US takes in fewer refugees than rest of the world for first time in more than 30 years

The US has taken in fewer refugees than the whole of the rest of the world for the first time in more than three decades.

After 1980, when the US adopted the Refugee Act, the country has taken in more refugees than every other country in the world put together.

But in 2017, the country only took in 33,000 refugees, compared with 69,000 resettled by the rest of the world, according to a Pew Research Centre analysis of data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

In 2016, when the US was still governed by the Obama administration, the country took in 97,000 refugees.

However, other countries also took in fewer refugees this year and the world as a whole resettled fewer refugees than in years past. But the decline in the US was the largest by far.

Meanwhile, the number of refugees increased worldwide by 2.75m, to a record of 19.9m, according to UNHCR.

The US has taken in 3m of the more than 4m refugees resettled worldwide since 1980. But this year, President Donald Trump capped the number of refugees that the US would take in at 45,000 – down more than half from Mr Obama’s limit of 110,000. He also implemented a travel ban on all visitors from seven different countries.

The president recently criticised Germany for taking in refugees who were fleeing conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, tweeting: “Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!” Crime in Germany is in fact at a 30-year low.

The number of refugees admitted into the US is on track to be historically low again this year, according to US State Department data analysed by Pew. According to the analysis, this year will likely see the number of Muslim refugees drop by more than any other group.

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Mr Trump’s travel ban mainly targets Muslim-majority countries – including Syria and Somalia, which were among the top five countries from which people sought refuge in 2017.

Mr Trump is reportedly considering slashing the quota for refugees even further next year. Former Trump administration officials told the Daily Beast that the president was considering capping the number of refugees between 20,000 and 25,000.

The US still resettled more refugees than any other country this year, though fewer per capita than countries like Canada, Australia and Norway.

Canada resettles the most refugees per capita, with 725 refugees per 1m residents. Australia resettled 618 refugees per every 1m residents, and Norway settled 528. The US resettled only 102 refugees per 1m residents.

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