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A Refugee Burden Index: methodology and its application

Mathias Czaika


Many developing as well as developed countries provide temporary asylum to a large population of refugees and most of these host countries proclaim to be over-burdened. The effective burden a country has to shoulder is difficult to determine because it basically requests more to consider than just the absolute number of hosted refugees. This paper provides a methodology that makes refugee burdens more comparable on a cross-country basis. Taking into account different aspects of a host country’s capacity we provide a Refugee Burden Index that is based on proxy indicators representing the economic, socio-demographic, and politico-institutional environment. This methodology is applied on a sample of 174 countries revealing the extent of a globally and regionally highly unequal refugee burden-sharing pattern.


refugee burden; asylum provision

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