Fewer first-time asylum applicants in first quarter 2018 - Produit Actualité Eurostat

null Fewer first-time asylum applicants in first quarter 2018


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During the first quarter of 2018, 131 000 first-time asylum seekers applied for international protection in the Member States of the European Union (EU). This was a reduction of 15% compared with the fourth quarter of 2017, when 154 000 first-time applicants were registered.


Asylum applicants in the EU

Source dataset is available here


Most applications from Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans and Nigerians

With 15 800 first time applicants between January and March 2018, Syrians remained the largest group of persons seeking international protection in the EU Member States. Syrians were ahead of Iraqis (9 200), Afghans (7 700 first time applicants) and Nigerians (6 400). In the first quarter of 2018, people from these countries comprised the four main citizenships of first time asylum applicants in the EU Member States, accounting for 30% of all first time applicants.


Asylum applicants in first quarter 2018 by citizenship


Most applications for asylum in Germany, France and Italy

During the first quarter of 2018, the highest number of first-time applicants was registered in Germany (with 34 400 first-time applicants, or 26% of total first-time applicants in the EU Member States) and France (25 300, or 19%), followed by Italy (17 800, or 14%) and Greece (13 000, or 10%).

Among Member States with more than 2 000 first-time asylum seekers in the first quarter 2018, numbers of first-time applicants decreased most compared with the previous quarter in Austria (-30%), Germany (-25%), Sweden (-24%) and Italy (-22%). In contrast, increases were recorded in Belgium and Spain (both +9%) and the Netherlands (+7%).


Highest number of first-time applicants relative to the population in Cyprus

Compared with the population of each Member State, the highest rate of registered first-time applicants during the first quarter 2018 was recorded in Cyprus (1 551 first-time applicants per million population), followed by Greece (1 204), Malta (856) and Luxembourg (753). In contrast, the lowest rates were observed in Estonia (7 applicants per million population), Slovakia (8), Lithuania (13), Poland (15) and Romania (18). In the first quarter 2018, there were in total 257 first-time asylum applicants per million population in the EU as a whole.


Nearly a million asylum applications still pending

Pending applications for international protection are those that have been made at any time and are still under consideration by the relevant national authorities at the end of the reference period. In other words, they refer to the “stock” of applications for which decisions are still pending.

At the end of March 2018, over 892 000 applications for asylum protection in the EU Member States were under consideration by the national authorities, a decrease of 10% compared with March 2017 and 4% compared with December 2017. With 420 300 pending applications at the end of March 2018, or almost half of the EU total (47%), Germany had the largest share in the EU, ahead of Italy (143 400 or 16% of the EU total) and Austria (51 400 or 6%).

Source dataset is available here


This news item marks the World Refugee Day (20 June) and is complemented with a Statistics Explained article on quarterly asylum data.

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