Canada Surpasses US in Global Refugee Resettlement

Vast majority coming from Middle East, Africa

Image Credits: Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Canada has assumed the leading global position for resettling refugees, taking a crown held by the United States since 1980, according to Pew Research.

The U.S. has outpaced the entire world – combined – in refugee resettlement since the passage of the Refugee Act of 1980.

However, in 2018, Canada surpassed the U.S. thanks to contrasting policies set forth by President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Canada resettled 28,000 refugees last year, similar to its total in 2017,” Pew Research reports. “Meanwhile, the U.S. resettled 23,000, down from 33,000 the previous year – and a recent high of 97,000 in 2016.”

“The sharp drop in U.S. refugee resettlement is in part due to the Trump administration’s decision to set a considerably lower cap on the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. than in previous years. In the U.S., the number of refugees admitted for resettlement is set by the president.”

Pew finds that the U.S. has resettled some three million refugees since 1980, while the next most generous countries, Canada and Australia, have respectively welcomed 658,000 and 486,000.

As Pew explains, “Resettled refugees do not enter their destination country until they have legal permission to do so, because they apply for refugee status while in another country. Refugees are referred by UNHCR and other nongovernmental organizations.”

Roughly half (47 percent) of globally resettled refugees in 2018 hailed from the Middle East, while 32 percent came from Africa.

In the U.S., fewer than 1 percent of refugees were resettled from the Middle East, while 51 percent came from Africa and 27 percent from Asia.



African migrants crossing into the U.S. and Europe have been found to be carrying large wads of cash.

Dan Lyman: