Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Chart of the Day
15 June 2022

Which countries host the highest number of refugees?

The UK trails far behind the world’s top 20.

A flight intended to send asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda was cancelled at the last-minute following intervention by the European Court of Human Rights.

The flight was part of a plan announced by the government in mid-April to send some asylum seekers to the central African country to pursue their claims there instead. The aim, according to the government, is to deter people who arrive in the UK through what it calls “illegal, dangerous or unnecessary methods”, usually crossing the Channel in small boats.

Around the world, however, most refugees go to low and middle-income countries close to those from which they have fled. Data from the UN refugee agency shows that Turkey was home to the largest refugee population in 2021. It hosted 3.8 million refugees, mostly from its neighbour Syria. In addition 145,000 people fleeing the war in Ukraine have made their way to the country this year.

Other countries with large refugee populations include Colombia, which hosts 1.8 million people, mostly from Venezuela; Uganda hosts 1.5 million refugees.

Until the start of the war in Ukraine, Europe — with the exception of Germany — had comparatively smaller numbers of refugees. Poland has, however, opened its borders to fleeing Ukrainians and there are almost 1.2 million Ukrainians registered for protection in the country.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Your guide to the best writing across politics, ideas, books and culture - both in the New Statesman and from elsewhere - sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

By contrast there were just 137,078 refugees in the UK in the middle of last year, and since February it has offered refuge to 37,400 Ukrainians.

Content from our partners
A better future starts at home
How to create an inclusive workplace and embrace neurodiversity
Universal Credit falls short of covering the bare essentials. That needs to change

[See also: The Rwanda plan has failed but it is more dangerous than ever]