Refugee Statistics Australia [Fact Checked & Updated for 2023]


A refugee is someone who fled their home country due to persecution, war, or violence and is unable or unwilling to return due to a well-founded fear of persecution. As of December 2021, Australia had 189,556 refugees and asylum seekers, with Afghanistan, Syria, and Myanmar being the top three countries of origin. Of these, 56,336 refugees had been granted permanent protection visas. In 2020-2021, the Australian government resettled 3,000 refugees, mainly from Syria and Iraq. The statistics reveal an ongoing need for policies and programs to support refugees and asylum seekers in Australia.

What is the Current Status of Refugees in Australia?

What are the total number of refugees in Australia?

As of December 2021, there were 189,556 refugees and asylum seekers in Australia, according to the Australian government’s Department of Home Affairs (2022).

What are the main Origin countries of refugees in Australia?

The top three countries of origin for refugees in Australia are Afghanistan, Syria, and Myanmar. In the 2020-2021 financial year, 15,122 refugees arrived in Australia, with the largest number coming from Afghanistan (3,658), followed by Syria (2,324) and Myanmar (1,368).

Demographic data of refugees in Australia

As of December 2021, the largest age group of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia was 25-34 years old, accounting for 32.6% of the total population. Males and females were equally represented, with each accounting for 50% of the total population (Department of Home Affairs, 2022).

Refugee resettlement program in Australia

Australia has an annual humanitarian program that provides refugees with permanent resettlement. In 2020-2021, the program’s intake was 13,750, with a focus on refugees from Syria and Iraq (Department of Home Affairs, 2021).

What are the Challenges and Policies of Australian Refugee Program?

People seek asylum in Australia due to persecution based on political beliefs, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, as well as war, conflict, and environmental disasters.

Refugees in Australia face challenges such as social isolation, language barriers, unemployment, and mental health issues. COVID-19 has impacted refugees in Australia with job loss and reduced access to essential services.

Australia’s refugee policies include mandatory offshore detention, temporary protection visas, and strict border control measures, which have been criticized for their harshness and lack of compassion. The future outlook for refugee policies in Australia remains unclear, with critics calling for more support for refugees and asylum seekers.

Refugees, with their diverse skills and experiences, have the potential to make a significant contribution to the Australian economy in the long run. However, it is important to note that proper guidelines and support are necessary to ensure they can use their skills and contribute to society.

Refugees often bring skills and experiences that can fill skill gaps in the Australian workforce. Many refugees have professional qualifications, such as doctors, nurses, and engineers, which can be valuable to the Australian workforce. Additionally, many refugees have experience in entrepreneurship and small business, which can contribute to the economy.

In conclusion, refugees have the potential to make a positive impact on the Australian economy in the long run. However, it is important to provide them with the necessary support and resources to fully utilize their skills and overcome potential barriers. By doing so, refugees can contribute to the economy’s growth and benefit Australian society.


Immigration Detention and Community Statistics Summary 31 December 2022

Department of Home Affairs. Humanitarian program statistics of

Australian Human Rights Commission. (2019). Asylum seekers, refugees and human rights. Retrieved from

Refugee Council of Australia. (2021). Facts and figures. Retrieved from

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