Syria has produced the most displaced people in the world, but a surprising country comes in second.
As political instability and violence continue to stoke protracted conflicts all over the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, and South America, the global numbers of displaced peoples rises steadily every year. According to the UNHCR, more than 51 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced by violence or persecution—there are more displaced people (DP) in the world today than there were during the entirety of World War II. And more than 16 million of those people are refugees, meaning they’ve crossed international borders to seek safety outside of their home countries.
Where are these displaced people coming from, and where are they going? Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty took numbers provided by the UNHCR in its 2013 Global Trends Report and compiled them to create this interactive map that depicts DP numbers from country to country. Although the numbers reveal some things we already know—that the civil war in Syria is responsible for the largest number of DPs in the world, at more than 9.1 million people displaced—there are some surprising figures. Second to Syria is the South American country of Colombia, where more than 5.7 million people have been forcibly displaced by violence. Colombia has been embroiled in half a century of civil warfare, and the prolonged nature of the conflict means it has disapeared from the headlines.
Check out the map below for a grim outlook on the world’s refugee situation.