Publicerad 22 mars 2019

22 mars 2019


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People forced from home, 2016

More people than ever are on the move around the world, but opportunities for migrants to enter and travel through Europe have been severely restricted since the autumn of 2015. Most people are either internal refugees within their own country, or have entered a neighbouring country. Only 17% of the world's refugees reached Europe in 2016, most of whom are now in Turkey. The figure in 2015 was 6%.

Out of 65.6 million people who have fled their homes, 22.5 million are refugees or people living in refugee-type situations.

The UN's Refugee Convention defines refugees as persons who leave their homeland due to well-funded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, gender, sexual orientation, or membership of a particular social group. The definition therefore doesn't include internally-displaced persons, nor those displaced by environmental or climate-related changes or for economic reasons.

Picture 1: Reception of refugees worldwide. Source: UNHCR

Picture 2: Top receiveing countries. Source: UNHCR

Reception worldwide

The reception of refugees varies between different parts of the world, as is shown in the upper picture (1).

The lower picture (2) shows the five countries that received the most refugees in 2016, Turkey being the one that received the most; almost three million people.

55 % of refugees worldwide came from three countries:

  • Syria (5,5 million)
  • Afghanistan (2,5 million)
  • South Sudan (1,4 million)



Asylum seekers in Sweden
2000-2017, with forecast for 2018

Source: Own processing of statistics from the Swedish Migration Agency

  • In 2015, almost 163 000 people sought asylum in Sweden. In 2016, the number had dropped to just under 29 000 and in 2017, the number was around 25 700.
  • 2015 stands out not only because of the number of asylum-seekers, but also because a very high number of the applicants were children (43% were children with or without the company of a custodian).
  • The Swedish Migration Board expects Sweden to receive around 23 000 asylum-seekers in 2018, of which 1500 will be unaccompanied minors.

(Source: the Swedish Migration Board)