The Total Number Of People Displaced Worldwide Hit A Record In 2016

The total of those displaced from their homes worldwide in 2016 was about 300,000 more than in 2015, according to a U.N. refugee agency report.
Posted at 1:20 PM, Jun 20, 2017

65.6 million: By the end of 2016, that's how many people were displaced from their homes, according to the U.N refugee agency. That total is a record high and is 300,000 more than the year before.

The report tracked three types of movement: refugees, internal displacement and asylum-seekers.

The report defines refugees as those forced to leave their homes for other countries. People internally displaced are defined as still living in their home country, but have nowhere to actually live. Then there are asylum-seekers who have fled their country but haven't been granted refugee status.

In 2016, 22.5 million refugees fled their home country — the highest number since the agency was founded in 1950.

The U.N. attributes a lot of that uptick to the Syrian war. Twelve million people in the country were forced to abandon their homes in 2016 — that's more than half of the country's population.

The report says following Syria's totals, Colombia has the second highest displaced population in the world at 7.7 million, then Afghanistan with 4.7 million, Iraq with 4.2 million and South Sudan at 3.3 million. The ranking does not include the 5.3 million registered Palestinian refugees.

South Sudan has the fastest-growing displaced population in the world after peace efforts in the country fizzled out in July. The majority of those displaced in the sub-Saharan country are children.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly suggested a record number of people were displaced in 2016 alone. It should have said the total number of people displaced worldwide by the end of 2016 was a record high. This story has been updated.