The worldwide refugee crisis has worsened over the last five years. As of the end of 2018, there was a “total population of concern” of 74.8 million people, comprising refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, returnees and stateless persons, according to the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), the UN’s refugee agency. That is an increase of more than 74% since 2013. According to the UNHCR, one person becomes displaced every 2 seconds somewhere in the world.
These displaced people have been forced to leave their homes as a result of war, persecution, violence, or human rights violations. Of that number, 20.1 million people were considered refugees
Syria, ravaged by civil war since 2011, holds the dubious distinction of having the most displaced people in the world, with 13 million people forcibly displaced as of the end of 2018, or more than half of that nation’s population. Many of those displaced people have fled to neighboring nations such as Turkey and Lebanon. Thousands, however, have gone to Germany, whose total refugee population has soared more than fivefold since 2013.
In other parts of the world, developing nations with limited resources have become havens for refugees fleeing conflict. Uganda, ranked as the 15th poorest country on Earth in 2018, became home to more than 1 million refugees, many from South Sudan, where civil war has ravaged that country. Uganda has taken in the third most refugees of any country, according to UNHCR data, and its refugee population has soared over 400% since 2013.
In the United States, immigration has become a hot-button issue and one of the biggest news stories of the year. The country has taken in more than 313,000 refugees, placing America 17th in number of total refugees allowed in. The country sending the most refugees to the United States is China, with more than 77,000.