Figures at a glance
103 million forcibly displaced people worldwide
While a full picture is yet to be established, UNHCR estimates that global forced displacement has reached 103 million at mid-2022.
are internally displaced people (Source: IDMC, as of end-2021)
are refugees (as of mid-2022)
are asylum-seekers (as of mid-2022)
are other people in need of international protection (as of mid-2022)
originate from just five countries
|Syrian Arab Republic||6.8 million|
|South Sudan||2.4 million|
At the end of 2021, of the 89.3 million forcibly displaced people, an estimated 36.5 million (41%) are children below 18 years of age.
refugees returned or were resettled
Some 162,300 refugees returned to their countries of origin during the first six months of 2022 while 42,300 were resettled (with or without UNHCR’s assistance).
hosted in neighbouring countries
69 per cent of refugees and other people in need of international protection lived in countries neighbouring their countries of origin.
hosted in five countries
children were born as refugees
Between 2018 and 2021, an average of between 350,000 and 400,000 children were born into a refugee life per year.
hosted in low- and middle-income countries
Low- and middle-income countries host 74 per cent of the world’s refugees and other people in need of international protection. The least developed countries provide asylum to 22 per cent of the total.
million stateless people
Data on some 4.3 million stateless people residing in 95 countries was reported at mid-2022. The true global figure is estimated to be significantly higher.
How many refugees are there around the world?
At least 103 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes. Among them are nearly 32.5 million refugees.
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.
Our workforce is the backbone of UNHCR. As of 31 December 2021, we employ 18,879 people, of whom around nearly 91 per cent are based in the field.
We work in 137 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 85 per cent from governments and the European Union. Three per cent comes from other inter-governmental organizations and pooled funding mechanisms, while a further 11 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$9.15 billion in 2021. For up to date information about UNHCR’s financial needs visit our Global Focus website.
Our yearly budget supports continuing operations and supplementary programmes to cover emergencies, such as the Syria crisis or 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. So when for example a major displacement crisis erupts, we can predict how many people need help, what kind of help they need and how many staff we must deploy.
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 page.