Mapping The Top States For Resettling Refugees In 2016

The Obama administration admitted nearly 85,000 refugees into the United States in fiscal year 2016, the highest number since 1999.  Moreover, as we noted back in September, Obama's administration has laid the groundwork to increase that number even further in fiscal year 2017 to 110,000 (see "Hillbama Administration Plans To Admit At Least 110,000 Refugees In 2017"). 

Of course, not every state is doing their "fair share" to house the massive influx of immigrants with Pew Research Center recently pointing out that the top ten states are taking in 54% of refugees.

Infographic: The Top U.S. States For Refugee Resettlement In 2016 | Statista

 

As Pew points notes, California, Texas and New York alone resettled 24% of incoming refugees while Nebraska took in the most on a per capita basis.

California, Texas and New York resettled the most refugees in fiscal 2016 (which began on Oct. 1, 2015, and ended Sept. 30, 2016), together taking in 20,738 refugees, or about a quarter (24%) of the U.S. total. Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, North Carolina, Washington, Pennsylvania and Illinois, which each received 3,000 or more refugees, rounded out the top 10 states by number of resettled refugees. Overall, 54% of refugees admitted to the U.S. in 2016 were resettled in one of these 10 states.

 

At the other end of the spectrum, some states and the District of Columbia took in few or no refugees in fiscal 2016. Arkansas, the District of Columbia and Wyoming resettled fewer than 10 refugees each, while two states – Delaware and Hawaii – took in none.

 

In fiscal 2016, Nebraska (76), North Dakota (71) and Idaho (69) resettled the most refugees per 100,000 residents. Other states like Vermont (62), Arizona (60) and Kentucky (54) far exceeded the U.S. national average of 26 refugees per 100,000 residents.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Republic of the Congo was the top country of origin for refugees resettled in the U.S. in 2016 while Syria was a close second.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (16,370) was the top origin country among refugees resettled in 2016. Some 10% were resettled in Texas, 7% in Arizona and 6% in both New York and North Carolina.

 

However, Syrian refugees – the second-largest origin group with 12,587 resettled in fiscal 2016 – have garnered more attention from state leaders, with 31 governors opposing this group’s resettlement in their states. Even so, resettlement patterns of Syrian refugees across the states are similar to the national average. California had the largest number (1,450) of resettled Syrian refugees in fiscal 2016, followed by Michigan (1,374) and Texas (912).

And while the Obama administration has announced plans to admit even more refugees in 2017, we suspect president-elect Trump may have other ideas.

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