US welcomed a record number of Muslim refugees in 2016

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

The U.S. admitted a record number of Muslim refugees in fiscal year 2016, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the State Department's Refugee Processing Center.

Of the nearly 85,000 refugees who entered the country from Oct. 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2016, some 46 percent were Muslim, Pew found. The total — 38,901 — marks the highest number of Muslim refugees admitted since data on self-reported religious affiliations first became available in 2002.

SEE ALSO: Internet explodes after Mike Pence tells Tim Kaine he 'whipped out that Mexican thing again'

A similar number of Christian refugees — 37,521, or 44 percent — were admitted over the course of the fiscal year.

More on Muslims in the United States

Backlash faced by Muslims in US
See Gallery
Backlash faced by Muslims in US
Noreen Shakil, 9, smiles for a photo on the steps outsider her home in McKinney, Texas, on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. Donald Trumps' remarks in the wake of the Dec. 2 shooting attack in San Bernardino, Calif., have stoked fears in Muslim children across the U.S. Their young minds, parents say, are confused about who the screaming man on TV is, what heâs saying about their faith and why thousands of their fellow Americans are cheering him on.(AP Photo/LM Otero)
Sarker Haque speaks about being attacked, during a news conference in New York, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. Haque, who is a Muslim, was attacked in his store and the police are investigating the incident as a hate crime. Advocacy groups believe there has been a spike in anti-Muslim incidents across the United States in recent weeks that can be linked to last week's mass shooting in California and the inflammatory rhetoric of Donald Trump and other Republican presidential candidates. And they say that Muslims are fearful the backlash could lead to further harassment and violence. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Affan Modak, center, participates in the prayer with his father Salim Modak and the rest of the congregation at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center in Sterling, Va., Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. The Council on American-Islamic Relations said 2015 is shaping up as the worst year ever for U.S. mosques, amid the backlash to the Islamic-extremist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., and the intensifying anti-Muslim rhetoric from Donald Trump and others seeking the GOP presidential nomination. (AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz)
Egyptian-American community activist Rana Abdelhamid (L) demonstrates a move during a self-defense workshop designed for Muslim women in Washington, DC, March 4, 2016 in this handout photo provided by Rawan Elbaba. Picture taken March 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rawan Elbaba/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Young Muslims protest U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump before being escorted out during a campaign rally in the Kansas Republican Caucus at the Century II Convention and Entertainment Center in Wichita, Kansas March 5, 2016. REUTERS/Dave Kaup TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A Muslim man prays while people shout slogans against U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump outside of his office in Manhattan, New York, December 20, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Janice Tufte of Seattle, a Muslim, participates in a pro-refugee protest organized by Americans for Refugees and Immigrants in Seattle, Washington November 28, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Redmond
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - MARCH 09: A poster, reads 'Muslims! They invented coffee, the toothbrush, and algebra... Oh wait, sorry about the algebra. That's a year of class you'll never get back', is being displayed at a subway station under 77th Street, New York, NY, USA on March 09, 2016. Varied posters giving right information about Muslims and inform people against Islamophobia, prepared by Muslim comedians Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah, are being displayed at 144 subway stations of subway system in New York City within a project with 20,000 US Dollars cost. (Photo by Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Graffiti in the shape of the Eiffel Tower inside a circle is painted on the side of the Islamic Center in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. A Muslim civil rights group wants the FBI and local police to investigate the vandalism as possible hate crime, that may be related to the Paris terror attacks. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Graffiti in the shape of the Eiffel Tower inside a circle is painted on the left side of the Islamic Center in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. A Muslim civil rights group wants the FBI and local police to investigate the vandalism as possible hate crime, that may be related to the Paris terror attacks. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
The Islamic Society of St. Petersburg is shown Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The FBI has said that threats made against two Tampa Bay area mosques in the wake of the deadly attacks in France have been deemed not credible. The FBI says threatening phone messages were left last Friday night. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Samer Shalaby, member of the Islamic Center of Fredericksburg's board of trustees, shows plans of the organization's proposed new site during a public meeting at the Chancellor Community Center in Spotsylvania County , Va., Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. The meeting was cleared after after someone was heard saying they were threatening Islam. Muslims around the U.S. are facing backlash following the deadly attacks in Paris, including vandalism to mosques and Islamic centers, hate-filled phone and online messages and threats of violence. (Peter Cihelka/The Free Lance-Star via AP)
Sister Munira Salim Abdalla, chief administrator for the Islamic Ummah of Fredericksburg, asks a law enforcement official to intervene after hearing someone say they were threatening Islam during a heated public meeting regarding the possible construction of a new Islamic Center of Fredericksburg site in Spotsylvania County, Va., on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. The meeting was cleared after the exchange of words. Muslims around the U.S. are facing backlash following the deadly attacks in Paris, including vandalism to mosques and Islamic centers, hate-filled phone and online messages and threats of violence. (Peter Cihelka/The Free Lance-Star via AP) 
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2016/01/18: Bay Ridge residents march along Ft Hamilton Parkway in support of the Muslim community. Hundreds of Brooklyn residents gathered in Bay Ridge at the site of an alleged bias attack for a march entitled 'Muslims Our Neighbors' in support of Bay Ridge's Islamic community. (Photo by Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MIDTOWN MANHATTAN, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2015/12/20: Several hundred demonstrators rallied outside of Trump Tower at East 56th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to condemn Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump's position on immigration rights; after rallying for nearly two hours, demonstrators marched to Herald Square. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A group of Muslims pray before a rally in front of Trump Tower December 20, 2015 in New York. Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump proposed a call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. AFP PHOTO/KENA BETANCUR / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 10, 2015: Fire and hazmat crews arrive on the scene to investigate a suspicious letter delivered to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on December 10, 2015 in Washington, D.C. CAIR is the largest non-profit Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, with offices two blocks from the U.S. Capitol building. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2015/12/09: Hand-lettered Love Your Muslim Neighbor sign held aloft. City council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito led an interfaith rally of political leaders and clergy on the steps of city hall to denounce Republican candidate Donald Trump's call to ban Muslim entry into the US. (Photo by Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SAN BERNARDINO, Dec. 6, 2015-- Local Muslim residents attend a gathering to mourn victims who were killed in the recent deadly shooting incident in Islamic Community Center in Loma Linda, San Bernardino, California, United States, Dec. 6, 2015. (Xinhua/Yang Lei via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC DECEMBER 2: Ibrahim Hashi, a Muslim veteran of the United States military, is pictured in his American University dorm room, where a Marine Corp flag hangs on his living room wall, on Wednesday, December 2, 2015, in Washington, DC. Since leaving the Marines as a corporal in 2011, Hashi has heard more anti-Muslim rhetoric than ever. (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

This is the first time in a decade that a smaller percentage of refugees were Christian versus Muslim. The last time was fiscal year 2006, when a large number of Somali refugees came into the U.S., according to Pew.

Related: Obama: U.S. Can Meet Goal of Accepting 10,000 Syrian Refugees

Somalia (9,012 refugees) and Syria (12,486 refugees), were the source of more than half of the Muslim refugees who came in during this fiscal year. The rest, Pew said, came from Iraq (7,853), Myanmar (3,145), Afghanistan (2,664) and other countries (3,741).

Last year, amid the ongoing war in Syria, the Obama administration set a goal of accepting 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. That goal was met at the end of August.

"On behalf of the President and his Administration, I extend the warmest of welcomes to each and every one of our Syrian arrivals, as well as the many other refugees resettled this year from all over the world," Susan Rice, President Obama's national security adviser, said in a statement at the time.

Related: Can Governors Block Syrian Refugees? Probably Not

The process has been fraught with fears from some that by letting refugees in, the U.S. is becoming a safe haven for those with ties to terrorists. In June, a federal court threw out a Texas lawsuit that had attempted to ban all Syrian refugees from resettling there. Other states had filed similar lawsuits, but have yet to succeed with them.

Obama has called it "shameful" and "not American" to reject Syrian refugees.

Questions and answers on the US Citizenship Test
See Gallery
Questions and answers on the US Citizenship Test
How many amendments does the Constitution have?

Answer: 27

(REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

Who makes federal laws?

Answer: Congress, Senate, House of Representatives 

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) 

The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?

Answer: 'We the People'

(Photo via Getty Images)

We elect a US Senator for how many years?

Answer: Six (at a time)

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House of Representatives has how many voting members?

Answer: 435

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government. What is one power of the federal government?

Answers: To print money, to declare war, to create an army, to make treaties

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If both the president and vice president can no longer serve, who becomes president?

Answer: Speaker of the House

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

What are two Cabinet-level positions?

Answers: Vice President, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Homeland Security, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of State, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Attorney General

(Photo credit should read ZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?

Answer: Thomas Jefferson

(Photo via Getty Images)

When was the Constitution written?

Answer: 1787

(Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)


Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

People are Reading