(CBS, "60 Minutes, Ed Bradley, 4/5/03): Sixty percent of his [Jordanian government minister Bassem Awadallah] people are Palestinian refugees. . . .
: While half of the Jordanian population is Palestinian, it is critical to note that most Palestinians in Jordan are not refugees. In actuality, approximately 1.7 million Palestinians, or only one-third of Jordanís population of 5.3 million are registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) as of Dec. 31, 2002. Moreover, not all of those registered with UNRWA are actually refugees. UNRWA itself has acknowledged that its statistics on refugees are inflated:
UNRWA registration figures are based on information voluntarily supplied by refugees primarily for the purpose of obtaining access to Agency services and hence cannot be considered statistically valid demographic data; the number of registered refugees in the Agency's area of operations is almost certainly less than the population recorded. (Report of the Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East - July 1997 - 30 June 1998)
Because what is now Jordan was part of the British Mandate of Palestine until 1921, many Jordanians of Palestinian descent cannot be described as refugees. They never fled, or were forced to flee, their original homes because of war.