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Jacksonville Among Top 100 US Cities For Refugee Resettlement

Adnan Mohammed Saleh and Salwa Ghazi, refugees from Syria, are pictured at their Jacksonville home in the Englewood area in 2019.

Jacksonville is a relatively popular U.S. city where refugees are resettled, according to the American Public Media Research Lab.

The American Public Media Research study tracked the top 100 cities for refugee resettlement per capita.

The study found Jacksonville resettles an average of about 435 refugees a year, which works out to 4.8 refugees per 10,000 residents. 

The American Public Media Research Lab averaged resettlement numbers from 2015 to 2019.

A report from the Florida Department of Children and Families shows that refugee numbers in Jacksonville saw a steep decline between 2016 and 2018, which was during the same time period that the Trump Administration annouced changes to the refugee resettlement policy. In 2019, the Jacksonville arrival numbers started to increase again.

Jacksonville Refugee, Entrant And Asylee Arrival Populations by Federal Fiscal Year

  • 2015: 1,255
  • 2016: 1,457
  • 2017: 873
  • 2018: 294
  • 2019: 509

The local agencies that help resettle refugees have also felt a financial pinch.

Lutheran Services of Northeast Florida and  Catholic Charities are the two remaining agencies helping refugees transition to life in Jacksonville. World Relief was forced to shut down its Jacksonville office last year as the number of refugee arrivals declined.

The new study found, nationally, Jacksonville ranked 91st per capita among the top 100 cities. Five other Florida cities also made the list.

Clearwater topped the Florida list, ranked 47th; followed by Tampa, ranked 75th: Orlando, ranked 89th; and Miami, ranked 97th.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.