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Citizens of Nowhere?

July 21 2019

Having a passport or even an officially recognised national identity is not a status that every person on this planet can take for granted. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that worldwide at least 10 million people are denied a nationality and are therefore stateless mostly as a result of discriminating policies.

Stateless Persons Map 2018Cartogram showing number of Stateless People in 2018


The UNHCR’s populations of concern database lists 3.24 million stateless persons by their geographical distribution. These reveal some of the major geopolitical hotspots of statelessness in 2016 that are shown in this cartogram. Affected populations include “the more than one million people in Myanmar’s Rakhine state are stateless on the basis of the current citizenship law, […] many of the migrants of Burkinabé descent [in Côte d’Ivoire] who were not eligible for Ivorian nationality after the country’s independence from France in 1960,” and in Europe the ‘Non Citizens’ of Latvia, which are a legacy of the former USSR. The latter are an example for a group for which considerable political efforts have been undertaken recently to resolve their protracted situations.

 
This map is part of a series of 500 cartograms displayed at the Talking Maps exhibition at the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, on display from 5 July 2019 to 8 March 2020 at ST Lee Gallery in The Weston Library.
The map can also be viewed in the maps section of the Worldmapper website where you find further details about the cartogram, the data and its sources, and also the possibility to obtain map use licenses for commercial use:

  • Stateless Persons 2018
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    Note: All work on Worldmapper.org is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial – ShareAlike 4.0 International License. For any commercial use (including in publishing) a map use license needs to be obtained. Contact us for further details.

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