Resilience, Peace and Security

Which country has hosted the most refugees?

Arwen Armbrecht
Writer and social media producer, Freelance
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Resilience, Peace and Security?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Humanitarian Action 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:

Humanitarian Action

Home to 1.6 million refugees, Turkey has hosted the largest number of immigrants so far this century. Lebanon and Jordan have also risen up the rankings, as the chart below shows, as the current human rights crisis unfolds in Syria.

While other countries, such as the United States and Canada, have remained relatively consistent since the year 2000, nations located close to Syria have seen a rapid increase in refugees since 2012.


At the end of 2014, there were 19.5 million refugees in the world and a total of 59.5 million people forcibly displaced as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations. That is the equivalent of 42,500 people every day. If you were to create a country made of all those displaced people, it would be the 24th largest country in the world.



In the past year or so, most refugees have been coming from Syria; in 2014 it was Afghanistan. Contrary to Western criticism that the Middle East is not doing enough, 95% of all Syrian refugees are now hosted in neighbouring countries. Turkey has welcomed 1.59 million refugees while Lebanon brought in 1.15 million. Iran has 982,000.

While the Syrian crisis dominates headlines, the volume of refugees flowing out of Afghanistan and Somalia is no less troubling. Pakistan hosted the second-largest number of refugees last year due to the 2.59 million Afghans seeking refuge. Meanwhile, 1.11 million Somalians were forced to flee home, many relocating to Ethiopia.

Over half of all refugees are children under the age of 18.

Have you read?
5 refugees who changed the world
Visualizing the world’s refugee crisis
Europe’s refugee crisis explained

Author: Donald Armbrecht is a freelance writer and social media producer.

Image: Sawssan Abdelwahab, who fled Idlib in Syria, walks with her children outside the refugees camp near the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern city of Yayladagi. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra 

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.

The Horn of Africa's deep groundwater could be a game-changer for drought resilience

Bradley Hiller, Jude Cobbing and Andrew Harper

May 16, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum