Turkey continued to be the largest refugee hosting country in the world, accounting for nearly 3.7 million refugees, or 15 per cent of all people displaced across borders globally. Germany was the second-largest hosting country in Europe, with 1.2 million refugees (5 per cent). Overall, the number of refugees hosted in Europe rose by 3 per cent. This was mainly due to the granting of international protection to over a quarter of a million people (284,900) within the region, almost half in Germany (83,700) and Spain (46,500) alone. In addition, armed conflict in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, which commenced in September 2020, caused some 90,000 people to flee to Armenia, while over 80,000 people were temporarily displaced in Azerbaijan. Those who fled to Armenia remain in a refugee-like situation in Armenia. Notable reductions in the number of refugees included a 79,000 decrease in Italy due to improved source data.

Sub-Saharan Africa

The East and Horn of Africa, and Great Lakes region hosted 4.5 million refugees at the end of 2020, rising by 3 per cent or 122,800 people during the year. The region now hosts nearly 1 in every 5 refugees worldwide. Three countries – Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia – alone hosted over two-thirds of refugees in the region, or some 13 per cent of all people displaced across borders. The eruption of conflict in the Tigray region in Ethiopia led to the outflow of more than 54,000 Ethiopians by year-end to Sudan. Displacement from Ethiopia, combined with that resulting from the surge in violence in the Central African Republic and the ongoing South Sudan crisis, led to Sudan recognizing 125,600 new refugees on a group basis, the most by a single country in 2020. The largest regional increase in the number of refugees in 2020 was in West and Central Africa (+12 per cent). This was primarily due to the deepening crisis in the Sahel region and also in northern Nigeria. The region continues to face a severe humanitarian crisis with widespread and indiscriminate violence by armed groups as well as rising social and political tensions, forcing more people to flee their homes. The COVID-19 pandemic and the climate emergency made the situation even more complex and volatile. Major flooding affected the Sahel region early in 2020 and was exploited by insurgent groups to expand their operations. In contrast, the Southern Africa region saw a 3 per cent reduction in the number of refugees due to verification exercises conducted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo affecting particularly the number of registered South Sudanese refugees. Despite repeated conflict and violence across parts of the country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo hosted nearly half a million refugees, mainly from neighbouring countries.


The number of refugees and Venezuelans displaced abroad in the Americas grew by 8 per cent during 2020, reaching some 4.6 million by year-end. Continued displacement of Venezuelans, notably to Brazil, Mexico and Peru, as well as revised estimates for Venezuelans displaced abroad in Peru were the main reasons for this increase. Colombia hosted more than 1.7 million people displaced across borders, 7 per cent of the global total, overwhelmingly from Venezuela. For the first time in five years, the number of Venezuelans in Colombia decreased, as some 124,600 Venezuelans returned to their country due to the difficulties posed by the pandemic and its economic impact.

Asia and the Pacific

The number of refugees in the Asia and Pacific region declined by 4 per cent. The drop is largely due to updated figures received from the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which reported a decrease of some 178,300 refugees, mostly among Afghans. The previous figures were provided by the Government in 2015. Together, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Islamic Republic of Iran continue to host 13 per cent of the global total of people displaced across borders

Middle East and North Africa

Even as the conflict in Syria entered its 10th year, the Middle East and North Africa region recorded a 5 per cent drop in the number of refugees during 2020. This reduction is mainly due to improved estimates of Somali refugees in Yemen. Lebanon and Jordan host 6 per cent of all people displaced across borders globally


  1. Turkey (5.0% of total Population)
  2. Colombia
  3. Pakistan
  4. Uganda (3.7% of total population)
  5. Sudan (2.6% of total population)
  6. Germany (1.5% of total population)
  7. Iran
  8. Lebanon (19.5% of total population)
  9. Bangladesh
  10. Ethiopia (0.8 % of total population)
  11. Jordan (10.5% of total population)
  12. Dem Rep of Congo
  13. Chad
  14. Kenya
  15. France
  16. Cameroon
  17. USA
  18. China
  19. South Sudan (2.5 % of total population)
  20. Iraq
  21. Yemen
  22. Egypt
  23. Sweden (2.6% of total population)
  24. Tanzania
  25. India

Refugee Population in EU Countries (2020)

  1. Germany (1,210,636)
  2. France (436,100)
  3. Sweden (248,245)
  4. Austria (131,866)
  5. Italy (128,033)
  6. Spain (103,679)
  7. Greece (103,136)
  8. Netherlands (78,911)
  9. Belgium (65,033)
  10. Denmark (36,718)
  11. Finland (23,483)
  12. Bulgaria (21,108)
  13. Cyprus (14,037)
  14. Malta (9,208)
  15. Ireland (9,070)
  16. Hungary (5,898)
  17. Luxembourg (5,213)
  18. Romania (3,631)
  19. Poland (2,811)
  20. Portugal (2,445)
  21. Czech Rep (1,959)
  22. Lithuania (1,915)
  23. Slovakia (1,036)
  24. Croatia (966)
  25. Slovenia (858)
  26. Latvia (667)
  27. Estonia (297)





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