The new figure emerged from a survey carried out by Norway’s FAFO Institute for Applied International Studies, on behalf of the Jordanian Department of Statistics in May this year.

“While figures as high as 1 million, or about 16 per cent of the population, have been aired, this study concludes that there are between 450,000 and 500,000 Iraqi residents in Jordan as of May 2007,” said FAFO’s managing director Jon Pedersen.

Most of the Iraqi refugees were living in Amman and some 22 per cent of them had jobs.

FAFO said that 20 per cent of refugees had made plans to emigrate to a third country.