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Where refugees in South Carolina are arriving from

Written by:
June 10, 2024
Robsonphoto // Shutterstock

Where refugees in South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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 South Carolina:
#1. Venezuela: 28
#2. Nicaragua: 18
#3. Congo: 15
#4. Guatemala: 14
#5. Myanmar: 11
#6. Belarus: 9
#7. Somalia: 8
#8. Colombia: 6
#9. Moldova: 3
#9. Syria: 3
#9. Ukraine: 3
#12. Afghanistan: 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 South Carolina 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
1 / 28
hanohiki // Shutterstock

#1. Syria

Refugees that arrived from Syria since October 2023
To South Carolina: 199

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

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

#2. Congo

Refugees that arrived from Congo since October 2023
To South Carolina: 117

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

A horse-drawn taxi passes through a busy shopping area
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Chantal de Bruijne // Shutterstock

#3. Myanmar

Refugees that arrived from Myanmar since October 2023
To South Carolina: 80

To the U.S. as a whole: 4,653
Top states receiving refugees from Myanmar
#1. Texas: 542
#2. Illinois: 525
#3. New York: 455
#4. Georgia: 342
#5. Wisconsin: 286

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

#3. Guatemala

Refugees that arrived from Guatemala since October 2023
To South Carolina: 80

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

An aerial view of caracas, Venezuela.
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Canva

#5. Venezuela

Refugees that arrived from Venezuela since October 2023
To South Carolina: 73

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 carrying child to Lviv train station on snowy day
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Ruslan Lytvyn // Shutterstock

#6. Ukraine

Refugees that arrived from Ukraine since October 2023
To South Carolina: 39

To the U.S. as a whole: 1,223
Top states receiving refugees from Ukraine
#1. Washington: 467
#2. California: 201
#3. New York: 75
#4. Florida: 55
#5. Ohio: 54

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

#7. Afghanistan

Refugees that arrived from Afghanistan since October 2023
To South Carolina: 33

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

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

#8. Nicaragua

Refugees that arrived from Nicaragua since October 2023
To South Carolina: 28

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

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

#9. Republic of Congo

Refugees that arrived from Republic of Congo since October 2023
To South Carolina: 24

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

An aerial drone view of niarela Bakamo, Mali
10 / 28
Canva

#10. Mali

Refugees that arrived from Mali since October 2023
To South Carolina: 23

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

Group of children playing soccer on a rural road
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sandis sveicers // Shutterstock

#11. Central African Republic

Refugees that arrived from Central African Republic since October 2023
To South Carolina: 22

To the U.S. as a whole: 700
Top states receiving refugees from Central African Republic
#1. Missouri: 75
#2. Texas: 72
#3. Michigan: 55
#4. Georgia: 43
#5. Massachusetts: 38

Woman and child on busy market street of Copan
12 / 28
amnat30 // Shutterstock

#12. Honduras

Refugees that arrived from Honduras since October 2023
To South Carolina: 17

To the U.S. as a whole: 645
Top states receiving refugees from Honduras
#1. Texas: 111
#2. Florida: 85
#3. Georgia: 40
#4. California: 39
#5. New York: 36

People crossing a busy street near Moscow’s business center
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YuryKara // Shutterstock

#12. Russia

Refugees that arrived from Russia since October 2023
To South Carolina: 17

To the U.S. as a whole: 293
Top states receiving refugees from Russia
#1. Washington: 77
#2. California: 62
#3. Oregon: 24
#4. North Carolina: 22
#5. Minnesota: 20

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

#14. Pakistan

Refugees that arrived from Pakistan since October 2023
To South Carolina: 16

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

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

#14. Eritrea

Refugees that arrived from Eritrea since October 2023
To South Carolina: 16

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

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

#16. Colombia

Refugees that arrived from Colombia since October 2023
To South Carolina: 15

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

A panoramic view of Minsk, Belarus.
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karp5 // Shutterstock

#17. Belarus

Refugees that arrived from Belarus since October 2023
To South Carolina: 12

To the U.S. as a whole: 284
Top states receiving refugees from Belarus
#1. Washington: 70
#2. California: 50
#3. Massachusetts: 26
#4. New York: 25
#5. Pennsylvania: 22

People selling bananas at a street market in Huye
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Oscar Espinosa // Shutterstock

#17. Rwanda

Refugees that arrived from Rwanda since October 2023
To South Carolina: 12

To the U.S. as a whole: 201
Top states receiving refugees from Rwanda
#1. Texas: 49
#2. South Carolina: 12
#2. Kentucky: 12
#2. Arizona: 12
#5. North Carolina: 11

People shopping at Pieta Central market in Chisinau
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JackKPhoto // Shutterstock

#19. Moldova

Refugees that arrived from Moldova since October 2023
To South Carolina: 10

To the U.S. as a whole: 303
Top states receiving refugees from Moldova
#1. California: 97
#2. Washington: 94
#3. Florida: 18
#4. Minnesota: 17
#4. Oregon: 17

Many people on a dirt street in Shendi
20 / 28
Matyas Rehak // Shutterstock

#20. Sudan

Refugees that arrived from Sudan since October 2023
To South Carolina: 9

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

Muslim woman in hijab waking on streets of Hargeisa
21 / 28
Dave Primov // Shutterstock

#21. Somalia

Refugees that arrived from Somalia since October 2023
To South Carolina: 8

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

A distant view of Mount Victoria in Cameroon.
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Canva

#22. Cameroon

Refugees that arrived from Cameroon since October 2023
To South Carolina: 6

To the U.S. as a whole: 101
Top states receiving refugees from Cameroon
#1. Texas: 13
#1. Pennsylvania: 13
#3. Nevada: 8
#4. Maryland: 7
#4. California: 7

Armenian people emerge from a church in the city of Metsamore
23 / 28
Sebastian Castelier // Shutterstock

#23. Armenia

Refugees that arrived from Armenia since October 2023
To South Carolina: 5

To the U.S. as a whole: 206
Top states receiving refugees from Armenia
#1. California: 190
#2. Oregon: 5
#2. South Carolina: 5
#4. Ohio: 4
#5. Washington: 2

Women beside fishing boats on the beaches of Yoff
24 / 28
Salvador Aznar // Shutterstock

#23. Senegal

Refugees that arrived from Senegal since October 2023
To South Carolina: 5

To the U.S. as a whole: 57
Top states receiving refugees from Senegal
#1. Massachusetts: 15
#2. Georgia: 8
#2. Texas: 8
#4. South Carolina: 5
#5. Ohio: 4

Elevated view of Baghdad street scene
25 / 28
Focus and Blur // Shutterstock

#25. Iraq

Refugees that arrived from Iraq since October 2023
To South Carolina: 4

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

Aerial drone shot of Conakry, Guinea.
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Flightseeing-Germany // Shutterstock

#26. Guinea

Refugees that arrived from Guinea since October 2023
To South Carolina: 3

To the U.S. as a whole: 75
Top states receiving refugees from Guinea
#1. Colorado: 15
#2. Georgia: 9
#3. North Carolina: 7
#4. Arizona: 5
#4. Michigan: 5

Woman walking on busy street in Kampala with basket of mangos
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Vlad Karavaev // Shutterstock

#27. Uganda

Refugees that arrived from Uganda since October 2023
To South Carolina: 2

To the U.S. as a whole: 35
Top states receiving refugees from Uganda
#1. Massachusetts: 6
#1. Missouri: 6
#3. Ohio: 5
#4. Michigan: 4
#4. Washington: 4

An aerial view of El Salvador.
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Canva

#27. El Salvador

Refugees that arrived from El Salvador since October 2023
To South Carolina: 2

To the U.S. as a whole: 926
Top states receiving refugees from El Salvador
#1. Texas: 131
#2. California: 105
#2. Maryland: 105
#4. Virginia: 70
#5. North Carolina: 63

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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