Refugees - major source countries worldwide as of 2018

In 2018, the Syrian Arab Republic had the highest number of refugees who fled the country. That year, about 6.65 million refugees left the country. The Syrian Civil War is the main reason for the high amount of refugees, which has been going on since 2011. The current government, led by President Bashar al-Assad, is fighting against its citizens who are demanding that he resign.

What are refugees?

Refugees are people who have been forced to leave their country because of dangerous circumstances, such as war, violence, famine, or persecution. These circumstances arise from race, religious, ethnic, and/or political persecution, and refugees are unable to return their home countries due to these conflicts. The ongoing civil war in Syria has caused many to leave the impoverished and damaged country. As of 2018, Turkey hosted the largest number of Syrian refugees.

Refugees worldwide

In 2018, most of the refugees that arrived in the United States came from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Furthermore, the number of refugees, internally displaced people, and asylum seekers worldwide have significantly increased since 2012. An internally displaced person is someone who is forced to leave their home but still stays in their country. They are not legally considered a refugee. Asylum seekers are people who leave their home country and enter another country to apply for asylum, which is internationally recognized protection. Additionally, the number of refugee admissions in the United States has fluctuated drastically since 1990.

Ranking of the major source countries of refugees, as of 2018

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Release date

November 2019



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

UNHCR database accessed November 8, 2019.

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Statistics on "Syrian Civil War"

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