Twenty-sixteen was a record-breaking year–and not in a good way. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the total number of forcibly displaced people (a term that refers to people displaced within their own countries and those who have crossed borders) worldwide reached a staggering 65.6 million. That’s one out of every 113 individuals on the planet. The number of refugees hit 22.5 million, 17 million of whom are the registered with the UNHCR.
To recognize World Refugee Day, which took place June 20, the social impact design agency Hyperakt and designer Ekene Ijeoma updated The Refugee Project, an interactive infographic tracing where the world displaced people originate and where they end up. It’s a potent visual showing the sweeping instability of global politics and its effects on virtually every country on the planet.
At the end of 2016, there were 300,000 more displaced people than there were at the end of 2015. The biggest factors contributing to the increase were the collapse of peace efforts in South Sudan, the fall of Aleppo, and the persecution of the Rohingya (an ethnic group of Muslim faith) in Myanmar.
When Hyperakt and Ijeoma first released the infographic in 2014, their goal was to raise awareness about the refugee crisis, offer some insight into why it’s happening, and spark compassion. That’s still the mission today and it’s perhaps even more urgent considering that extremism, nationalism, and xenophobia show no signs of waning in the wake of Brexit, Trump’s Muslim ban, and terrorist act after terrorist act.
Visit The Refugee Project to explore the new data.