This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Friday, January 13, 2017

18,000 Syrian Refugees Have Been Resettled in the US

The Migration Policy Institute in Washington, DC, has just put out a nice summary of data about the Syrian refugees who have been resettled in the U.S. since the civil war began in Syria in 2011. Authors Jie Zong and Jeanne Batalova note that a total of 18,000 refugees have been allowed in thus far, out of an estimated 4.9 million registered Syrian refugees.
...the vast majority are in first-asylum countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq; only a fraction are likely to ever be permanently resettled. Facing dim resettlement prospects and eager to establish new lives, nearly 900,000 Syrians have headed to Europe and filed asylum claims there since the war began.
Beyond the United States, a small number of countries have accepted Syrian refugees through their resettlement programs, most notably Canada, which took in close to 40,000 Syrians between November 2015 and December 2016. Since 2013, Germany has admitted about 41,000 displaced Syrians who were living in Syria or a first-asylum country in the region via a humanitarian admissions program.
California, Michigan, and Texas are the states that have taken in the greatest number of Syrians, and my own metropolitan area of San Diego leads the list, as you can see from the table below:

Perhaps not surprisingly, the list of metro areas for Syrian refugees is not too dissimilar from the geographic pattern of Iraqi refugees. Indeed, a recent article in the San Diego Union-Tribune noted that:
Nationwide, the largest group of refugees in the new fiscal year has come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the state department. In San Diego County, the biggest group is from Iraq, according to county data. Arrivals from Syria and Afghanistan round out the top three for the county, and those from the Democratic Republic of Congo are the fourth largest arriving group.
What? The largest group of refugees into the US last year was from the Democratic Republic of Congo? And how often does that country make the news headlines? 

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