Refugee Statics Iraq Somalia Cambodia Syria
A refugee is a person who is forced to leave his or her homeland in order to escape conflict, disease, natural disasters, persecution, etc. Refugees are often very poor once they arrive in a new nation and many times lose everything they once had. Every once in a while refugees become a popular topic. For instance, refugees fleeing the Syrian Civil War have garnered international attention in recent months.

But even when there is not a highly publicized and controversial war raging, there are always millions of refugees world wide. Where are they? Here are some refugee statistics:

Somalia has almost 1 million registered refugees. Most of these refugees end up fleeing to Kenya, Ethiopia and Yemen. However, some have gone as far as Egypt and Tanzania. Many of these refugees have fled because of large military campaigns.

On the other side of Africa, Liberia has 98,000 refugees. These refugees are fleeing ethnic conflict and civil war. Many refugees have fled from the Ivory Coast, a neighboring nation, for the same reason.

Recently, there has been a lot of civil unrest in Mali, as religious extremists attempt to topple the government. In order to provide military assistance to their former colony, French troops have also entered the conflict, further disrupting everyday life. Today, the conflict known as the Tuareg Rebellion has displaced 171,000 individuals into neighboring nations such as Mauritania.

Outside of Africa, over 2 million people have fled Syria due to the intense fighting between rebel groups and the government. Many of these people have escaped to Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan.

There are more refugees around the world from China to Algeria. Many of these people are fleeing from a variety of hardships. Based on these refugee statistics, it is important to remember that millions of people are currently living as refugees, whether or not their situation is publicized by the media.

For more statistics on refugees, visit the

– Zachary Patterson

Sources: UNHCR, CJA, CIA, World Bank


  1. Nearly half of the world’s population lives on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty (less than $1.25 a day). In the developed world it is hard to fathom living on $2.50 a day, yet almost 3 billion people do so in their daily lives. The World Bank sets the extreme poverty line at $1.25 a day, and over 1.3 billion people live on such an extremely low income.
  2. More than 1.6 billion people lack access to electricity and modern forms of energy. Electricity is necessary for modern development, yet so many people are denied its use. With climate change on the rise, it is ever more important to find sustainable, renewable energy sources for the world’s poor.
  3. 1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. Many of these children live in single parent households, as many parents die from treatable diseases or leave their families for less poverty-stricken areas.
  4. 80% of the world population lives on less than $10 a day. Although it is not as extreme as $1.25 or even $2.50 a day, most in the developed world can’t imagine living on $10 a day. In fact, the poverty line in the US is set at just over $30 a day. Yet an overwhelming majority of the world’s population lives at less than a third of that.
  5. Preventable diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia take the lives of 2 million children a year who are too poor to afford proper treatment. Diarrhea takes many  lives annually, when just access to proper water supply could reduce around 40% of all cases.
  6. Women produce half of the world’s food, work two-thirds of the world’s working hours, earn only 10% of the world’s income, and own less than 1% of the world’s property.
  7. Women make up around 70% of the world’s 1 billion poorest people. Women’s empowerment and equality is the silver bullet to ending poverty. Enabling women to get the same opportunities as men, such as access to credit and education, would lift whole communities out of poverty. Women are much more likely than men to reinvest their wealth into their local communities.
  8. About 2.5 billion people in the world do not have access to adequate sanitation – roughly two-fifths of the world’s population. The global water, sanitation and health crisis has reached an incredible level, to the point where it will soon not only be the developing world which is affected by it.
  9. Of the 22 countries where more than half the population is illiterate, 15 are in Africa. This underscores the fact that Africa, despite its vast natural resources, is the most underdeveloped and neglected continent on the globe.
  10. It would cost approximately $40 billion to offer basic education, clean water and sanitation, reproductive health for women, and basic health and nutrition to every person in every developing country. $40 billion may sound like a lot, but it is less than the operational cost of two US aircraft carriers (which cost $26.8 billion each).

– Martin Drake

Sources: Global Issues,,,, Face the Facts USA
Photo: Press TV

Though poverty is measured according to dimensions that include mortality, morbidity, hunger, sickness, illiteracy, homelessness and powerlessness, these measures do not fully encompass the conditions of children living in poverty. Rarely differentiated from poverty in general, child poverty affects individuals at the most crucial stage of their lives, hindering not only their physical development but also their emotional development. Listed below are five statistics about child poverty.

  1. 1 billion children – more than half of those living in developing countries – suffer from one or more forms of severe deprivation, according to a study performed by the University of Bristol and the London School of Economics. Every second child suffers from deprivation of at least one of the following: nutrition, safe drinking water, sanitation, health, shelter, education and information. Furthermore, deprivation in one area often causes deprivation in another area – an estimated 700 million children suffer from two or more deprivations.
  2. 180 million children are currently engaged in child labor. Material deprivation often forces desperate children, including those subjected to war, orphaned or weakened by a condition such as HIV/AIDS, into dangerous forms of labor in order to support themselves and their families. Once engaged in child labor, children are deprived of an education and regularly abused. Many of them do not survive until adulthood.
  3. Roughly 1.2 children fall victim to human trafficking each year, and more than 2 million children are sexually exploited in the commercial sex industry each year. Material deprivation leads children to search for additional sources of income, and traffickers capitalize upon their vulnerability. Exploitation exacerbates conditions of poverty, preventing children from attending school and further deteriorating their mental and physical health.
  4. 400 million children (1 in 5) lack access to safe water, and 640 million (1 in 3) live without adequate shelter. Each year 1.4 million children die because of unsafe drinking water or inadequate sanitation.
  5. 22,000 children under the age of five die each day as a result of poverty, amounting to more than 8 million deaths per year.

– Katie Bandera

Sources: UNICEF Global Issues
Photo: Flickr

Statistics on Poverty In Sub-Saharan AfricaNearly half the population in Sub-Saharan Africa lives below the international poverty line. Discussed below are five shocking statistics regarding poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Leading Facts on Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa

  1. The average life expectancy at birth for someone born in sub-Saharan Africa is 46. This sobering number is due to the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the region. According to UNDP, “a person can hope to live on average only 46 years, or 32 years less than the average life expectancy in countries of advanced human development, with 20 years slashed off of life expectancy due to HIV/AIDS.” Thankfully, HIV death rates are decreasing across sub-Saharan Africa. In Rwanda, AIDS-related mortality rates dropped from 7% to 5% from 2011-2012. Similarly, in Uganda the life expectancy was raised by ten years between 2000 and 2013, from age 46 to age 55. Foreign aid and the distribution of HIV/AIDS medication has played a large role in this reversal.
  2. 48.5% of the population is living on less than $1.25 per day, and 69.9% on less than $2.00 per day. With a little over 910 million people living in the region, this places around 637 million Africans below the poverty line. The good news is that poverty rates are steadily declining in almost all of the countries in the region. In 2011, the head of the Africa World Economic Forum Katherine Tweedie stated that “10 fastest-growing economies will come from sub-Saharan Africa in the next five years.” In 1981, the poor in this region accounted for 50% of the world’s poor population. Today, they account for one third of the world’s poor population. Although one third is still a significant number, it is considerably less daunting than the numbers from a few decades ago.
  3. HIV/AIDS is the #1 killer in sub-Saharan Africa. UNAIDS estimates that 2 million Africans perish each year from the disease. 70% of these African HIV/AIDS deaths were in sub-Saharan Africa. The region also lays claim to 90% of new HIV infections in children. In Namibia alone, 15,000 people die every year from the disease.
  4. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the poorest country in Africa and the second poorest country in the world, with almost 88% of the population living on less than $1.25 a day. With a population of 65.7 million people, 88% is an unnerving statistic. Children are severely malnourished (rates have reached 30% in certain areas) and many die due to these adverse conditions. In fact, children account for almost 50% of deaths in the country. If any country in Africa deserves aid from the United States, it is the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  5. The majority of poor people in the region live in rural areas. Due to a decline in agricultural assistance, the rural sectors of sub-Saharan African nations are hotbeds of extreme poverty. Much of the land is very dry, making it difficult for farmers to grow food for sustenance. Luckily, efforts are being made by the UNDP to foster the development of sustainable agriculture in these areas. In Lesotho, reform actually came from the government when King Letsie III introduced sustainable farming to his people.

– Josh Forgét

Sources: The World Bank, The New Times, Farmers Weekly, The National, Rural Poverty Portal, World Concern
Photo: City Data


The UK campaign, Enough Food for Everyone If, knows how to use statistics in a way that emphasizes their message.

The statistic they are currently using is that hunger kills every 10 seconds. This is derived from the fact that three million children died from hunger in 2011. Those three million deaths spread evenly across the year equals ten seconds a death.

Some assert that this statistic is a manipulation of the data, as the real issues surrounding those three million deaths are slightly complicated. It is not as simple as people simply starving to death.

A large portion of the deaths involved in the three million per year statistic are caused by infectious diseases or other things that poor nutrition can be related to. When children aren’t given the proper nutrition in the earliest parts of their lives, their bodies are much more susceptible to infectious diseases that a normal healthy child would simply be able to fight off.

The problem isn’t only involving malnutrition in children, but also malnutrition in mothers. In many societies, women aren’t given the best food in the household, therefore they can end up being malnourished during pregnancy and breast feeding, leading to malnutrition in their children.

Malnutrition is especially prevalent in communities that rely heavily on cereals and starches for their diets. These areas tend to neglect the importance of fruits and vegetables in their diets, and sometimes it is the case that milk or meats are avoided in these areas for cultural reasons.

Despite the complexities revolving around the statistic perpetuated by the IF campaign, the campaigners rely on the ‘hunger kills every 10 seconds’ statistic to give people a concrete way to think about the magnitude of global hunger. When people hear that three million died of hunger in 2011 they tend to block it out, as it is hard to conceptualize such a large number. The Enough Food for Everyone If campaign puts this statistic in an easy to understand way that makes people identify with individuals in poverty.

Enough Food for Everyone If uses its resources to raise awareness about world hunger in order to impact governmental decisions in favor of providing more aid to developing countries. The campaign also has put out helpful ways that people can contribute to ending hunger through their consumer choices, such as buying local, in season vegetables. The campaign is exemplifying how putting data in a certain manner and context can make all the difference in the impact is has.

Martin Drake

Source: BBC News, Enough Food for Everyone If
Photo: BBC News Images