42 million (more than): the number of people forcibly displaced at the end of 2008, including 15.2 million refugees, 827,000 asylum seekers and 26 million internally displaced persons.

75,000: the estimated number of southerners that have moved south from Northern Sudan, according to the UN, aboard makeshift convoys of trucks, buses and barges. Some have come to vote and others to escape a feared backlash in the Muslim-dominated north over a referendum in the south which will decide whether to divide Africa’s largest country under the terms of a 2005 peace deal that ended the continent’s longest civil war.

25,000: the number of people who fled from Burma into the Thai town of Mae Sot in a single day, November 8 this year, in response to fighting that broke out after the fraudulent Burma elections.

1959: the number of Burmese asylum seekers granted offshore humanitarian visas for 2009-2010, the highest of any other nationality, according to this Immigration Department fact sheet.

30,560: the number of media mentions the Christmas island boat disaster received between December 14-20, according to Media Monitors.

30: the number of bodies the AFP have confirmed as recovered from the Christmas Island tragedy so far. Between 15 and 20 people remain unaccounted for, taking the possible death toll to 50. Prime Minister Gillard says the total number on board the boat may never be known.

146: the number of children known to have perished, along with about 142 women and 65 men, when SIEV X (Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel X) sank inside the Australian aerial border protection surveillance zone in 2001.

14,000: the approximate number of deaths from 1993 to 2010 of asylum seekers attempting to enter Europe, or during detention or forcible deportation. Drowning accounts for well over half the deaths recorded by European non-government organisations, according to a story in today’s Sydney Morning Herald. Other significant causes are suffocation, vehicle accidents, exposure and suicide.

1,740,711: the number of refugees under UN refugee agency the UNHCR’s mandate between 2005 and 2009 hosted by Pakistan. Pakistan led the pack, followed by Iran (1,070,488), Syria (1,054,466), Germany (593,799) and Jordan (450,756), according to the UNHCR’s 2009 Global Trends report.

47: the percentage of people deemed refugees by UNHCR that the five major refugee-hosting countries accounted for.

13,750: Australia’s current annual humanitarian refugee intake.

27,000: the number of refugees that independent MP Andrew Wilkie alleges opposition leader Tony Abbott pledged (roughly double the current humanitarian intake) in a bid to gain his support. Abbott denies this.