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Where refugees in Rhode Island are arriving from

Written by:
June 10, 2024
Robsonphoto // Shutterstock

Where refugees in Rhode Island are arriving from

During the past five decades, the U.S. has resettled over 3 million refugees, making it one of the leading countries for finding new homes for people fleeing violence, persecution, and war.

In 2021, then-President Donald Trump lowered the annual cap of refugees that could be admitted into the country to 15,000. Even as the Biden administration has raised the ceiling to 125,000, the annual number of refugees arriving in the U.S. didn't immediately bounce back to pre-Trump administration levels. The numbers are increasing though, with over 25,000 refugees arriving in the U.S. in the 2022 fiscal year, twice the 2021 total.

Refugee arrivals during the 2023 fiscal year dramatically outpaced the prior two years, reaching over 60,000 from October 2022 to September 2023.

In May 2024, the greatest number of refugees admitted by the U.S. came from Congo, Afghanistan, and Venezuela. Each nation faces a unique set of circumstances that can make their citizens unsafe if they stay in their home country.

For the last three decades, Congo, also called the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been struggling with a series of civil wars and internal battles that have left millions of people displaced, both internally and externally, with many people fleeing to neighboring countries. Afghan refugees have been fleeing to neighboring countries for decades, especially to Pakistan and Iran, which combined host over 8 million Afghans. In Venezuela, over 7.5 million people have left the country due to extreme inflation, violence, food and medicine scarcity, and other factors. Most have resettled in Latin American and Caribbean countries.

Stacker referenced data from the Refugee Processing Center to compile statistics on the number of refugees and their countries of origin resettled in Rhode Island in May 2024. Countries with only one refugee since October 2023 are not included.

May refugee statistics
Countries where refugees arrived from in May
To Rhode Island:
#1. Syria: 10
#2. Nicaragua: 9
#3. Afghanistan: 5
#3. Venezuela: 5
#5. Eritrea: 4
#6. Congo: 2
#7. Cambodia: 1
#7. Colombia: 1
#7. Guatemala: 1

To the U.S. as a whole:
#1. Congo: 1,290
#2. Afghanistan: 1,111
#3. Venezuela: 937
#4. Somalia: 635
#5. Nicaragua: 584

States that accepted the most refugees in May:
#1. Texas: 653
#2. New York: 609
#3. California: 467
#4. Minnesota: 397
#5. Arizona: 369

Read on to see the countries that Rhode Island has accepted the most refugees from since the start of the fiscal year in October 2023.

People buying spices at a street market in Damascus
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hanohiki // Shutterstock

#1. Syria

Refugees that arrived from Syria since October 2023
To Rhode Island: 54

To the U.S. as a whole: 8,231
Top states receiving refugees from Syria
#1. New York: 838
#2. Michigan: 761
#3. Pennsylvania: 579
#4. Texas: 458
#5. California: 445

Afghan women in burkas pass by a man outside a market
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Canva

#2. Afghanistan

Refugees that arrived from Afghanistan since October 2023
To Rhode Island: 35

To the U.S. as a whole: 8,881
Top states receiving refugees from Afghanistan
#1. California: 1,819
#2. Texas: 898
#3. Virginia: 822
#4. Washington: 559
#5. New York: 424

Woman carries basket through street in Bukavu
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Katja Tsvetkova // Shutterstock

#3. Congo

Refugees that arrived from Congo since October 2023
To Rhode Island: 31

To the U.S. as a whole: 14,611
Top states receiving refugees from Congo
#1. Texas: 1,337
#2. Kentucky: 1,219
#3. Arizona: 1,020
#4. New York: 939
#5. Ohio: 924

Daily scene of tuktuks, street stalls and motorbikes in San Pedro
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Lauren Squire // Shutterstock

#4. Guatemala

Refugees that arrived from Guatemala since October 2023
To Rhode Island: 25

To the U.S. as a whole: 2,917
Top states receiving refugees from Guatemala
#1. California: 385
#2. Texas: 284
#3. Florida: 194
#4. North Carolina: 182
#5. New York: 133

People walking by a Cathedral in Granada, Nicaragua
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Milosz Maslanka // Shutterstock

#5. Nicaragua

Refugees that arrived from Nicaragua since October 2023
To Rhode Island: 19

To the U.S. as a whole: 1,662
Top states receiving refugees from Nicaragua
#1. Florida: 212
#2. California: 129
#3. Texas: 118
#4. Minnesota: 90
#5. Georgia: 75

An aerial view of caracas, Venezuela.
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Canva

#6. Venezuela

Refugees that arrived from Venezuela since October 2023
To Rhode Island: 17

To the U.S. as a whole: 4,453
Top states receiving refugees from Venezuela
#1. Florida: 787
#2. Texas: 630
#3. Illinois: 291
#4. Georgia: 210
#5. North Carolina: 173

Woman crossing road by Medlar Market in Asmara
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Dave Primov // Shutterstock

#7. Eritrea

Refugees that arrived from Eritrea since October 2023
To Rhode Island: 10

To the U.S. as a whole: 1,543
Top states receiving refugees from Eritrea
#1. Texas: 157
#2. Washington: 143
#3. North Carolina: 104
#4. Ohio: 97
#5. lowa: 91

Burundian people gather at an outside market
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Rostasedlacek // Shutterstock

#7. Burundi

Refugees that arrived from Burundi since October 2023
To Rhode Island: 10

To the U.S. as a whole: 459
Top states receiving refugees from Burundi
#1. Texas: 54
#2. Arizona: 49
#3. New York: 41
#4. Pennsylvania: 37
#5. Nebraska: 27

Many people on a dirt street in Shendi
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Matyas Rehak // Shutterstock

#7. Sudan

Refugees that arrived from Sudan since October 2023
To Rhode Island: 10

To the U.S. as a whole: 1,423
Top states receiving refugees from Sudan
#1. New York: 123
#2. Texas: 112
#3. Pennsylvania: 95
#4. Ohio: 94
#5. Missouri: 90

Men gathered in the streets with motorcycles in Juba
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punghi // Shutterstock

#10. Republic of South Sudan

Refugees that arrived from Republic of South Sudan since October 2023
To Rhode Island: 7

To the U.S. as a whole: 925
Top states receiving refugees from Republic of South Sudan
#1. Texas: 94
#2. Nebraska: 82
#3. Colorado: 66
#3. Arizona: 66
#5. New York: 61

Cars, people and mopeds on the streets of Kinshasa.
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Katja Tsvetkova // Shutterstock

#11. Republic of Congo

Refugees that arrived from Republic of Congo since October 2023
To Rhode Island: 4

To the U.S. as a whole: 338
Top states receiving refugees from Republic of Congo
#1. Missouri: 32
#2. Pennsylvania: 28
#3. New York: 25
#3. Illinois: 25
#5. South Carolina: 24

People walking through the Chitta Gate in the old town area of Lahore
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W_NAMKET // Shutterstock

#11. Pakistan

Refugees that arrived from Pakistan since October 2023
To Rhode Island: 4

To the U.S. as a whole: 637
Top states receiving refugees from Pakistan
#1. Pennsylvania: 101
#2. Texas: 61
#3. Virginia: 57
#4. North Carolina: 46
#5. New York: 41

Muslim woman in hijab waking on streets of Hargeisa
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Dave Primov // Shutterstock

#11. Somalia

Refugees that arrived from Somalia since October 2023
To Rhode Island: 4

To the U.S. as a whole: 2,781
Top states receiving refugees from Somalia
#1. Minnesota: 895
#2. Ohio: 194
#3. New York: 163
#4. Arizona: 142
#5. Missouri: 140

An aerial drone view of niarela Bakamo, Mali
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Canva

#14. Mali

Refugees that arrived from Mali since October 2023
To Rhode Island: 3

To the U.S. as a whole: 165
Top states receiving refugees from Mali
#1. Pennsylvania: 27
#2. New York: 24
#3. South Carolina: 23
#4. Connecticut: 13
#4. Michigan: 13

Pedestrians on a street in Bogota, Columbia
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Matyas Rehak // Shutterstock

#14. Colombia

Refugees that arrived from Colombia since October 2023
To Rhode Island: 3

To the U.S. as a whole: 871
Top states receiving refugees from Colombia
#1. Florida: 114
#2. North Carolina: 82
#3. Texas: 71
#4. New York: 64
#5. Washington: 59

People on a busy street in Phnom Penh
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aleksander hunta // Shutterstock

#14. Cambodia

Refugees that arrived from Cambodia since October 2023
To Rhode Island: 3

To the U.S. as a whole: 35
Top states receiving refugees from Cambodia
#1. Texas: 14
#2. North Carolina: 6
#3. California: 5
#4. Maine: 3
#4. Rhode Island: 3

Elevated view of Baghdad street scene
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Focus and Blur // Shutterstock

#14. Iraq

Refugees that arrived from Iraq since October 2023
To Rhode Island: 3

To the U.S. as a whole: 1,119
Top states receiving refugees from Iraq
#1. California: 179
#2. Michigan: 137
#3. Texas: 90
#4. Nebraska: 64
#5. Washington: 57

People walking on the street in Aksum
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Artush // Shutterstock

#18. Ethiopia

Refugees that arrived from Ethiopia since October 2023
To Rhode Island: 2

To the U.S. as a whole: 328
Top states receiving refugees from Ethiopia
#1. Minnesota: 95
#2. Texas: 30
#3. Washington: 28
#4. Georgia: 25
#4. Ohio: 25

This story features data reporting and writing by Emma Rubin and is part of a series utilizing data automation across 46 states.

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