First Time US Resettles Fewer Refugees Than Rest of World

The number of refugees resettled in the United States decreased more than in any other country in 2017, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

This represents the first time since the adoption of the 1980 U.S. Refugee Act that the U.S. resettled fewer refugees than the rest of the world. The U.S. has historically led the world in refugee resettlement. Since 1980, the U.S. has taken in 3 million of the more than 4 million refugees resettled worldwide.

Despite a large single-year decline in resettlement, the U.S. still resettled more refugees (33,000) than any other one country. Following the U.S. were Canada (27,000), Australia (15,000) and the United Kingdom (6,000). Sweden, Germany, Norway and France each resettled about 3,000 refugees.

Per capita, Canada led the world by resettling 725 refugees per 1 million residents, followed by Australia (618) and Norway (528). The U.S. resettled 102 refugees per 1 million U.S. residents.

“Overall, the world resettled 103,000 refugees in 2017, down from 189,000 in 2016. The broad-based decline included decreases in other leading countries in refugee resettlement, such as Canada and Australia, though the drops in these countries were more modest than those in the U.S.,” said Pew.

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