Where have refugees settled in the U.S.?

This map shows the top nationality of refugees resettled across each state in the U.S. between 2002 and 2017.

Source: Where have refugees settled in the U.S.?

How U.S. refugee resettlement in each state has shifted since 2002


The resettlement of refugees in the U.S. has been fairly consistent across the country since 2002, with no state resettling a majority of them. In fiscal year 2017, no state resettled more than 10% of the 53,716 refugees the nation admitted that year. California, Texas, New York, Washington, Michigan and Ohio each accounted for at least 5% of refugees resettled, while all other states had a lower share. In fiscal 2002, the earliest year state-level data are publicly available, California resettled 16% of the nation’s 27,110 refugees, the only state to account for more than 15% of the nation’s total that year – or in any following year, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. State Department data.


U.S. Resettles Fewer Refugees, Even as Global Number of Displaced People Grows

Break with past responses to global refugee surges

The U.S. has resettled more refugees than any other country – about 3 million since 1980. Generally, in years when more people around the globe are displaced by conflict, violence or persecution in their countries, the number of refugees resettled by the U.S. has increased. But in the last few years, the number of refugees annually resettled by the U.S. has not consistently grown in step with a worldwide refugee population that has expanded nearly 50% since 2013, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and U.S. State Department data.

Even with the recent rise in the number of Muslim refugees, far more Christian than Muslim refugees have been admitted into the U.S. since fiscal 2002. Nearly 425,000 Christian refugees entered the U.S. over that period, accounting for 46% of all refugee arrivals. At the same time, about a third (33%) of all refugees admitted to the U.S. between 2002 and 2017, or slightly more than 302,000, were Muslim.

Pew Research Center:  Global Attitudes and Trends, October 17, 2018


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