The Differences Between Immigrants and Refugees

Beggar or prisoner near the old metal fence outdoors

There’s a big difference between immigrants and refugees, and the one main factor that separates them is how they have come to leave their home country and find another.

On one hand, immigrants are people who have decided to leave their home country of their own will, with little to no outside forces pressuring them.

On the other side of the coin, the people who are considered refugees are people who have “fled war, violence, conflict or persecution, and have crossed an international border to find another country,” according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Overall, there’s a big difference for the reason these people left their countries, but both of those differences have helped mold people into who they are. 


Image by Jim Black from Pixabay

Refugees are fleeing from very harsh living conditions or war, and so the picture above is the extent of the drastic measures they are willing to take to free themselves from their oppressive country. 

Being a part of this lifestyle at a young age, or really any age, will distinctly shape a person into who they currently are. Having to deal with the constant threat of war and violence will traumatize a person, and their trip to freedom is not any easier as many do not make it to the final destination.

After dealing with the issues they faced in their home country, the refugees now have to fit into a new society and way of living. This in turn leads the people to take on the culture of their new home, giving them a multicultural outlook on life.

Being a part of this lifestyle at a young age, or really any age, will distinctly shape a person into who they currently are.

Many very famous people are refugees, which just goes to show that no matter someone’s background they can make a new life for themselves and power forward.

Some examples of these famous people are Albert Einstein who had to flee from Nazi Germany, as well as Sigmund Freud.


On the other side, there are the immigrants who went about leaving their own country by their own means. About 3.4 percent of the world’s population are immigrants, which equals to 258 million people out of the earth’s 7.8 billion.

Overall, like the chart below shows, there has been a steady incline of immigrants since the early 2000’s, and it’s expected to keep rising.

United Nations Population Division, “International Migrant Stock: The 2017 Revision—Number of International Migrants” 

Being an immigrant will also shape your way of life and how you view the world.

Since a person is moving from one country to another, they will be shaped by both the first country they lived in as well as the one they just moved to, giving them a multicultural aspect and outlook on life.

There are many notable people who are also immigrants like Natalie Portman, Arnold Schwartzenegger and Bob Marley.  These people have had lasting impacts in all the countries they have lived in, as well as across the world.


Overall, refugees and Immigrants are both people who are leaving one country and going to another, but the reason there is a different name for both of them is the reason they are fleeing/leaving their country.

In the world today, many immigrants and refugees are doing amazing things, and they may even be your neighbor!

In conclusion, immigrants and refugees are a main part of today’s world.

Thinking About Test Question Answer
Image via Envato Elements
ad-get the feeling of home Culturs magazine subscription

Culturs Global Multicultural Media

Celebrating Cross-Cultural TCK Identity
© Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.
Verified by MonsterInsights