Number of displaced people reaches new high of 70.8 million ahead of World Refugee Day

A new United Nations report reveals that 25 people were displaced every minute.

More people than ever know the hardship of being displaced from their homes on this year's World Refugee Day.

According to a new report released by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, by the end of 2018 there were 70.8 million people forcibly displaced from their homes.

That figure represents more people than the population of Thailand, the 20th most populous country, according to U.N. figures from 2017.

It marks a dramatic increase in the number of forcibly displaced people over the past decade, jumping from 43.3 million in 2009 to 70.8 million in 2018.

"Their courage and resilience is an example to us all. I want to recognize the humanity of countries that host refugees even as they struggle with their own economic challenges and security concerns. It is regrettable that their example is not followed by all," Guterres wrote in his post.

The U.N. report, published Wednesday, attributes "most of this increase" to the Syrian conflict, but said that other conflicts in Iraq, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and Myanmar were also factors.

The historically high number of displaced people in 2018 includes 13.6 million who were newly displaced as a result of conflict or persecution in 2018, the U.N.'s Global Trends report states.

All told, the estimated figures break down to 37,000 new displacements every day in 2018, or 25 people forced to flee every minute, the report states.

"What we are seeing in these figures is further confirmation of a longer-term rising trend in the number of people needing safety from war, conflict and persecution," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi is quoted as saying in the report.

The regions with the largest number of fleeing refugees unsurprisingly correspond closely with ongoing conflicts. Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia are the five home countries with the highest number of refugees in 2018. Collectively, those countries represent 67% of all global refugees, the U.N.'s report states.

As a result of those fleeing refugees, neighboring countries -- like Turkey, Pakistan, Sudan and Uganda -- were among the top receivers of refugees in 2018. Germany was the lone member of the top five countries receiving large numbers of refugees that does not share a border with a country where people were displaced.