Immigration

Top 10 Countries Refugees Came From to Arizona


Despite Governor Doug Ducey's intended ban on Syrian refugees, Arizona's actually been one of the friendliest states to refugees in the United States for the past 40 years.

Since 1975, 74,453 refugees have arrived in Arizona, according to the Arizona Refugee Resettlement Program. A 2010 article in the New York Times mentioned that the state has among the highest per capita refugee populations in the country: "Only three states accepted more refugees on a per capita basis over the past six years. Arizona took nearly twice as many refugees per capita as its liberal neighbor, California, and more than twice as many per capita as New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut."

Statistics from the state's resettlement program show that Arizona's share of refugees nationally doubled from 1995 to 1999, going from 1.9 percent of the national total to 3.7 percent. Since the mid-2000s, Arizona has taken in about 5 percent to 6 percent of the country's refugees. 

Here are the top 10 countries of origin for refugees who resettled in Arizona, by overall totals since 1975. (Country name followed by Arizona total of refugees, lowest to highest).


Further below, we've listed the latest stats since 2014.

(Source: Arizona Refugee Resettlement Program)




10) Afghanistan: 2,186


9) Democratic Republic of the Congo: 2,418


8) Sudan: 2,442

7) Bhutan: 2,933



6) Burma (Myanmar): 4,149



5) Somalia: 6,402

4) Cuba: 6,570


3) Bosnia: 6,803

2) Vietnam: 10,507



1. Iraq: 11,205


Notable mentions:



Iran: 1,853


Soviet Union: 1,865


Next: Countries of origin for most recent refugees resettled in Arizona — federal fiscal years 2014 and 2015 — followed by the number of refugees who came to Arizona in those years:


10) Syria and Iran: 134
(tie)

9) Burundi: 135


8) Eritrea: 156


7) Sudan: 167


6) Afghanistan: 369


5) Myanmar: 607


4) Cuba: 966


3) Democratic Republic of the Congo: 1,147


2) Somalia: 1,246


1) Iraq: 1,850





 

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern