Prime Minister Saad Hariri speaks during a ceremony in Beirut, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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Results of the first official census of Palestinians in Lebanon released Thursday revealed that the population is considerably smaller than previously estimated.The census found that 174,422 refugees lived in Lebanon's 12 camps and "gatherings" – significantly fewer than the long-standing and widely used estimate of 450,000 .Gatherings were broken down into two groups: those who lived on the outskirts of camps, largely due to conflicts such as the 2007 clashes in the Nahr al-Bared camp near Tripoli, and those in other cities or villages with significant Palestinian populations.Areas with populations below 15 families were not included in the census.However, UNRWA has never claimed that the number of registered refugees in Lebanon should have served as a de-facto headcount for the population.In addition, the census revealed that 35.8 percent of Palestinian refugees reside in the southern city of Sidon. The area hosting the second-largest amount of Palestinian refugees, at 25.1 percent, is north Lebanon, with Tyre – also in the south – hosting 14.7 percent.
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