Asylum Levels and Trends in Industralized Countries, First Half 2012

The report presents data inter alia relating to asylum applications, top-ten nationalities of asylum applicants and top-40 countries of origin by main asylum regions. The data covers the first half of 2012 in comparison to the first half of 2011.

Key findings

A.  An estimated 212,600 asylum applications were recorded during the first six months of 2012 in the 44 industrialized countries included in the dataset. This is nearly identical to the same period 2011 (210,100), but lower (-8%) to the number of applications recorded during the second half of 2011 (231,300 claims).

B. The 38 countries in Europe received 149,400 claims during the first six months of 2012. This is a decrease of 4 per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2011 (155,500 claims), and significantly less than the second semester of 2011 (171,900 claims). Europe accounted for seven out of ten of all claims lodged among the industrialized countries.

C. The 27 Member States of the European Union registered 123,300 asylum claims in the first half of 2012, 9 per cent less than in the first six months of 2011 (135,000). The EU-27 together accounted for 83 per cent of all asylum claims in Europe.

D. With an estimated 42,800 asylum applications, the United States of America was the largest single recipient of new asylum claims among the group of industrialized countries. This figure was 6,100 claims more than during the first half of 2011. France was second with 25,400 asylum applications (-1,500 claims), followed by Germany (22,500; +1,800 claims), Sweden (16,300; +3,700 claims), and Switzerland (12,800; +4,300 claims). The top five receiving countries together accounted for more than half (56%) of all asylum claims received in the countries included in this dataset.

E.  With 16,300 asylum claims lodged by Afghans in the first half of 2012, Afghanistan was the most significant source country of asylum-seekers of all of the 44 industrialized countries, followed by China (12,400 claims), Pakistan (10,000 claims), Iraq (8,900 claims), and the Islamic Republic of Iran (8,400). Persons from these five countries together accounted for 56,000 applications, or about one quarter (27%) of all asylum claims submitted in industrialized countries.

F. Among the main nationalities seeking asylum, those originating from the Syrian Arab Republic showed the highest relative increase. During the first half of 2012, some 6,500 Syrians requested international protection among the industrialized countries, up from 3,000 during the first half 2011.

G. A new system for registering asylum-seekers (INDIGO) is currently being implemented in the Netherlands. As a consequence, the information available is limited to the total number of asylum applications lodged between January and June 2012 (4,620). No information on the country of origin is available. The analysis of the country of origin of asylum applications should thus be considered as indicative only.

More information on the UNHCR website.

Publication Date:
Wed 17 Oct 2012
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