Mapping the flow of asylum seekers to the industrialized world
February 17, 2017 1:51 PM   Subscribe

Mapping the flow of asylum seekers to the industrialized world
This map shows the flow of asylum seekers into industrialized countries between 2013 and 2016. The vertical bars represent a cumulative count of the total asylum applications. Germany leads with way with 1.4 million, followed by the U.S. with 460k.

There is so much talk lately about the refugee crisis regarding immigration policy, but it occurred to me that I actually know very little about what the situation really is. So I created this map. It shows the flow of the world's asylum seekers. The map does not cover the full refugee crisis (actually, the majority of the worlds refugees are in developing countries), but it does give some context for understanding it: where they're coming from, how our peers in the industrialized world are responding, how the scale of the crisis has evolved over time.

So there is no misinterpretation, this map shows only asylum seekers -- displaced people who have formally submitted an application for asylum (at which point they would become a refugee). Most developing countries do not have such a formalized process for granting asylum. Refugees in these countries (the majority) never qualified as "asylum seekers," but went straight to being considered refugees.

All questions, debate, critiques are welcome.
Role: Creator
posted by mgalka (2 comments total)

An informative visualization! Some thoughts, in no particular order:

* Would be nice to have a movable timeline, be able to pause and continue, or at least to display the month as well as the year during the animation. It was a little hard to get a sense of how quickly time was passing.

* Could you also have columns for the asylum seekers' countries of origin that deplete over the course of the animation?

* Would it be possible to allow the user to select scaling the columns by, for example, each country's total population or GDP?
posted by jedicus at 10:13 AM on February 18, 2017

Hey @jedicus,

I think that your second request brings up an interesting question: are there concrete population statistics for refugees flowing out of a country? Or even more challengingly, stuck in a country and simply searching for an opportunity to leave? The West tends to be better at recording the populations entering rather than the number of those waiting to leave.
posted by aleksalhambra at 11:06 AM on February 19, 2017

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