The refugee influx from Myanmar, known as Rohingya refugees, is a serious concern for global refugee issues. Bangladesh currently hosts one million Rohingya refugees in the coastal district of Cox’s Bazar. Considering the number of the refugees, in addition to the humanitarian concerns, they are also creating pressure on the local host communities. This study explored the socioeconomic changes of the host communities after the refugee influx. In order to fulfill this study’s objectives, 35 villages near the Rohingya refugee camps from the coastal district of Bangladesh were surveyed. In the villages, 10% of households were surveyed in 2016 and also in 2020, covering 1924 and 2265 households, respectively. A temporal comparison of the host community’s socioeconomic status between 2016 and 2020 was conducted in order to determine the changes after the recent refugee influx. This study found that the local community’s socioeconomic status degraded. The annual income decreased by 24%, which is unusual for a country with over 6% gross domestic product (GDP) growth in recent times. The income decreased from all livelihood options except farming, which could be related to the availability of cheap labor and the high demand for commodities. The villages were clustered using k-means, and 20 villages were found to be affected after the refugee influx with degraded socioeconomic status. The host community’s general perception was initially positive, but later turned negative toward the refugees. This study will be important for the government and donor agencies to develop strategies to properly manage the refugee camps and adjacent host communities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes