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Between 2016-2021, the Refugee Economies Programme undertook research on the economic lives of refugees. The aim was to make an evidence-based contribution to the ways in which governments, international organisations, NGOs, and businesses support the socio-economic inclusion of refugees. 

The survey collected data on income, expenditure, assets, health, education, migration, attitudes, and more, enabling us to explore a series of correlations. Drawing on this dataset, we have been able to explore themes such as the role of development indicators in influencing refugees’ mobility choices and the determinants of variation in refugees’ income levels. It has also allowed us to theorize a broader set of questions such as what is economically distinctive about refugees. We are pleased to make this dataset available for use by other researchers and practitioners.  

About the Dataset 

This cross-sectional dataset contains data on refugees only. It combines household survey data from six separate data collection exercises:  

  • 2016: Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya 
  • 2017: Nairobi, Kenya 
  • 2018: Nakivale Refugee Settlement, Uganda  
  • 2018: Kampala, Uganda 
  • 2018: Dollo Ado Refugee Camp, Ethiopia 
  • 2018: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 

The sampling strategies for each survey can be found in the following reports:  

Terms of use: These files are made freely available, but we ask that a citation to the original article is included in any paper, article, book, or other publication that makes use of the data.  If you have any questions about our terms of use, please contact 

Citation: Betts, A., Flinder Stierna, M., Omata, N., and Sterck, O. (2024) ‘The Economic Lives of Refugees’, World Development. Forthcoming.  

Download the Data

zip 2.7MB

To download the data please agree to the terms of use:

Thank you for downloading our dataset. We hope you will find it useful. Please note that the zip file includes the following documents: Codebook (Excel csv and html), Dataset (Excel csv and Stata dta), Do-files, Outputs (pdf and tex), Readme (Word).

Please find further information about how to use this dataset in the ‘READ ME’ file.  

We are grateful to the IKEA Foundation and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Danida) for financing the data collection. 

If you experience any problems downloading this dataset, please contact