Asylum seekers increase by 12% compared to 2018

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SOS Mediterranee / Twitter

According to statistics published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.  in 2019, 612,700 first-time asylum seekers applied for international protection in the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU). This meant a 12% increase when compared with 2018.

In 2018, 549,000 asylum seekers had applied for international protection.

Syrians and Afghans continue to be the main people seeking international protection in the EU Member States followed by Venezuelans. Together, they account for 28% of all first-time applicants.

74,400 Syrians were first-time applicants, 52,500 Afghan applications and 44,800 Venezuelan.

Almost 1 in 4 applied for asylum in Germany

Eurostat statistics show that Germany accounted for 23% of all first-time applicants in the EU Member States. followed by France, 20% and Spain, 19%, Greece, 12% and Italy 6%.

Among the EU Member States, with more than 5 000 first-time asylum seekers in 2019, the number of first-time applicants rose most compared with the previous year in and Cyprus ahead of Sweden, Belgium, Greece,  the Netherlands and France.

In contrast, the largest decreases were recorded in Italy, Germany and Austria.

The highest number of first-time applicants relative to the population in Cyprus, lowest in Slovakia

The highest number of registered first-time applicants in 2019 relative to the population of each Member State was recorded in Cyprus with 14,495 first-time applicants per million population, Malta with 8,108, Greece, 6,985 and Luxembourg with 3,585.

In contrast, the lowest numbers were recorded in Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Estonia and Latvia.

At the end of 2019, 842 500 applications for international protection in the EU Member States were still under consideration by the national authorities. At the end of 2018, this figure was slightly higher at 851,000.