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

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


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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.