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Eurostat figures show 650,000 first time asylum seekers applied for international protection in the EU-28 in 2017

Date Published: 21-03-2018

In 2017, 650,000 first time asylum seekers applied for international protection in the Member States of the European Union (EU), just over half the number recorded in 2016 (1,206,500) and more comparable to numbers recorded in 2014.

The top 5 citizenships of first time asylum seekers in EU-28 in 2017 were:

  • Syria: 102,385 (16% of overall applicants)
  • Iraq: 47,525 (7%)
  • Afghanistan: 43,625 (7%)
  • Nigeria: 39,090 (6%)
  • Pakistan: 29,570 (5%)
In 2017, the largest numbers of asylum seekers were recorded in:
  • Germany: 198,300 (31% of overall applicants) 
  • Italy: 126,600 (20%)
  • France: 91,000 (14%)
  • Greece: 57,000 (9%)
  • United Kingdom: 33,300 (5%)
  • Spain: 30,400 (5%)

Key figures for Ireland:

Ireland received 2,910 asylum applications in 2017 compared to 2,315 in 2016.

The main countries of citizenship of applicants in 2017 were:

  • Syria: 545 (19% of overall applicants)
  • Georgia: 300 (10%)
  • Albania: 280 (9%)
  • Pakistan: 195 (7%)
  • Nigeria: 185 (6%)

For more information:

See Eurostat news release (March 2018) and Eurostat Asylum quarterly report (fourth quarter 2017).

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