Of the 16.1 million refugees registered with the UNHCR, 86 per cent are hosted by developing countries, the highest percentage in more than twenty years. This means that countries with minimal resources are hosting the majority of refugees. 

Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, accommodating 2.5 million in 2015, which is almost a million more than the previous year.

Host countries accommodating the greatest numbers of refugees at the end of 2015:

Host Countries Number refugees at end-2015
Turkey 2.5 million
Pakistan 1.6 million
Lebanon 1.1 million
Iran 979,400
Ethiopia 736,100
Jordan 664,100
Kenya 553,900
Uganda 477,200
Democratic Republic of the Congo 383,100
Chad 369,500

Of the 2 million new applications for asylum submitted in 2015, most were received by developed countries including Germany, the United States, Sweden and Russia.

The ten countries that received the highest number of new applications for asylum in 2015:

Receiving Countries Number of Applications Countries of Origin
Germany 441,900 Largest number of applications from Syria, plus a large increase from Albania.
United States 172,700 Over half of all applications from Mexico and Central American countries, including El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, plus a significant number from China.
Sweden 156,400 Majority of applications from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Russia 152,500 Almost all applications from the Ukraine.
Turkey 133,300 Largest number of applications from Iraq, plus significant increases from Afghanistan and Iran.
Austria 85,800 Largest number of applications from Afghanistan and Syria, plus a significant increase from Iraq.
Italy 83,200 Largest number of applications from Nigeria and Pakistan, followed by the Gambia, Senegal and Bangladesh.
Hungary 74,200 Approximately half of all applications from Syria, followed by Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.
France 74,200 Largest number of applications from the Sudan, followed by Serbia and Kosovo, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
South Africa 62,200 Largest number of applications from Zimbabwe, followed by Ethiopia, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Recognition rates (the number of asylum seekers granted convention refugee status, or a complementary form of protection, divided by the total number of substantive decisions) were over 85 per cent for applications from Syria, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Yemen, the Ukraine, Burundi, Iraq, Myanmar, Eritrea, Somalia, and the State of Palestine. 

Whereas, recognition rates were below 4 per cent for applications from the former Yugoslavia, including Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.



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Last updated November 2016.