Migration during Armed Conflict Increased the Vulnerability of Syrian Destination Populations

Elwood Carlson , Florida State University
Nathalie Williams, University of Washington, Seattle

According to UNHCR data there are now almost six million Syrian refugees and asylum seekers, in addition to more than six million Syrians internally displaced within the country. Despite small numbers for Syrian conflict-related migration prior to 2011 as shown in Figure 1, there were in fact already Syrian populations in virtually all countries that experienced the conflict-related Syrian diaspora after 2011. Some countries experienced much larger increases in Syrian population than others. We contrast starting populations of Syrians in different countries (prior to 2011) to new arrivals during the period of armed conflict. Original data from more than a dozen destination countries show that selectivity in migration differed during the armed conflict in Syria compared to prior that period, with respect to age distributions, sex ratios, educational attainment and family living arrangements. Changes over time within different destination countries illustrate an emerging pattern confirming that the migration stream shifted dramatically after the start of the conflict to create a much more vulnerable population in the receiving countries.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy