Internal displacement due to economic collapse, violence, ethnic persecution, and more is the main cause for the mass migration and refugee crises because it forces or encourages people to seek resources they feel do not exist in their own nation. The number of people forcibly displaced by conflict or persecution reached 51.2 million—the highest total recordded since World War II, the UN refugee agency reported on World Refugee Day in 2014.
- The number of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) worldwide stood at 33.3 million people at the end of 2013, the highest ever recorded, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).
Many people have been displaced for years, particularly in countries like Colombia that are the sites of long-standing civil conflicts. The UNHCR reported in 2014 that a new large-scale internal displacement accounted for the largest increase of any category of the displaced.
Countries with more than 1 million IDPs currently include Colombia, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria.
This year, new waves of violence in countries including the Central African Republic, Iraq, Nigeria, and Ukraine forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.
Click here to learn what current issues are most provoking IDPs
Click here to see an interactive map of the worlds IDPs