From July 2016, an adjustment will be made to the population estimates published in World Development Indicators of five countries affected by the refugee situation in the Middle East and North Africa region: Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey. Previously, for these countries for 2011 onwards, refugees have been included in the population estimates of the country of origin. Going forward, population estimates will include refugees in the country in which they currently reside (also referred to as their country of asylum), rather than their country of origin. This means that Syrian refugees residing outside of Syria will no longer be counted in the Syrian population estimate.
This change improves the consistency between the population estimates of these countries and those of countries in other regions, where estimates are based on a "de facto" definition – counting all residents, regardless of their legal status or citizenship. While population estimates are used for a wide variety of purposes, the change also improves the consistency between them and their use in estimating per capita incomes; the System of National Accounts does not distinguish between refugees and other groups of people for the purpose of determining residence, and this is the prevailing practice adopted by national statistical agencies.
The source of population estimates used for most low and middle-income countries, including these five countries, is the biennial United Nations Population Division's World Population Prospects. This uses a de facto definition of population, with refugees counted in their country of residence or asylum.
Indicators referenced in this posting:
- Total population (SP.POP.TOTL)
- Refugee population by country or territory of asylum (SM.POP.REFG)
- Refugee population by country or territory of origin (SM.POP.REFG.OR)
- GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$) (NY.GDP.PCAP.CD)