The fiscal year in 2016 saw the United States accepted 84,995 refugees1, with most primarily coming from Africa and Asia. Among those admitted in 2016, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and Bhutan accounted for four of the top six countries for number of refugees.
As the civil war in Syria continues to moves into its sixth year, massive amounts of people of have been displaced. According to the United Nations, around 1 in 100 people worldwide are currently displaced; in Syria however, that figure jumps up to an unprecedented 6 in 10 people displaced2. While amount of Syrians admitted 2016 rose to 12,486 - a significant increase from the past year - the amount of Syrians displaced did so as well, which current figures thought to be around 12.5 million.
In the years since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the reverberations of that war and regional instability have combined to displace nearly 5 million people. Beyond the Syrian civil war spilling over into Iraq’s borders and sectarian violence, a crippled infrastructure has left 70% of Iraqis without access to clean water according to the World Health Organization4, leading to cholera outbreaks. In 2016, the United States admitted Iraqi 7,853 refugees.
In Somalia, civil war and rampant unemployment have lead over 2 million to leave the country over the past 25 years5. While most resettled in neighboring African countries, the United States has admitted 90,000 refugees in the years between 2001 and 2015, with nearly 7% of the global Somali population living in the U.S.
In Bhutan decades-long ethnic cleansing lead to hundreds of thousands to flee. The Lhotshampa - an ethnic Nepalese population in Bhutan - have face mass expulsion to the extent that 1/6th of its population was forced out6. Many of those who were left face the denial of citizenship and lack the ability to vote, have an identity card, or start a business. Education is likewise denied to the Lhotshampa. In 2016, the United States admitted 5,817 Bhutanese refugees.