Eurostat Newsrelease: Asylum in the EU Member States in 2016

Eurostat published a news release on the number of asylum applications in 2016 and published an article on asylum applications and decisions for 2016 on its website.


In 2016, 1 204 300 first time asylum applications were registered in the Member States of the European Union (EU). This latest figure for 2016 marked a decrease of 53000 first time applicants across the EU-28 in comparison with 2015. (It should be noted that many asylum applicants who arrived in 2015 could only be registered in 2016, this was in particular the case in Germany and explains the significant increase in Germany in the number of asylum applicants in 2016 compared to 2015). 

In 2016, the number of first time asylum applicants in the EU-28 from Syria fell back slightly to 335 thousand from 363 thousand in 2015; the share of Syrian citizens in the total dropped from 28.9 % to 27.8 %. Afghani citizens accounted for 15 % of the total number of first time asylum applicants and Iraqis for 11 %, while Pakistanis and Nigerians accounted for 4 % each.

Also the data on asylum decisions were updated:

In 2016, there were 1.1 million first instance decisions in all EU Member States, almost double the number in 2015 (593 thousand). By far the largest number of decisions was taken in Germany (see Figure 7), constituting close to three fifths (57 %) of the total first instance decisions in the EU-28 in 2016.

For first instance decisions, some 54 % of all positive decisions in the EU-28 in 2016 resulted in grants of refugee status.

The Statistics Explained article analyses the trends both on First time asylum applicants and on first instance decisions on asylum applications for the entire year 2016. The article and the infographics can be found on the website of Eurostat via this link.

The News Release is available in English, French and German through the following link.

Publication Date: Thu 16 Mar 2017
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