by Akim Reinhardt
There's a new meme infecting the internet.
The Syrian refugee crisis is the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
It's all over the place. Just google the words “worst refugee crisis.” Don't even put “Syria” or “WWII” in the search bar. What follows is a string of mainstream media articles labeling the current Syrian refugee crisis as the worst since the big deuce. It has become conventional wisdom.
But is the flood of humanity currently vacating Syria really the worst refugee crisis of the last 70 years?
The United Nations High Commission on Refugees estimates that about 4,000,000 Syrian refugees have now left their homeland. Millions more are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), people who have abandoned their homes but remain in Syria.
This is a formidable number, marking the Syrian exodus as certainly one of the worst refugee crises since World War II. And it may yet get worse. But is it actually the worst?