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Figures at a Glance

How many refugees are there around the world?

At least 108.4 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes. Among them are nearly 35.3 million refugees, around 41 per cent of whom are under the age of 18.

There are also millions of stateless people, who have been denied a nationality and lack access to basic rights such as education, health care, employment and freedom of movement.

At a time when more than 1 in every 74 people on Earth has been forced to flee, our work at UNHCR is more important than ever before.

UNHCR personnel

Our workforce is the backbone of UNHCR. As of 31 December 2022, we employ 20,739 people, of whom around 91 per cent are based in the field.

We work in 135 countries and territories, with personnel based in a mixture of regional and branch offices and sub and field offices. Our teams work hard to help the displaced, specializing in a wide range of disciplines, including legal protection, administration, community services, public affairs and health.

How is UNHCR funded

We are funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, with 75 per cent from governments and the European Union. Three per cent comes from other inter-governmental organizations and pooled funding mechanisms, while a further 21 per cent is from the private sector, including foundations, corporations and the public. Additionally, we receive a limited subsidy (one per cent) from the UN budget for administrative costs, and accept in-kind contributions, including items such as tents, medicines and trucks.

UNHCR was launched on a shoestring annual budget of US$300,000 in 1950. But as our work and size have grown, so too have the costs. Our annual budget rose to more than US$1 billion in the early 1990s and reached a new annual high of US$10.714 billion in 2022. For up-to-date information about UNHCR’s financial needs visit our Global Focus websiteLink is external.

Our yearly budget supports continuing operations and supplementary programmes to cover emergencies, such as the Ukraine crisis, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and the Pakistan floods as well as large-scale repatriation operations. 

Data on forced displacement and stateless populations

We track the number of people forced to flee and use data and statistics to inform and optimize our work and the work of our partners to better protect, assist and provide solutions. This means that when a major displacement crisis erupts, we can predict how many people need help, what kind of help they need and how many staff we should deploy. 

These figures are released every year in our flagship reports: Global TrendsLink is external and Global ReportLink is external.

For statistics and operational data that are essential for UNHCR operations, we collect and process data in a number of different systems that are fit for purpose. Our Population Statistics Database, for example, carries information on country of asylum, country of origin and demographics on people of concern to UNHCR – refugees, asylum seekers, returned refugees, internally displaced and stateless people.

For more information on how UNHCR collects population figures, including links to our databases, visit our data pageLink is external.