Of the 19.9 million refugees registered with the UNHCR, 85 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 1.5 million in 2017, which is almost a million more than the previous year.

Host countries accommodating the greatest numbers of refugees at the end of 2017:

Host Countries Number refugees at end-2015
Turkey 3.5 million
Pakistan 1.4 million
Uganda 1.4 million
Lebanon 998,900
Iran 979,400
Germany 970,400
Bangladesh 932,200
Sudan 906,600
Ethiopia 889,400
Jordan 691,000

Of the 1.7 million new applications for asylum submitted in 2017, most were received by developed countries including the United States, Germany, and Italy.

The ten countries that received the highest number of new applications for asylum in 2017:

Receiving Countries Number of Applications Countries of Origin
United States 331,700 North of Central America made up almost half of all applications from, with the majority from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, followed by applications from Venuzuela and Mexico, China, Haiti and India.
Germany 198,300 Largest number of applications were from Syria, followed by Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iran, Turkey, Nigeria and Somalia.
Italy 126,500 Largest number of applications were from Nigeria and Bangladesh, followed by Pakistan, the Gambia, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali and Eritrea.
Turkey 126,100 Largest number of applications were from Afghanistan, followed by Iraq and Iran. This excludes Syrians, 681,000 of whom are registered under the Temporary Protection Regulation.
France 93,000 Largest number of applications were from Albania, followed by Afghanistan, Syria and Haiti.
Uganda 57,300 Majority of applications were from the Democratic Republic of Congo, followed by Somalia, Burundi and Eritrea. Uganda has also recognised 459,600 refugees on a group basis.
Greece 57,000 Majority of applications were from Syria, followed by Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Canada 47,800 Largest number of applications were from Haiti, followed by Nigeria, Turkey and the USA.
Tanzania 36,500 Over half of all applications were from Burundi, followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo. Tanzania also recognised 22,500 refugees on a group basis.
Australia 36,200 No details were provided by UNHCR regarding the Australian intake.

Recognition rates vary greatly between countries of asylum. Australia, Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland have a recognition rate of over 80 per cent, while Bulgaria, Denmark, and Norway recognise under 20 per cent of asylum applications.


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Last updated 10 July 2018.