880 (Democratic Republic of Congo); 24,900 (Rwanda)
United States the US admitted 62,643 refugees during FY04/05 including; 10,586 (Somalia); 8,549 (Laos); 6,666 (Russia); 6,479 (Cuba); 3,100 (Haiti); 2,136 (Iran)
Uzbekistan 39,202 (Tajikistan); 1,060 (Afghanistan)
West Bank 722,000 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA))
Yemen 91,587 (Somalia)
Zambia 42,565 (Angola); 60,874 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); 4,100 (Rwanda)
Zimbabwe 2,500 (Democratic Republic of Congo)


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