One of the details lost in the current debate over refugee resettlement in the United States is where those refugees come from.

The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) manages the process of integrating refugees into the United States — as well as asylum seekers, holders of special immigrant visas and those entering the country under certain conditions from Cuba and Haiti. In 2015, the most recent year for which data are available, the most common countries of origin for people being served by the ORR were:

  1. Cuba
  2. Burma (also known as Myanmar)
  3. Iraq
  4. Somalia
  5. Afghanistan
  6. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  7. Bhutan
  8. Iran
  9. Syria
  10. Eritrea

The number of people being served from Cuba is far larger than from the other countries, by a wide margin. But the countries that may be targeted by President Trump’s limitations on new entries — Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia — were not all common points of origin two years ago. (More recent numbers might look different: The number of refugees from Syria increased substantially in 2016, for example.)


Where these displaced people end up varies, as well. In Florida, the vast majority of those served by ORR come from Cuba, understandably. In other states, the composition of the populations is far more diverse; California, for example, is home to populations from 82 different countries.

We created an interactive map showing the countries of origin for each of the populations served by the ORR in 2015. Those countries on Trump’s apparent restricted-entry list are indicated with blue lines. Hover over a line to see how large each population is.

The picture is more complicated than you may have thought.