refugee map, gif, video still
refugee map, gif, video still

We’ve all seen the pictures and heard the horror stories about Europe’s refugee crisis, but now a Finnish data analysis company named Lucify has created an animated graphic depicting the enormity of the refugee flow.

Relying on the United Nation’s data of asylum-seekers from 2012 through 2015, Lucify’s analysts Ville Saarinen and Juho Ojala produced a startling interactive map showing “the flow of asylum seekers to European countries over time. Each moving point on the map represents 25 people. That corresponds to approximately one busload with every other seat taken.”

Be sure to scroll over each country and watch at the end of the timeline to see the true scale of the migrant flow:


Overwhelming to say the least! Remember each dot represents 25-50 refugees that we know about. Indeed, the analysts were overwhelmed as well.

“The true scale of the crisis was made very clear to us: if each asylum seeker was represented by a dot, there would be too many dots to display. The map would become too crowded” to function properly!

Just imagine what that huge influx of migrants is doing to Europe’s functionality!

To make it even more alarming, the data used by Lucify was not even complete! One factor is the missing data beginning in the early 2015 time period. Another factor is the way in which the United Nations collects and labels its data.

“This dataset only contains a part of the story. For example, the two million Syrian refugees in Turkey are not counted as asylum seekers, but registered refugees. While the UNHCR publishes some data about registered refugees, it is not as comprehensive as with asylum seekers.”

Doesn’t it make you wonder what the graphic would look like if Lucify made one for our U.S. southern border? But frankly, with our wide open border, lack of enforcement of immigration law, and no registration of illegal immigrants, where would we get reliable data?

It’s enough to keep you up nights.


Photo credit: Lucify