Data

People displaced internally by natural disasters

What you should know about this indicator

Internally displaced persons are defined according to the 1998 Guiding Principles (http://www.internal-displacement.org/publications/1998/ocha-guiding-principles-on-internal-displacement) as people or groups of people who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of armed conflict, or to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights, or natural or human-made disasters and who have not crossed an international border. "New Displacement" refers to the number of new cases or incidents of displacement recorded over the specified year, rather than the number of people displaced. This is done because people may have been displaced more than once.

Limitations and exceptions: Please note that most of the figures are estimates. The definition highlights two issues:

  1. The coercive or otherwise involuntary character of movement. The definition mentions some of the most common causes of involuntary movements, such as armed conflict, violence, human rights violations and disasters. These causes have in common that they give no choice to people but to leave their homes and deprive them of the most essential protection mechanisms, such as community networks, access to services, livelihoods. Displacement severely affects the physical, socio-economic and legal safety of people and should be systematically regarded as an indicator of potential vulnerability.

  2. The fact that such movement takes place within national borders. Unlike refugees, who have been deprived of the protection of their state of origin, IDPs remain legally under the protection of national authorities of their country of habitual residence. IDPs should therefore enjoy the same rights as the rest of the population. The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement remind national authorities and other relevant actors of their responsibility to ensure that IDPs' rights are respected and fulfilled, despite the vulnerability generated by their displacement.

Statistical concept and methodology: Internally displaced persons are "persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized state border." Internally displaced people are often confused with refugees. Unlike refugees, internally displaced people remain under the protection of their own government, even if their reason for fleeing was similar to that of refugees. Refugees are people who have crossed an international border to find sanctuary and have been granted refugee or refugee-like status or temporary protection.

Source
Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data
Last updated
May 20, 2024
Next expected update
May 2025
Date range
2008–2022
Unit
number of cases

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

The World Development Indicators (WDI) is the primary World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially-recognized international sources. It presents the most current and accurate global development data available, and includes national, regional and global estimates.

Retrieved on
May 20, 2024
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
World Bank's World Development Indicators (WDI).

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Citations

How to cite this page

To cite this page overall, including any descriptions, FAQs or explanations of the data authored by Our World in Data, please use the following citation:

“Data Page: People displaced internally by natural disasters”. Our World in Data (2024). Data adapted from Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (via World Bank). Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/internally-displaced-persons-from-disasters [online resource]
How to cite this data

In-line citationIf you have limited space (e.g. in data visualizations), you can use this abbreviated in-line citation:

Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data

Full citation

Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data. “People displaced internally by natural disasters” [dataset]. Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (via World Bank), “World Development Indicators” [original data]. Retrieved June 25, 2024 from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/internally-displaced-persons-from-disasters