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Eurostat figures show 580,845 first-time asylum seekers applied for international protection in the EU-28 in 2018

Date Published: 15-03-2019

In 2018, 580,845 first-time asylum seekers applied for international protection in the Member States of the European Union (EU), a decreased of 11% when compared with 2017 (654,600) and more comparable to numbers recorded in 2014 before the peaks of 2015 and 2016.

The top 5 citizenships of first time asylum seekers in EU-28 in 2018 were:

  • Syria: 80,920 (14% of overall applicants)
  • Afghanistan: 40,990 (7%)
  • Iraq: 39,595 (7%)
  • Pakistan: 24,705 (4%)
  • Iran: 23,195 (4%)   

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In 2018, the largest numbers of asylum seekers were recorded in:

  • Germany: 161,900 (28% of overall applicants) 
  • France: 110,500 (19%)
  • Greece: 65,000 (11%)
  • Spain: 52,700 (9%)
  • Italy: 49,200 (8%)
  • United Kingdom: 37,300 (6%)                          
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Key figures for Ireland:

Ireland received 3,655 asylum applicationsin 2018, an increase of 26% compared to 2017 (2,910).

The main countries of citizenshipof applicants in 2018 were:

  • Albania: 460 (12% of overall applicants)
  • Georgia: 450 (12%)
  • Syria: 330 (9%)
  • Zimbabwe: 280 (8%)
  • Nigeria: 250 (7%)
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Ireland recorded the highest share of positive first instance decisions in 2018. 86% of Irish first instance decisions in 2018 saw refugee status, subsidiary protection status, or humanitarian permission to remain granted:-

  • Refugee status (53.6%)
  • Subsidiary Protection (15.3%)
  • Humanitarian reasons (16.6%)
  • Rejected (14.5%)

For more information: 

See Eurostat news release (March 2019) and Eurostat Asylum annual report .

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