About the Data
What is the difference between migrants, refugees and asylum applicants? Migrants are people who live outside their country of birth. Most migrants move voluntarily for reasons related to education, employment and family. However, some migrants move solely to avoid prosecution or punishment on religious or political grounds. These migrants are given refugee status by another country if their asylum application is successful. Hence, every refugee is a migrant, but not every migrant is a refugee.
This visualisation shows the latest data on migrants, refugees and asylum applicants around the world in 2015. The United Nations estimate that a total of 244 million international MIGRANTS lived outside their country of birth in 2015. 16.1 million of these are REFUGEES under UNHCR mandate who have been granted asylum by their host country. The refugees have already completed the process of applying for asylum, which often takes more than a year. A large share of those people who arrived in Europe in 2015 did not have refugee status at the end of 2015 because of the long processing time. The UNHCR estimates that more than 2 million first time ASYLUM APPLICATIONS were lodged in 2015.