Where refugees in California are arriving from

Written by:
November 15, 2022
Canva

Where refugees in California are arriving from

Within five months after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in early February 2022, the U.S. admitted more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. Most of these refugees were admitted through a special program called humanitarian parole, which falls outside the scope of the data tracking carried out by the Refugee Processing Center. Humanitarian parole allows refugees who meet certain criteria to gain temporary legal status in the U.S. and applications are processed differently than traditional refugee resettlement applications.

During September 2022, the U.S. admitted most refugees from either the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burma (also referred to as Myanmar), or Syria, with about 60% of all refugees admitted hailing from one of those three countries. Each nation struggles with a unique set of circumstances that can make their citizens unsafe if they stay in their home country.

For the last three decades, the DRC has been struggling with a vast humanitarian crisis that has left millions of people displaced, both internally and externally, with many people fleeing to neighboring countries. Myanmar's sitting government is currently engaged in a war against its people and the country is expected to have approximately 1.2 million refugees seeking asylum by the end of 2022. Syria has seen nearly 7 million refugees leave the country since 2011 while a longstanding civil war rages and has displaced an additional nearly 7 million people internally.

Stacker referenced data from The Refugee Processing Center to compile statistics on the number of refugees and their countries of origin resettled in California in September 2022.

September refugee statistics
Countries where refugees arrived from in September
California
#1. Ukraine: 85
#2. Syria: 64
#3. Afghanistan: 54
#4. Moldova: 46
#5. Guatemala: 41
#6. Armenia: 14
#7. El Salvador: 12
#8. Iraq: 10
#9. Somalia: 9
#10. Iran: 8
#11. Honduras: 7
#12. Democratic Republic of the Congo: 6
#13. Burma: 3
#13. Eritrea: 3
#15. Belarus: 1

National
#1. Democratic Republic of the Congo: 2,181
#2. Burma: 658
#3. Syria: 493
#4. Afghanistan: 429
#5. Ukraine: 370

States that accepted the most refugees in September
#1. Texas: 489
#2. California: 363
#3. Washington: 328
#4. Ohio: 325
#5. Kentucky: 320

Read on to see the countries that California has accepted the most refugees from since October 2022

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hanohiki // Shutterstock

#1. Syria

Refugees that arrived from Syria since October 2022
California: 514

National: 4,556
Top states
#1. California: 514
#2. Michigan: 446
#3. Texas: 358
#4. Pennsylvania: 350
#5. New York: 316

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Ruslan Lytvyn // Shutterstock

#2. Ukraine

Refugees that arrived from Ukraine since October 2022
California: 353

National: 1,610
Top states
#1. Washington: 472
#2. California: 353
#3. New York: 112
#4. Pennsylvania: 73
#5. Oregon: 71

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Canva

#3. Afghanistan

Refugees that arrived from Afghanistan since October 2022
California: 270

National: 1,618
Top states
#1. California: 270
#2. Texas: 209
#3. Virginia: 201
#4. Colorado: 113
#5. Washington: 88

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Lauren Squire // Shutterstock

#4. Guatemala

Refugees that arrived from Guatemala since October 2022
California: 219

National: 1,085
Top states
#1. California: 219
#2. Texas: 121
#3. Florida: 67
#4. New Jersey: 64
#5. Pennsylvania: 58

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Sebastian Castelier // Shutterstock

#5. Armenia

Refugees that arrived from Armenia since October 2022
California: 187

National: 200
Top states
#1. California: 187
#2. Washington: 5
#3. Utah: 4
#4. Ohio: 3
#5. Maryland: 1

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JackKPhoto // Shutterstock

#6. Moldova

Refugees that arrived from Moldova since October 2022
California: 152

National: 507
Top states
#1. Washington: 153
#2. California: 152
#3. North Carolina: 34
#4. Florida: 27
#5. Minnesota: 25

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Kellys Portillo/APHOTOGRAFIA //Getty Images

#7. El Salvador

Refugees that arrived from El Salvador since October 2022
California: 122

National: 519
Top states
#1. California: 122
#2. Maryland: 86
#3. Texas: 43
#4. New York: 36
#5. North Carolina: 31

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Andrew V Marcus // Shutterstock

#8. Iran

Refugees that arrived from Iran since October 2022
California: 71

National: 255
Top states
#1. California: 71
#2. Texas: 42
#3. Washington: 17
#3. Georgia: 17
#5. Virginia: 16

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Focus and Blur // Shutterstock

#9. Iraq

Refugees that arrived from Iraq since October 2022
California: 65

National: 498
Top states
#1. Michigan: 96
#2. California: 65
#3. Texas: 51
#4. Arizona: 35
#5. New York: 31

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Katja Tsvetkova // Shutterstock

#10. Democratic Republic of the Congo

Refugees that arrived from Democratic Republic of the Congo since October 2022
California: 55

National: 7,810
Top states
#1. Kentucky: 919
#2. Texas: 719
#3. Ohio: 535
#4. Arizona: 419
#5. North Carolina: 371

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Chantal de Bruijne // Shutterstock

#11. Burma

Refugees that arrived from Burma since October 2022
California: 36

National: 2,156
Top states
#1. Wisconsin: 323
#2. New York: 218
#3. Texas: 212
#4. Indiana: 155
#5. Illinois: 148

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Matyas Rehak // Shutterstock

#12. Sudan

Refugees that arrived from Sudan since October 2022
California: 32

National: 1,669
Top states
#1. North Carolina: 132
#2. Texas: 107
#3. New York: 86
#4. Nebraska: 81
#5. Idaho: 80

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amnat30 // Shutterstock

#13. Honduras

Refugees that arrived from Honduras since October 2022
California: 29

National: 450
Top states
#1. Florida: 60
#2. Texas: 54
#3. Massachusetts: 31
#4. Virginia: 29
#4. California: 29

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Dave Primov // Shutterstock

#14. Somalia

Refugees that arrived from Somalia since October 2022
California: 15

National: 456
Top states
#1. Minnesota: 128
#2. Ohio: 49
#3. New York: 29
#4. Washington: 24
#5. Arizona: 21

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Dave Primov // Shutterstock

#15. Eritrea

Refugees that arrived from Eritrea since October 2022
California: 14

National: 325
Top states
#1. Georgia: 32
#2. Iowa: 30
#3. Arizona: 27
#4. Washington: 23
#5. Ohio: 20

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W_NAMKET // Shutterstock

#16. Pakistan

Refugees that arrived from Pakistan since October 2022
California: 10

National: 36
Top states
#1. California: 10
#2. New York: 7
#3. Ohio: 6
#4. Wisconsin: 3
#4. South Carolina: 3

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Vlad Karavaev // Shutterstock

#17. Uganda

Refugees that arrived from Uganda since October 2022
California: 8

National: 63
Top states
#1. California: 8
#2. Georgia: 7
#2. Tennessee: 7
#4. North Carolina: 5
#4. Colorado: 5

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Matyas Rehak // Shutterstock

#18. Colombia

Refugees that arrived from Colombia since October 2022
California: 7

National: 261
Top states
#1. Florida: 41
#2. New York: 31
#3. North Carolina: 26
#4. New Jersey: 20
#5. Pennsylvania: 17

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kateafter // Shutterstock

#18. Libya

Refugees that arrived from Libya since October 2022
California: 7

National: 7
Top states
#1. California: 7

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sandis sveicers // Shutterstock

#20. Central African Republic

Refugees that arrived from Central African Republic since October 2022
California: 5

National: 181
Top states
#1. North Carolina: 46
#2. Arizona: 28
#3. Georgia: 26
#4. Utah: 14
#5. Maryland: 11

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Stephen Butler // Shutterstock

#20. Palestine

Refugees that arrived from Palestine since October 2022
California: 5

National: 16
Top states
#1. Utah: 6
#2. California: 5
#3. New York: 4
#4. Michigan: 1

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YuryKara // Shutterstock

#22. Russia

Refugees that arrived from Russia since October 2022
California: 4

National: 19
Top states
#1. Washington: 13
#2. California: 4
#3. Ohio: 2

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LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images

#23. Venezuela

Refugees that arrived from Venezuela since October 2022
California: 3

National: 163
Top states
#1. Florida: 42
#2. Texas: 26
#3. Ohio: 15
#4. Georgia: 12
#5. Washington: 11

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