ST. PAUL -- The number of refugees coming to Minnesota continued to decline in 2018.

According to numbers released by Minnesota State Demographer Susan Brower, the state had a total of 663 new refugees last year, from 22 different countries.

Nearly half of those were from Burma -- also known as Myanmar -- in southeast Asia. They accounted for 318 of the new arrivals.

Second most new arrivals were from the Democratic Republic of Congo with 76, third was Ethiopia with 75, fourth was Somalia with 48 new arrivals last year, and rounding out the top five was the Ukraine with 44.

In 2017 Minnesota had 1,003 new refugees arrive in Minnesota, in 2016 that number was 3,059.

Last September U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would cap the number of refugees allowed into the country at 30,000 for fiscal-year 2019, a sharp drop from a limit of 45,000 it set for 2018.

By definition, a refugee is different than a migrant.  Refugees are persons who are outside their country of origin for reasons of feared persecution, conflict, generalized violence.  While there is no formal legal definition of an international migrant, most experts agree that an international migrant is someone who changes his or her country of usual residence.

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