Syrian Refugees Since Oct. 1: 346 Sunni Muslims, 5 Christians; 191 Males, 160 Females; 64 Men Ages 14 to 40

By Patrick Goodenough | November 19, 2015 | 4:24 AM EST

In this Nov. 4, 2015 file photo, people wait in line to enter a migrant and refugee registration camp on the island of Lesbos, Greece. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic, File)

( – Since the beginning of fiscal year 2016, which began on Oct. 1, the United States has admitted 351 refugees from Syria, according to State Department Refugee Processing Center data.

Of those 351 Syrian refugees, 346 (98.6 percent) have been Sunni Muslims. Only 5 (1.4 percent) have been Christians. The Christians included three Catholics, one Orthodox and one of unspecified denomination.

The majority of the 351 Syrian refugees (191) have been male, the minority female (160.)

64 (or 18 percent of the total of 351) have been men between the ages of 14 and 40, according to the State Department data.

The age and gender breakdown of Syrian refugee arrivals since Oct. 1 is:

Under 14:        96 male            77 female

14-40:              64 male            68 female

Over 40:          31 male            15 female

Total:               191 male          160 female

Of the 351 refugees, 28 have been settled in Arizona, 44 in California, 12 in Connecticut, 12 in Florida, seven in Georgia, 22 in Illinois, 10 in Indiana, 38 in Kentucky, six in Louisiana, five in Maryland, one in Massachusetts, 23 in Michigan, 11 in New Jersey, seven in New York, seven in North Carolina, 30 in Ohio, four in Oregon, 40 in Pennsylvania, 35 in Texas and nine in Washington state.

Since October 1, only 1.4 percent of Syrians admitted into the U.S. as refugees have been Christians. (Source: State Department Refugee Processing Center)

Looking at the figures for this month alone (Nov. 1-18), the total tally of Syrian refugees admitted into the U.S. is 164, comprising 163 Sunni Muslims, and one Orthodox Christian.

Of those 164 refugees, 33 (20 percent) are men aged between 14 and 40.

The age and gender breakdown of the 164 refugees who arrived in November is:

Under 14:        47 male            31 female

14-40:              33 male            35 female

Over 40:          12 male            6 female

Total:               92 male            72 female

By far the largest number of Syrian refugee admissions into the U.S. since the civil war began in March 2011 took place in FY 2015 (Oct. 1, 2014-Sept. 30, 2015), when 1,682 arrived – or 75.6 percent of the total 2,224 who have been admitted since 2011.

Of those 1,682 admissions in FY 2015, 1,573 (93.5 percent) were Sunni Muslims. An additional 53 were described as simply “Moslem” and 10 were Shia. Only 30 (1.8 percent) were Christian. Accounting for the rest were six Zoroastrians, two Baha’i, two atheists, five of “other religion,” and one described as having “no religion.”

Of the 1,682 refugees settled in FY 2015, 367 (21.8 percent) are men aged between 14 and 40.

The age and gender breakdown of those 1,682 refugees is:

Under 14:        385 male          346 female

14-40:              367 male          356 female

Over 40:          132 male          96 female

Total:               884 male          798 female

Over the entire period since the Syrian conflict began, 2,224 Syrian refugees have been admitted to the U.S., as of Wednesday.  Of them, 2,065 (92.8 percent) were Sunni Muslims, an additional 60 were “Moslem,” and 13 were Shia. Only 53 (2.4 percent) were Christian (including five Orthodox and four Catholics). The remaining religious breakdown was eight Jehovah’s Witness, six Zoroastrians, two Baha’i, three atheists, one Yazidi, seven “no religion” and six “other religion.”

Of the total 2,224 Syrian refugees admitted since March 2011, 480 (21.6 percent) are men aged between 14 and 40.

The age and gender breakdown is:

Under 14:        513 male          454 female

14-40:              480 male          471 female

Over 40:          181 male          125 female

Total:               1,174 male       1,050 female

Therefore, one in five of the Syrian refugees allowed entry into the U.S. since the conflict began are men aged 14-40, and the vast majority of them are Sunni Muslim.

The terror attacks in Paris triggered a fiery debate in the U.S. on President Obama’s plan to bring 10,000 Syrian refugees into the country during the current fiscal year.

Obama on Wednesday mocked Republican presidential candidates who oppose the plan, accusing them of being “scared of widows and orphans.”

State Department spokesman John Kirby was asked at a briefing Wednesday if any refugee applicants from Syria have been denied admission because of terrorist sympathies or links.

He replied that in refugee applications overall there have been individuals “not allowed to settle because of concerns about the potential for terrorist activities,” but he was not aware of specific Syrians among that group.

“I don’t know of any specific Syrians that have been denied that opportunity,” he said. “That’s information that we’re not actually able to share with specificity, but I’m not aware of any Syrians that were.”

Kirby added that out of 785,000 refugees from all countries admitted since 9/11, “only about a dozen have been arrested or removed from the United States due to terrorism concerns that existed prior to their resettlement in the United States. And I can tell you that none of them were Syrian.”

The White House signaled Wednesday that the president would veto proposed legislation to strengthen vetting procedures for Syrian refugee applicants.

“This legislation would introduce unnecessary and impractical requirements that would unacceptably hamper our efforts to assist some of the most vulnerable people in the world, many of whom are victims of terrorism,” it said in a statement of policy.

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Patrick Goodenough
Patrick Goodenough
Spencer Journalism Fellow