Nearly half of refugees entering the U.S. this year are Muslim

The U.S. has received 28,957 Muslim refugees so far in fiscal year 2016, or nearly half (46%) of the more than 63,000 refugees who have entered the country since the fiscal year began Oct. 1, 2015, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center. That means that already this year the U.S. has admitted the highest number of Muslim refugees of any year since 2002.

Just two countries – Syria (8,511) and Somalia (7,234) – were the source of more than half of this year’s Muslim refugees. The rest are from Iraq (6,071), Burma (Myanmar) (2,554), Afghanistan (1,948) and other countries (2,639).

As of mid-August, the U.S. has received more than 63,000 refugees, about 22,000 short of the 85,000 ceiling set by the Obama administration at the beginning of fiscal 2016. Burma (Myanmar) (10,464 as of mid-August), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (10,417), Syria (8,569) and Iraq (7,479) are the top origin countries of refugees arriving thus far in 2016. Together, refugees from these four nations represent more than half (58%) of all refugees admitted to the U.S. this fiscal year.

The administration set the goal of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. this year. As of the middle of August, the administration is about 86% of the way toward its goal. Among the 8,569 Syrian refugees received, 99% are Muslim and less than 1% are Christian. As a point of comparison, Pew Research Center estimated Syria’s religious composition to be 93% Muslim and 5% Christian in 2010.

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