Eurostat: Asylum seekers in EU register 11% decline in 2018

Photo: EPA Migrants on board of a rescue vessel in port of Almeria, Spain, 9 March.

In 2018, 580,800 first-time asylum seekers applied for international protection in the Member States of the EU, down by 11% compared with 2017 (654,600) and less than half of the number recorded in the peak year 2015, when 1,256,600 first-time asylum applicants were registered, according to Eurostat data.

Italy had the largest drop in asylum requests of all EU countries in 2018, down 61% on 2017 figures. The top three nationalities seeking asylum in the EU were Syrians (14%), Afghanis (7%) and Iraqis (7%).

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