Jun 15, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Record 100 million people around the world have been forcibly displaced

Data: UNHCR; Table: Thomas Oide/Axios Visuals
Data: UNHCR; Table: Thomas Oide/Axios Visuals

There are now a record 100 million people around the world who have been forced to flee their homes, according to the U.N.

The big picture: That number — which represents more than the total population of France, Turkey or Vietnam — means 1 in every 78 people on earth has been forcibly displaced. The Taliban takeover in Afghanistan and Russia's invasion of Ukraine have exacerbated the crisis.

Driving the news: New data released Wednesday by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees details the state of refugees and other displaced people as of the end of 2021.

  • That's before the recent exodus from Ukraine, though Ukrainian refugees are included in the 100 million tally.
  • Turkey (3.8 million) was hosting easily the most refugees, followed by Colombia (1.8 million).
  • 83% of refugees were living in middle- or lower-income host nations.
  • Children are disproportionately impacted. People under age 18 account for 30% of the global population but 42% of those displaced.

State of play: Forced displacement has been increasing globally for a decade, and that trend continued during a year of new and escalating conflicts

  • Since 2010, the number of people forced to leave their homes has far outpaced potential solutions — such as resettlement in a safe third country like the U.S., or resolutions to conflicts that allow people to return home safely.
  • Climate change is projected to drive even more people from their homes moving forward. Already, around 23 million people were internally displaced by extreme weather events like floods and droughts in 2021, according to the U.N.
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