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UNHCR Statistical Online Population Database: General Notes

UNHCR Statistics, 2013

General Notes

The UNHCR Statistical Online Population Database summarizes changes in global trends and levels of the population of concern to UNHCR: refugees, asylum-seekers, returned refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) protected/assisted by UNHCR, returned IDPs, stateless persons, and others of concern to UNHCR. The information, reported by UNHCR country offices, generally reflects the data of the host country.

In the absence of official refugee population figures, UNHCR has estimated the refugee population in 25 industrialized countries based on the individual recognition of refugees over a 10-year period. These 25 countries are Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Data prior to 2007 also includes refugees who have arrived under resettlement programmes.

The UNHCR mandate covers all refugees, except some 4.9 million Palestinian refugees residing in areas of operation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). These Palestinian refugees are not included in UNHCR's statistics. However, the Palestinian refugees living outside the UNRWA areas of operation fall under the responsibility of UNHCR and are thus included in UNHCR statistics.

The database is work-in-progress and will be updated on an ongoing basis. Currently, data up to 31 December 2012 can be downloaded from the Statistical Online Population Database. Some of the statistics contained in the Statistical Online Population Database, in particular the ones for 2012 should be considered provisional and subject to change. Some data in the database may differ from statistics published previously due to retroactive changes or the inclusion of previously unavailable data.




UNHCR Statistical Online Population Database

Standardized data on UNHCR's population of concern at country, regional, and global levels.

Crisis in Iraq: Displacement

UNHCR and its partners estimate that out of a total population of 26 million, some 1.9 million Iraqis are currently displaced internally and more than 2 million others have fled to nearby countries. While many people were displaced before 2003, increasing numbers of Iraqis are now fleeing escalating sectarian, ethnic and general violence. Since January 2006, UNHCR estimates that more than 800,000 Iraqis have been uprooted and that 40,000 to 50,000 continue to flee their homes every month. UNHCR anticipates there will be approximately 2.3 million internally displaced people within Iraq by the end of 2007. The refugee agency and its partners have provided emergency assistance, shelter and legal aid to displaced Iraqis where security has allowed.

In January 2007, UNHCR launched an initial appeal for US$60 million to fund its Iraq programme. Despite security issues for humanitarian workers inside the country, UNHCR and partners hope to continue helping up to 250,000 of the most vulnerable internally displaced Iraqis and their host communities

Posted on 12 June 2007

Crisis in Iraq: Displacement

Afgooye corridor fast becoming the capital of Somalia's displaced

UNHCR completed in September 2010 the latest assessment of the internally displaced population on the periphery of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, and has revised upwards the estimated number of displaced people in the so-called Afgooye corridor to 410,000. Since the escalation of the conflict in Somalia in 2007, a number of makeshift sites have sprung up along the 30-kilometre stretch of road leading west from Mogadishu to Afgooye town. In September 2009, an earlier UNHCR assessment put the number at 366,000. The latest assessment is the result of a three-month-long exercise led by UNHCR on behalf of humanitarian agencies in Somalia. Due to the difficult security situation and lack of access, it was based on high-resolution satellite imagery which allowed precise mapping of temporary shelters and measurement of buildings and subsequent application of the population density data. The rapid urbanization of the Afgooye corridor is clearly evident in the satellite imagery.

Afgooye corridor fast becoming the capital of Somalia's displaced

Angelina Jolie promotes reintegration of Afghan returnees

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie in March 2011 returned to Afghanistan. On her second trip to the country, the acclaimed actress called for greater focus to be put on the reintegration of former refugees. More than 5.5 million refugees have returned since 2002, mainly from Pakistan and Iran, and now make up 20 per cent of the population. UNHCR is concerned that too many of these refugees continue to live without jobs, shelter and other basic needs.

Jolie caught up with several families she had met in 2008, still living in a dilapidated warehouse in Kabul. She was moved to see the families struggling to survive in the cold damp building. Children spend their days washing cars for money instead of attending school; the old and sick told Jolie of their pain to be such a burden on the young.

The actress also visited returned refugees living on the Alice Ghan and Barikab land allocation schemes north of Kabul. The returnees told her they were grateful for their houses but needed help with livelihoods. Jolie also visited Qala Gadu village, where she is funding the construction of a girls' primary school.

Angelina Jolie promotes reintegration of Afghan returnees