Summary: The number and composition of refugee arrivals since 2002 by year and country of origin. Note that counts by geography are based on the initial destination city and do not take into consideration subsequent migration within the U.S.
Data Source(s): Refugee Processing Center, U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Interactive Reporting, archived data from www.wrapsnet.org provided by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI); U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Refugees in California by Nationality and Fiscal Year of Arrival, provided directly by DHS with a data request.
Universe: All refugees who arrived in California from fiscal years 2002-2021. A fiscal year for this dataset begins in October and ends in September of the year indicated (e.g., FY2021 represents October 2020 to September 2021).
Methods: The number of refugee arrivals was calculated by country of origin for each year and geography. Source data by city included city neighborhoods with recognizable names. Data was aggregated into cities and places consistent with Census definitions and subsequently aggregated into counties. Some countries of origin were aggregated into broader groups reflecting large geographic regions. For breakdowns other than the Trend breakdown, data were aggregated into five-year groupings (2002-2006, 2007-2011, 2012-2016, 2017-2021) and a total for all years (2002-2021). See the methodology page for other relevant notes.
Archived, detailed data previously published publicly by the U.S. Department of State was provided by Migration Policy Institute (MPI) who were able to download the detailed data by fiscal year for September 2001 to October 2020 before the detailed data was removed from the Refugee Processing Center’s website.
A data request was submitted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and limited data for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 with city detail was provided to the Equity Research Institute for analysis.
The data for the refugee arrivals indicator that is shown on the California Immigrant Data Portal is a merging of the datasets provided by MPI and DHS. Only fiscal year 2021 data from the DHS data set was appended to the dataset for fiscal years 2002 to 2020 that were archived by MPI. There is a lot of redacted data for fiscal year 2021 with less country of origin and city information.
- Due to detailed data restrictions in the 2021 fiscal year, sums for city and countries of origin may be an undercount and may not add up to state totals.
- Counts by geography are based on the initial destination city and do not take into consideration subsequent migration within the U.S.
- No data available for sub-counties (CPUMAs).
- The full list of nationalities available from the Refugee Processing Center (RPC) data are listed below. For the purposes of the California Immigrant Data Portal, the full list of nationalities were aggregated into broader groups. The table below shows how each nationality in the RPC data was aggregated into detailed and broad groupings for the California Immigrant Data Portal (CIDP).