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Malta has most asylum seekers per inhabitant in EU

Malta has highest number of asylum seekers per inhabitantIn 2008, there were nearly 240,000 asylum applicants registered in the EU27, or 480 applicants per million inhabitants. The main countries of citizenship of these applicants were Iraq (29,000 or 12% of the total number of applicants), Russia (21,100 or 9%), Somalia (14,300 or 6%), Serbia (13,600 or 6%) and Afghanistan (12,600 or 5%).

In 2008, among the Member States for which data is available, the highest number of applicants were registered in France (41,800 applicants). The United Kingdom recorded 30,500 applicants, however this figure covers only new applicants. Germany (26,900), Sweden (24,900), Greece (19,900), Belgium (15,900) and the Netherlands (15,300) followed.

When compared with the population of each Member State, the highest rates of applicants registered were recorded in Malta (6,350 applicants per million inhabitants), Cyprus (4,370), Sweden (2,710), Greece (1,775), Austria (1,530) and Belgium (1,495).

In some Member States, a large proportion of the applicants came from a single country. The Member States with the highest concentrations were Poland (91% of the applicants came from Russia), Lithuania (77% from Russia), Hungary (52% from Serbia), Luxembourg (48% from Serbia) and Bulgaria (47% from Iraq).

First instance decisions

In 2008 in the EU27, 193,690 first instance decisions were made on asylum applicants. There were 141,730 rejections (73% of decisions), 24,425 applicants (13%) were granted refugee status, 18,560 (10%) subsidiary protection and 8,970 (5%) were granted authorisation to stay for humanitarian reasons.

The proportion of positive decisions varies considerably among Member States. However, it should be kept in mind that the country of origin of applicants also differs greatly between Member States.

This data on asylum applicants in the EU27 is taken from a report issued by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities.

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