Jun 20, 2019 – Canada became the world leader in resettling refugees in 2018 after surpassing the U.S. for the first time, according to Pew Research Centre analysis of U.N. data.
Canada resettled 28,000 refugees in 2018, compared to the 23,000 taken in south of the border.
The result is a reflection of the dramatic drop in the number of refugees settled in the U.S., more than an increase in the number welcomed by Canada.
The U.S. figure for 2018 is down from the 97,000 refugees it resettled in 2016, a year when Canada also resettled 47,000 mainly-Syrian refugees.
Historically, the U.S. has resettled more refugees than the rest of the world combined.
But those numbers were reversed for the first time in 2017, and the trend continued in 2018.
Compared to the 23,000 refugees resettled in the U.S. in 2018, there were 69,000 resettled by the rest of the world.
The figures show how attitudes towards refugees have shifted under the administration of current U.S. President Donald Trump.
Trump moved to impose a considerably lower cap on refugees than in previous years. Under the U.S. constitution, the president sets the number of refugees allowed into the country each year.
Overall in 2018, the total refugees resettled worldwide dropped to 92,000, down from a modern-era peak of 189,000 in 2016. This decrease came despite an increase in the total population of refugees to 20.4 million, U.N. figures show.
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Canada’s position as the world leader is strengthened by figures on the number of refugees resettled per capita.
Canada resettled 756 refugees per million residents in 2018, compared to the U.S. figure of just 70 per million residents.
Other countries to significantly eclipse the U.S include Australia (510 per million residents), Sweden (493) and Norway (465).
The source countries of refugees were also dramatically different in 2018.
Refugees from the Middle East – mainly Syria and Iraq – made up 55 per cent of those resettled in Canada, compared to just one per cent in the U.S. This comes down to the imposition of regional caps under the Trump administration.
In the U.K., 85 per cent of those resettled were from the Middle East, and Australia recorded a figure of 49 per cent.
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