The refugee crisis is the worst it's been since WWII

Explore below and sign up for Axios AM for more deep dives into the most important topics affecting our world.

Deep Dive - Refugee Crisis

Special report: A widening world without a home

Data: UNHCR; Note: Data does not include the 5.4 million Palestine refugees in 2017 under UNRWA’s mandate; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

As of last year, more people have been forced by violence and conflict to flee their homes than live in the U.K. or France.

Why it matters: That's upwards of 60 million people — a global nation of refugees. If all of these asylum-seekers, internally displaced people and refugees were a country, they'd be the 21st most populous nation in the world, according to UNHCR estimates. More than half of refugees are under the age of 18.

1 human being: A 20-year journey from Bhutan to Oregon

An illustration of a man wearing a red t-shirt that says "stand with refugees"
An illustration adapted from a photo of Som Subedi. Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In 1991, Som Subedi fled Bhutan, a small Himalayan country that famously measures its economic output in units of "gross national happiness." His family was driven out by a series of royal edicts that resulted in the forcible expulsion of one-sixth of the country’s population. He was sent to a refugee camp in Nepal, beginning his almost 20-year odyssey.

"It was crazy," Subedi told Axios from Portland, Oregon, where he now lives, "not having enough to eat, just being under that leaky thatched roof. ... I still feel some of the heat coming into the hut and cold in the winter."