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New analysis shows states that have taken in the most refugees in the past decade

  • Fishman64 // Shutterstock
    1/ Fishman64 // Shutterstock

    New analysis shows states that have taken in the most refugees in the past decade

    For centuries, America has been seen as a land of opportunity by immigrants worldwide.  The country is traditionally lauded as a great melting pot, where individuals from anywhere can become successful as long as they use their talents and persevere.  This perception has led to the U.S. becoming a haven for refugees facing strife in their home nations, from victims of the Irish potato famines in the 1840s to victims of wars in the Middle East in the present day.  However, refugee policies differ greatly from one state to the next; larger states and those on the coasts, such as California and New York, have infrastructure, education, and social climates that will support incoming refugees, while others may not be so welcoming.

    This article traces which states have taken in the most refugees in the past decade, using data compiled by the Associated Press from the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.  By “taking in,” we are referring to state-sponsored resettlement, defined by the United Nations as a process in which governments select the “most vulnerable refugees” who are no longer safe in their home country and allow these refugees entry into their nations. Resettlement is a long, complex process, including receiving legal refugee status from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, applying for referral to the U.S., and becoming matched with an American resettlement organization, which places refugees (usually in family groups) and provides them with aid.

    Stacker has taken the AP’s dataset to rank all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, by their total refugees admitted between October 1, 2008 and March 15, 2018.  Click through the slides to find out how your state ranks on the list, as well as how the average number from 2008 to 2017 compares to the number of refugees admitted in the 2018 fiscal year so far (October 2017 to March 2018), and the top countries of origin for those people.  Overall, refugee admissions have dropped significantly in the past two years, particularly for those from Iraq, Somalia, and Syria, due to policies put in place by the Trump administration.  Still, many state and local governments and activist organizations are fighting to keep the dream of America as a refugee haven alive.

  • U.S. Army photo/Brandon Quester
    2/ U.S. Army photo/Brandon Quester

    #52. Wyoming

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 1 (0.1 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 0

    Top country of origin for admitted refugees: Somalia (1)

  • U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Dennis Flora
    3/ U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Dennis Flora

    #51. Puerto Rico

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 10 (1.1 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 0

    Top country of origin for admitted refugees: Cuba (10)

  • U.S. photo provided by 15 WG historian office
    4/ U.S. photo provided by 15 WG historian office

    #50. Hawaii

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 28 (3.1 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 0

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Burma (14), Iraq (4), Russia (4), Vietnam (4)

  • Ben Schumin // Wikimedia Commons
    5/ Ben Schumin // Wikimedia Commons

    #49. Delaware

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 68 (6.3 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 11

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Burma (27), Iran (8), Iraq (7), Pakistan (5)

  • U.S. Coast Guard
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    #48. Mississippi

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 90 (9.8 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 2

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Afghanistan (22), Burma (18), Eritrea (18), Dem. Rep. Congo (12)

  • PJ Johnson // Flickr
    7/ PJ Johnson // Flickr

    #47. Montana

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 156 (14.1 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 29

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Eritrea (78), Dem. Rep. Congo (38), Iraq (20), Syria (13)

  • Air Force Photo by Maj. Keith Moore, Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs, Arkansas Air National Guard
    8/ Air Force Photo by Maj. Keith Moore, Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs, Arkansas Air National Guard

    #46. Arkansas

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 161 (17.7 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 2

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Iraq (48), Burma (44), Dem. Rep. Congo (29), El Salvador (15)

  • Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
    9/ Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

    #45. District of Columbia

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 184 (20.3 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 1

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Iraq (98), Eritrea (34), Dem. Rep. Congo (12), Ethiopia (8)

  • Tim Kiser // Wikimedia Commons
    10/ Tim Kiser // Wikimedia Commons

    #44. West Virginia

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 185 (20.4 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 1

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Iraq (70), Burma (54), Eritrea (42), Iran (8)

  • U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kirsten Wicker/Released
    11/ U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kirsten Wicker/Released

    #43. Alaska

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 1,011 (110.4 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 17

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Somalia (294), Ukraine (148), Sudan (137), Dem. Rep. Congo (96)

  • Ken Lund // Flickr
    12/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #42. Alabama

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 1,112 (122.7 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 8

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Iraq (380), Somalia (175), Dem. Rep. Congo (152), Cuba (74)

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    #41. South Carolina

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 1,650 (180.3 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 27

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Burma (602), Iraq (232), Dem. Rep. Congo (208), Ukraine (174)

  • Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikimedia Commons
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    #40. Rhode Island

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 1,822 (197.9 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 41

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Bhutan (283), Dem. Rep. Congo (281), Burma (228), Somalia (205)

  • Chyeburashka // Wikimedia Commons
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    #39. New Mexico

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 1,904 (209.0 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 23

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Iraq (455), Dem. Rep. Congo (316), Afghanistan (189), Cuba (183)

  • Ken Lund // Flickr
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    #38. Louisiana

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 2,005 (221.1 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 15

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Burma (598), Iraq (497), Cuba (233), Dem. Rep. Congo (138)

  • Mike Goad // Flickr
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    #37. Oklahoma

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 2,911 (318.6 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 44

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Burma (2,311), Iraq (260), Eritrea (62), Russia (57)

  • Daniel Case // Wikimedia Commons
    18/ Daniel Case // Wikimedia Commons

    #36. Vermont

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 2,983 (323.8 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 69

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Bhutan (1,919), Somalia (379), Burma (231), Dem. Rep. Congo (213)

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    #35. Maine

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 3,041 (335.6 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 21

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Somalia (1,276), Iraq (1,060), Dem. Rep. Congo (298), Syria (77)

  • Jared C. Benedict // Wikimedia Commons
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    #34. New Hampshire

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 4,084 (445.3 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 76

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Bhutan (2,030), Dem. Rep. Congo (850), Iraq (447), Burma (335)

  • U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brittany Y. Bateman
    21/ U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brittany Y. Bateman

    #33. North Dakota

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 4,465 (481.3 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 133

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Bhutan (2,324), Iraq (782), Somalia (659), Dem. Rep. Congo (336)

  • U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Elizabeth De Jesus
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    #32. South Dakota

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 4,615 (500.8 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 108

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Bhutan (1,482), Burma (1,144), Somalia (599), Eritrea (435)

  • Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikimedia Commons
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    #31. Connecticut

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 4,624 (510.6 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 29

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Iraq (965), Dem. Rep. Congo (710), Burma (616), Somalia (529)

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    #30. New Jersey

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 4,635 (511.1 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 35

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Cuba (1,078), Burma (1,018), Iraq (733), Syria (547)

  • Wikimedia Commons (public domain)
    25/ Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

    #29. Kansas

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 4,670 (507.6 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 102

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Burma (1,764), Dem. Rep. Congo (735), Bhutan (630), Somalia (455)

  • U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Young
    26/ U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Young

    #28. Nevada

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 4,989 (545.6 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 79

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Cuba (1,051), Dem. Rep. Congo (700), Iraq (629), Eritrea (522)

  • Phil Roeder // Flickr
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    #27. Iowa

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 5,954 (639.1 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 202

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Burma (2,484), Bhutan (1,048), Dem. Rep. Congo (598), Iraq (560)

  • Famartin // Wikimedia Commons
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    #26. Idaho

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 8,531 (935.3 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 113

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Dem. Rep. Congo (1,748), Bhutan (1,381), Burma (1,360), Iraq (1,342)

  • Edmund Garman // Flickr
    29/ Edmund Garman // Flickr

    #25. Oregon

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 8,627 (936.1 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 202

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Iraq (1,560), Burma (1,522), Somalia (1,477), Ukraine (1,050)

  • Dori // Wikimedia Commons
    30/ Dori // Wikimedia Commons

    #24. Wisconsin

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 9,188 (1,002.9 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 162

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Burma (5,072), Iraq (1,193), Somalia (1,083), Dem. Rep. Congo (542)

  • Molly Watters // National Park Service
    31/ Molly Watters // National Park Service

    #23. Nebraska

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 9,239 (1,004.9 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 195

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Burma (4,308), Bhutan (1,657), Iraq (1,377), Somalia (524)

  • U.S. Department of State
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    #22. Utah

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 9,558 (1,049.1 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 116

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Somalia (1,825), Burma (1,750), Iraq (1,692), Bhutan (1,378)

  • MrHarman // Wikimedia Commons
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    #21. Indiana

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 9,604 (1,042.3 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 223

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Burma (6,714), Dem. Rep. Congo (749), Iraq (527), Somalia (405)

  • U.S. Department of State
    34/ U.S. Department of State

    #20. Maryland

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 11,401 (1,245.8 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 189

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Burma (2,892), Bhutan (1,877), Iraq (1,514), Eritrea (1,054)

  • Paul Sableman // Flickr
    35/ Paul Sableman // Flickr

    #19. Missouri

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 12,197 (1,334.0 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 191

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Somalia (2,416), Burma (2,127), Iraq (1,887), Dem. Rep. Congo (1,547)

  • Famartin // Wikimedia Commons
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    #18. Virginia

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 12,817 (1,406.6 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 158

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Iraq (3,994), Bhutan (2,800), Dem. Rep. Congo (901), Burma (900)

  • Rdikeman // Wikimedia Commons
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    #17. Tennessee

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 13,300 (1,459.4 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 165

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Iraq (2,919), Burma (2,840), Bhutan (1,949), Somalia (1,805)

  • Mr.schultz // Wikimedia Commons
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    #16. Colorado

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 15,016 (1,649.1 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 174

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Burma (3,976), Bhutan (3,229), Iraq (2,077), Somalia (1,697)

  • U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Julie Avey
    39/ U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Julie Avey

    #15. Massachusetts

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 15,191 (1,664.4 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 211

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Iraq (4,410), Bhutan (3,114), Somalia (1,991), Burma (1,447)

  • U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Dennis Flora
    40/ U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Dennis Flora

    #14. Kentucky

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 16,242 (1,775.7 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 261

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Burma (3,866), Bhutan (2,571), Dem. Rep. Congo (2,558), Iraq (2,432)

  • Fibonacci Blue // Flickr
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    #13. Minnesota

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 17,968 (1,963.9 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 293

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Somalia (6,736), Burma (6,467), Bhutan (1,143), Iraq (1,099)

  • Ken Lund // Flickr
    42/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #12. North Carolina

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 21,767 (2,375.6 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 387

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Burma (6,801), Bhutan (3,413), Dem. Rep. Congo (2,504), Iraq (1,944)

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    #11. Illinois

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 21,947 (2,403.0 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 320

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Iraq (6,891), Burma (5,739), Bhutan (2,537), Dem. Rep. Congo (1,549)

  • Pixabay
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    #10. Ohio

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 23,937 (2,571.6 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 793

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Bhutan (9,392), Somalia (3,511), Iraq (2,997), Dem. Rep. Congo (2,108)

  • Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons
    45/ Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons

    #9. Washington

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 24,169 (2,618.3 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 604

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Iraq (4,217), Burma (4,090), Ukraine (3,725), Somalia (2,809)

  • Brian Donovan // Flickr
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    #8. Pennsylvania

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 24,431 (2,660.4 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 487

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Bhutan (10,281), Burma (3,158), Iraq (2,600), Dem. Rep. Congo (2,118)

  • Gulbenk // Wikimedia Commons
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    #7. Georgia

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 25,172 (2,759.3 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 338

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Burma (6,885), Bhutan (5,636), Somalia (2,253), Iraq (2,204)

  • Melvin "Buddy" Baker // Flickr
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    #6. Florida

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 26,959 (2,969.7 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 232

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Cuba (13,402), Burma (3,736), Iraq (2,687), Dem. Rep. Congo (1,660)

  • Public Domain
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    #5. Michigan

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 27,906 (3,065.3 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 318

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Iraq (14,083), Burma (4,118), Syria (2,251), Bhutan (2,058)

  • Clay Gilliland // Flickr
    50/ Clay Gilliland // Flickr

    #4. Arizona

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 28,028 (3,069.4 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 403

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Iraq (7,083), Dem. Rep. Congo (4,072), Somalia (3,952), Burma (3,781)

  • Public Domain
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    #3. New York

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 36,856 (4,027.9 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 605

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Burma (10,607), Bhutan (7,381), Somalia (4,624), Iraq (4,022)

  • manhhai // Flickr
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    #2. California

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 51,423 (5,648.4 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 587

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Iraq (17,846), Iran (14,009), Burma (2,862), Ukraine (2,463)

  • Stuart Seeger // Flickr
    53/ Stuart Seeger // Flickr

    #1. Texas

    Total refugees admitted from 2009 to 2018: 63,108 (6,936.6 per year)

    Refugees admitted to date for 2018 fiscal year: 679

    Top countries of origin for admitted refugees: Burma (19,662), Iraq (13,256), Bhutan (7,930), Dem. Rep. Congo (5,917)

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