Europe and Refugees– some statistics

19 April 2016
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EU StatsA compilation of headline information about migration patterns to and within the EU countries.

This article offers some statistical information about migration patterns within the EU. The main sources of data are EU Eurostat and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

According to UNICEF, one in every three migrants on the move in Europe is a child

Asylum applicants to the 28 countries of the EU rose from 309,820 in 2011 to 1,322,190 in 2015 – a five-fold increase.

Asylum applicants to the EU considered to be unaccompanied minors rose from 11,695 in 2011 to 88,695 in 2015 – an eight-fold increase.

A UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) survey undertaken in January 2016 found that

  • 94% of Syrians arriving in Greece in January made the perilous journey by sea to escape conflict and violence in Syria. Similarly, 71% of the Afghans surveyed cited conflict and violence as the main reason they left their country
  • 79% of the Syrians and 44% of the Afghans polled had a secondary, high school or university degree
  • Women and children accounted for 51% of the Syrians and 40% of the Afghans interviewed

The UN Refugee Agency said in March 2016 that more than one million people, mostly refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, had crossed into Greece since the start of 2015. The report noted that women and children now make up nearly 60 per cent of sea arrivals, compared to less than 30 per cent in June 2015.

The proportion of migrants whose fingerprints are included in the Eurodac database has risen in Greece from 8% in September 2015 to 78% in January 2016, and in Italy from 36% to 87% over the same period.

Statistics on refugees granted permission to reside in the EU’s 28 countries have not changed significantly since 2009, when 7,400 people were granted residency under community resettlement schemes; this figure reduced to 6,245 people in 2015.

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