Costa Rica Hosts More Refugees in Central America: UN

Costa Rica hadn't traditionally been a crossroads for migrants. But they descended on the country in growing numbers, straining resources.


Costa Rica is the Central American country which hosts the most refugees, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

A woman rests with her two children in this July 2016 photo by Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters. many of them paid smugglers to reach Central America. However, when they arrived at the Nicarguan, they were denied entry and were left with nowhere to go.

Ranked fourth in Latin America, Costa Rica accepted 4,180 refugees last year, while another 3,600 persons are in the process of seeking asylum.



Panama is second in Central America with 2,350 refugees, followed by Nicaragua with 331.

Honduras with 16 is last in the region.

A Costa Rican Red Cross member distributes food to migrants in an encampment of Africans in Penas Blancas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica in July 2016. In a makeshift camp hundreds of tents shelter Haitians, Congolese, Senegalese and Ghanaian migrants waiting to continue their journey to the United States. Photo Ezequiel Becerra/AFP/Getty Images.

Globally, Turkey is the country that hosts the greatest number of refugees, while several nations, including Timor-Leste, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Singapore and Barbados, have no refugees.

By the end of 2016, 66 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations (numbers in brackets indicate each country’s population of refugees).

  1. Costa Rica (4.180)
  2. Panama (2.350)
  3. Nicaragua (331)
  4. Guatemala (300)
  5. El Salvador (45)
  6. Honduras (16)