Geographies in Depth

Visualizing Europe’s refugee crisis

Joe Myers
Writer, Forum Agenda
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Geographies in Depth?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Migration is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:


The flow of refugees and asylum seekers into Europe, and around the world, is a major challenge for societies across the globe.

Lucify, a Finnish data visualisation firm, has produced a graphic highlighting the flow of asylum seekers into Europe. Each moving point on the map represents 25 people, and shows the movement of people since 2012 up until 19 November 2015. The full interactive version can be viewed here.

1511B57-refugee asylum seeker flow europe

Source: Lucify

The image above highlights the wide area that refugees are coming from, and while large numbers are heading to Germany and Sweden, these are far from their only destinations.

It emphasises the need to treat the crisis as a challenge for the whole of Europe, requiring coordination between governments and other international agencies.

Equally, the visualization is only intended to show flows into Europe, not around the rest of the displayed area. Therefore it is important to remember that while around 700,000 Syrians have sought asylum in Europe since April 2011, there are in excess of 4 million Syrian refugees registered in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and the rest of North Africa. This is undeniably a global challenge.

Based on data published by the UN Refugee Agency, it provides a visualisation of the flow of people, but is not intended to accurately represent the routes taken or the length of these journeys.

Watch a World Economic Forum video explaining the refugee crisis here.

To keep up with the Agenda subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Author: Joe Myers is a Digital Content Producer at Formative Content.

Image: A migrant walks towards Gevgelija in Macedonia after crossing Greece’s border, Macedonia, August 22, 2015. REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovski 

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Talent trends in Asia: How to boost workforce productivity and well-being

Peta Latimer and Catherine Li Zhaoqi

June 20, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum