Ken, A Pew report came out today validating my assertion that most of the “migrants” fleeing the…
David Cearley

Thanks David! Yes, the numbers are very interesting. But they’re even more interesting when in context of the entire Pew study.

Indeed, the largest segment of asylum seekers is in the “Male 18–34” category and it varies by source and destination countries. The study does not get into the motivations, but I’d love to know the distributions of the asylum requests. That is, what the asylum seekers document as the reasons for seeking asylum.

But more importantly, the study puts to lie some of the misconceptions about the sources and destinations of asylum seekers.

For example, some excerpts for context:

At the same time, some of the movement toward Europe is shifting to a southern Mediterranean route to Italy, with flows of largely sub-Saharan African migrants (not Syrians, Afghans or Iraqis) on the rise. Italy has received about 90,000 migrants on its shores since the start of 2016, roughly similar to the first half of 2015.”

Refugees from Syria numbered 378,000 in 2015, accounting for 29% of all of Europe’s asylum seekers — the highest share of any nation. This was up from 125,000 in 2014 and 49,000 in 2013, helping to drive the recent surge in asylum applications. An additional quarter of asylum seekers in 2015 were from other relatively new origin countries, including 193,000 from Afghanistan (up from 23,000 in 2013 and 39,000 in 2014) and another 127,000 from Iraq (up from 9,000 in 2013 and 15,000 in 2014).

Some of the origins of Europe’s asylum seekers in 2015 were regions that have sent past waves of migrants. Nearly one-in-five asylum seekers in 2015 (17%) came from European countries outside the EU, Norway and Switzerland, including asylum seekers from Kosovo (68,000 in 2015, up from 35,000 in 2014), Albania (67,000 in 2015, up from 16,000 in 2014) and Ukraine (21,000 in 2015, up from 14,000 in 2014), regions that had once sent migrants when they were a part of the former Yugoslavia and USSR.

France and the UK were once leading destinations of Europe’s asylum seekers. Between 2000 and 2010, France was the leading destination of asylum seekers for five years and the UK was the leading destination for four years. However, in 2015, both the UK and France had far fewer asylum applicants than Germany, Hungary or Sweden. The UK received only 39,000 asylum applications last year, while France received 71,000 applications.

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