Global HotSpots, Just The Facts

Refugee Crisis Compared: Syria Now, Vietnam Then

A comparison between United States and Germany: Who takes most refugees?

Credit: thomas koch


  • 10,000 refugees from Syria to enter US next year.
  • Germany is expecting 800,000 Syrian refugees this year.
  • Over 90% of Syrian refugees have gone no further than just across the border.

1. President Obama has announced plans to let 10,000 refugees from Syria into the United States next year.

2. By comparison, Germany is expecting some 800,000 new arrivals this year alone.

3. If the U.S. government were similarly generous with admissions, given the different population size, some 3.2 million refugees would have to enter the United States per year.

4. That would also come to about 10,000 people – but each and every day of the given year.

5. In the two decades following the United States’ withdrawal from Vietnam in 1975, three million people fled the Communist regimes of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

6. During an 18-month period beginning in January 1979, the world, led by the United States, resettled 450,000 Indochinese refugees, including the so-called “boat people.”

7. By the late 1990s, one million had begun new lives in the United States, 400,000 of whom were boat people. Large numbers of refugees went to France, Canada, Australia and other countries.

8. In another case of rapid arrivals, about 1,200 East German citizens a day streamed westwards in late 1989 and early 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

9. According to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, Syrian refugees account for 53% of the nearly 400,000 illegal arrivals by sea to Europe so far in 2015.

10. There are today over four million Syrian refugees worldwide. Over 90% have gone no further than just across the border.

11. Turkey hosts 1.9 million refugees, Lebanon 1.1 million — a quarter of the country’s population — and Jordan is home to 630,000 Syrians.

Data sources: UNHCR, Reuters, Handelsblatt

Tags: , , ,

Responses to “Refugee Crisis Compared: Syria Now, Vietnam Then”

If you would like to comment, please visit our Facebook page.