They Myth that the Syrian Refugees are Military-Age Men
Description: Republican sources have repeatedly asserted that a suspicious percentage of the Syrian refugees are "military-age" men. Fox claims that 72% are. Ben Carson claims that the majority are young males. Donald Trump claims that there aren't many women or children among the refugees. Carly Fiorina escalates to saying that the vast majority are young men. The chart on the left shows how that would look.
The chart on the right shows the actual data.
Sources: UN Refugee Agency
Last updated: March 20, 2016
The actual numbers, shown on the right, come from the United Nations, which has performed an exhaustive study of 2.1 million Syrian refugees. 51% of the Syrian refugees are children, which is slightly more than in the Syrian population as a whole. While 25% are adult males, we do not have data on what portion of that 25% are "military-age." Presumably a significant portion of that orange slice is men who are older than "military-age."
The false claims about the Syrian refugees are not an honest mistake. They are being repeated by people, such as presidential candidates, who have staffs crafting their messaging on this issue, and those staffs clearly have the capability to look up the actual numbers. In fact, the claims are being repeated by major conservative news outlets that have entire fact-checking departments. The claims are lies designed to stir up fear of the refugees and to attempt to pressure the United States into refusing to help the innocent families who are fleeing ISIS.
See more graphs about: Diversity Immigration
Political and Economic News
WaPo: President Trump seems to be saying more and more things that aren’t true
Chait: Why Trump Is Using Hostage Tactics on Family Separation
Slate: Family separation is horrifying, but we can’t go numb and turn away.
Chait: Trump Confesses Motive, Blows Up Legal Basis For Trade War
Chait: Trump Is Fulfilling Russia’s Dream of Splitting the West