Speed Reads

resettling down

Refugee resettlement in the U.S. absolutely tanked in 2017

When it comes to resettling refugees, the U.S. usually takes in more than the rest of the world combined. Not in 2017.

The U.S. took in 33,000 refugees last year compared to the rest of the world's 69,000, Pew Research Center analysis of U.N. data reveals. It's the first time the U.S. hasn't beat every other country's combined resettlement numbers since passing its Refugee Act in 1980, and a huge drop from accepting 92,000 in 2016.

If those figures sound small, that's because refugees don't include asylum seekers who've entered a country without legal permission, the U.N. clarifies. Resettlement numbers only include people who've applied for refugee status while still in their home country.

America's numbers match a global trend. The number of resettled refugees worldwide plummeted to 103,000 in 2017 from a peak of 189,000 the year before, per Pew. Yet as resettlement shrunk, the number of refugees around the world increased to an all-time high of 19.9 million. That sharp decrease can mostly be attributed to the U.S., as its resettlement numbers usually dwarf other countries'.

The U.S. still resettled more refugees than any other single country in 2017, though that gap narrowed sharply, Pew points out. And seeing as the Trump administration set 2018's refugee ceiling at a record low of 45,000, the number of displaced refugees around the world will probably only continue to grow.