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Where refugees in South Dakota are arriving from

Written by:
June 10, 2024
Robsonphoto // Shutterstock

Where refugees in South Dakota 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 Dakota 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 Dakota:
#1. Congo: 8
#2. Afghanistan: 7
#3. Central African Republic: 6
#4. Guatemala: 5
#4. Nicaragua: 5
#6. Eritrea: 2
#7. Somalia: 1
#7. Sudan: 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 Dakota has accepted the most refugees from since the start of the fiscal year in October 2023.

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

#1. Congo

Refugees that arrived from Congo since October 2023
To South Dakota: 76

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

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

#2. Sudan

Refugees that arrived from Sudan since October 2023
To South Dakota: 28

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

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

#3. Eritrea

Refugees that arrived from Eritrea since October 2023
To South Dakota: 24

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

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

#4. Myanmar

Refugees that arrived from Myanmar since October 2023
To South Dakota: 23

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

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

#4. Somalia

Refugees that arrived from Somalia since October 2023
To South Dakota: 23

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

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

#6. Central African Republic

Refugees that arrived from Central African Republic since October 2023
To South Dakota: 19

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

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 Dakota: 12

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

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

#7. Guatemala

Refugees that arrived from Guatemala since October 2023
To South Dakota: 12

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

#9. Nicaragua

Refugees that arrived from Nicaragua since October 2023
To South Dakota: 7

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

#9. Venezuela

Refugees that arrived from Venezuela since October 2023
To South Dakota: 7

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

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 South Dakota: 5

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

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

#11. Ukraine

Refugees that arrived from Ukraine since October 2023
To South Dakota: 5

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

Burundian people gather at an outside market
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Rostasedlacek // Shutterstock

#13. Burundi

Refugees that arrived from Burundi since October 2023
To South Dakota: 3

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

People walking on the street in Aksum
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Artush // Shutterstock

#13. Ethiopia

Refugees that arrived from Ethiopia since October 2023
To South Dakota: 3

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

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

#13. Rwanda

Refugees that arrived from Rwanda since October 2023
To South Dakota: 3

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

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

#16. Republic of South Sudan

Refugees that arrived from Republic of South Sudan since October 2023
To South Dakota: 2

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

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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