where are the refugees from?

Here’s a pretty awesome data analysis on where (legal) refugees who enter the U.S. come from, and where they go. It’s great both for the information, and for the presentation of the information, which is simple yet highly effective. Click on the link, but here are a few facts to whet your appetite:

  • The country of origin for the most refugees to the U.S. in 2014 was Iraq, at 19.651.
  • Surprisingly (to me at least), next is Burma at 14,577.
  • Rounding out the top five are Somalia (9,011), Bhutan (8,316), and D.R. Congo (4,502).
  • After Cuba (4,063), the next highest country from Central or South America is Columbia at 243.

I might have guessed Iraq, but I don’t think I would have guessed anything else on this list. In a number of cases, there are groups of essentially stateless people living in various places (Bhutan and Burma, for example) that the U.S. has agreed to resettle in fairly large groups. In other cases, there are just a handful of people from a given country granted refugee status in a given year. It is a little hard to make sense of why one group is allowed and the next is not.

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