UNHCR reports new record level of 70.8 million displaced

UNHCR released its annual Global Trends report, covering displacement that occurred during 2018. The report says the number of people forcibly displaced was 70.8 million at the end of 2018, leaving the population of forcibly displaced at another record high.

Of these 70.8 million forcibly displaced,

  • 25.9 million were refugees
  • 41.3 million were internally displaced
  • 3.5 million were asylum seekers

Countries in developed regions hosted 16% of refugees, while one third of the global refugee population were in the Least Developed Countries.

About 80% of refugees live in countries neighbouring their countries of origin.

Half of the refugee population were children.

During the year, 13.6 million people were newly displaced.

Lebanon continued to host the largest number of refugees relative to its national population, where 1 in 6 people was a refugee under the responsibility of UNHCR. Jordan (1 in 14) and Turkey (1 in 22) ranked second and third, respectively. [...]

Altogether, more than two-thirds (67 per cent) of all refugees worldwide came from just five countries:

  • Syrian Arab Republic (6.7 million)
  • Afghanistan (2.7 million)
  • South Sudan (2.3 million)
  • Myanmar (1.1 million)
  • Somalia (0.9 million)

[...] By the end of 2018, about 3.5 million people were awaiting a decision on their application for asylum. [...]

about half in developing regions. [...] Asylum-seekers submitted 1.7 million new asylum claims. With 254,300 such claims, the United States of America was the world’s largest recipient of new individual applications, followed by Peru (192,500) Germany (161,900), France (114,500) and Turkey (83,800). [...]

Where do new asylum-seekers come from?

For the first time, asylum claims from Venezuelans dominated the global asylum statistics with 341,800 new claims in 2018, accounting for more than 1 in 5 claims submitted. In addition to this significantly increased number of new individual claims, an estimated 2.6 million Venezuelans have fled the country but have not applied for asylum, many of whom have international protection needs.

Afghanistan was the next most common country of origin for individual new asylum applications in 2018, with 107,500 claims lodged in 80 countries. [...]

Asylum claims from Syrians were the third most common, there were 106,200 new claims in 2018, a quarter of the peak number of 409,900 lodged in 2015. [...]

The fourth most common country of origin for asylum applications was Iraq with 72,600 new claims in 2018, [...]

Similar to the past couple of years, the fifth most common country of origin remained DRC with 61,100 new applications in 2018, in addition to the 123,400 new refugee registrations on a group or prima facie basis. [...]

The report can be accessed at the following link:

UNHCR: Global Trends. Forced Displacement in 2018, 19 June 2019

For numbers on asylum decisions in the European Union in 2018, see the following EASO and EUROSTAT publications:

EASO: EU+ asylum trends 2018 overview, 13 February 2019

The 28 Member States of the European Union (EU) granted protection status to nearly 333 400 asylum seekers in 2018, down by almost 40% from 2017 (533 000). [...]

The largest group of beneficiaries of protection status in the EU in 2018 remained citizens of Syria (96 100 persons, or 29% of the total number of persons granted protection status in the EU Member States), followed by citizens of Afghanistan (53 500 or 16%) and those of Iraq (24 600 or 7%), as compared with 2017 when 172 900 or 32% of asylum seekers granted protection were Syrians, 99 800 or 19% were Afghanis and 63 800 or 12% were Iraqis.

Syrians were the largest group granted protection status in sixteen Member States in 2018. Of the 96 100 Syrians granted protection status in the EU, almost 70% were recorded in Germany (67 000). [...]

In 2018, the highest number of persons granted protection status was registered in Germany (139 600), ahead of Italy (47 900) and France (41 400).

EUROSTAT: Asylum decisions in the EU - EU Member States granted protection to more than 300 000 asylum seekers in 2018 [71/2019], 25 April 2019

Update: Also see EASO's annual report:

EASO: Annual report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union 2018, June 2019
For summaries in other languages, see: https://www.easo.europa.eu/easo-annual-report-2018

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