There are more than 65 million people displaced from their homes, a record high since World War II.

This amounts to 0.8% of the global population, or to put it another way, roughly the population of France; or of Canada, Australia and New Zealand combined.

 Nearly 1 in 100 people worldwide have been displaced from their homes by war and persecution
Image: UNHCR

The UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency, has been collecting data on displaced people since 1951, and in recent years it has seen numbers increase drastically. In 2015 alone, 5.8 million people were displaced.

Conflict, persecution and human rights violations have driven people from their homes in search of safety. The UNHCR Global Trends report looked at the figures for 2015 and found that 24 people were forced to leave their homes every minute.

Image: Pew Research Center

The UNHCR’s definition of a displaced person includes those who still live in their country of origin (internally displaced people), as well as those who have fled across borders (refugees and asylum seekers).

The Middle East is hosting many of the world’s displaced people, both the internally displaced as well as refugees and asylum seekers.

In fact, as this chart from the Pew Research Center shows, more than one in 20 people in the region are displaced. Many of them have fled the Syrian conflict, which has been a major contributor to the steep rise in people driven away from their homes.

Image: Pew Research Center

Since the war began in 2011, almost 5 million refugees have made their way to another country in search of safety, and 6.6 million are now internally displaced within Syria.

Syrian citizens account for one in five of the world’s displaced people.

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Countries with the most internally displaced people include Colombia (6.9 million), Syria (6.6 million) and Iraq (4.7 million).

Lebanon hosts the largest number of refugees in relation to the size of its population, with 183 refugees per 1,000 citizens.

Overall, Turkey is providing sanctuary to the largest number of refugees – 2.5 million people took refuge there in 2015.

Pakistan has more than 1.5 million Afghan refugees who have fled the conflict in Afghanistan, and who make up more than half of the displaced population living in the country.

Children are often those most at risk, and the UNHCR estimates that they made up over half of the world’s refugees in 2015.

Many were separated from parents and family, or travelled to a different country alone.

Speaking earlier this year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon warned: “We are facing the biggest refugee and displacement crisis of our time. Above all, this is not just a crisis of numbers; it is also a crisis of solidarity.”