People move all the time. They move to be closer to family. They move for a new job. They move because there are better opportunities somewhere else. But did you know that millions of people must leave their homes and travel thousands of miles by land and sea to different countries because it is no longer safe for them to live at home? These people are called “refugees” and flee from their country because of war, poverty, natural disasters, and persecution. It might be hard to imagine, but it’s happening.
In the last few years, the two countries that have seen the greatest number of people leaving are Syria and Afghanistan. Refugees from these countries have primarily fled to Europe. Europe received over one million refugees in 2015, but around the world there are over 50 million people who are considered refugees. The map you see above highlights where people are fleeing from (also known as source countries) and what countries are receiving refugees (or host countries).