581 refugees settled in Wichita in 2016. Where did they come from?

Downtown Wichita skyline with the Arkansas River. (Dec. 16, 2015)
Downtown Wichita skyline with the Arkansas River. (Dec. 16, 2015) File photo

Kansas received 1,053 refugees in 2016, up from 610 the year before.

More than half of the refugees – 581 – settled in Wichita, up from 233 in 2015, according to data from the U.S. State Department. Most of the refugees came from countries in Africa.

Kansas City, Kan., was second, with 340 refugees.

Gov. Sam Brownback announced last April that he was withdrawing Kansas from the federal refugee resettlement program. He had already issued executive orders barring state agencies from helping to resettle refugees from Syria and other countries.

But federal officials continued to work directly with local refugee resettlement agencies and nonprofits, such as the Episcopal Wichita Area Refugee Ministry, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas and the International Rescue Committee.

Here are the countries the 2016 refugees settling in Wichita came from:

▪ 1. Democratic Republic of the Congo: 304

▪ 2. Somalia: 100

▪ 3. Eritrea: 42

▪ 4. Sudan: 41

▪ 5. Ethiopia: 21

▪ 6. Afghanistan: 20

▪ 7. Syria: 16

▪ 8. Central African Republic: 15

▪ 9. Iraq: 13

▪ 10. Myanmar, or Burma: 7

▪ 11. South Sudan: 1

▪ 12. Uganda: 1

Some of those nations, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and the Central African Republic, are considered failed states and are among the poorest and least stable in the world.

Kansas received refugees from 15 countries. Wichita received refugees from 12 countries.

Kansas City, Kan., also welcomed 26 refugees from Bhutan, in south Asia, and 15 refugees from Vietnam. Sixteen Iranian refugees were settled in Fairway, Lawrence, Olathe and Overland Park.