A Refugee Record

The UN says 65.3 million people were displaced last year by conflict and persecution, a new high.

Umit Bektas / Reuters

One person in 113 was displaced from her home in 2015 by conflict and persecution and is now an asylum-seeker, internally displaced or a refugee, the UN refugee agency says Monday in a new report. In all, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees says in its Global Trends report, 65.3 million people were displaced last year, a new record.

Here’s more from the agency:

To put it in perspective, the tally is greater than the population of the United Kingdom – or of Canada, Australia and New Zealand combined. It is made up of 3.2 million people in industrialized countries who, at the end of 2015, were awaiting decisions on asylum – the largest total UNHCR has ever recorded.

Also in the tally are a record 40.8 million people who had been forced to flee their homes but were within the confines of their own countries, another record for the UN Refugee Agency. And there are 21.3 million refugees.

The annual report found Syria, which produced 4.9 million refugees, Afghanistan, which produced 2.7 million, and Somalia, which produced 1.1 million, together accounted for half the world’s refugees. Colombia with 6.9 million people, Syria with 6.6 million, and Iraq with 4.4 million had the largest numbers of internally displaced people, the report said.

The report comes as the world is focused on Europe, which is grappling with its worst refugee crisis since World War II. But the UN agency pointed out that 86 percent of refugees now live in low- and middle-income countries, such as Turkey, the biggest host country for refugees, and Lebanon, where there is nearly one refugee for every five citizens.

Full report here.