Most asylum applicants in the EU in year 2010 came from Afghanistan

According to the data released by the European Statistical Office (Eurostat) in 2010, there were 257,800 asylum applicants registered in the whole European Union, which amounts to 515 applicants per million inhabitants. These figures show a slight decrease regarding application for asylum registered the previous year which amounted to 264,000 applicants.

The data presented by the European Statistical Office (Eurostat) show that the highest number of asylum applicants in 2010 was recorded in France with 51,600 applicants, followed by Germany with 48,500 and Sweden with 31,900. This three countries together with Belgium, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Austria, Greece, Italy and Poland accounted for more than 90% of applicants registered in the 27 Member states in 2010.

However, in terms of density, when compared with the population of each Member State, the highest rates of applicants registered were recorded in Cyprus, where 3,600 applicants per million inhabitants asked for asylum, followed by Sweden with 3,400, Belgium with 2,400, Luxembourg with 1,600 and Austria with 1,300.

Most of asylum applicants came from Afghanistan, which represented 8% of the total, followed by Russia (7%) and Serbia (7%). Some of these countries of origin are specially concentrated in certain Member states such as Latvia, where 38% of asylum applicants came from  Afghanistan, or Hungary where 33% from the same origin. The highest concentration was found in Poland where 73% of the applicants came from Russia. In Lithuania 50% came from Georgia and Bulgaria registered a strong influx of asylum applicants from from Iraq (44%).

In 2010, 222,100 first instance decisions were made on asylum applications, which means that a decision was made at the first instance level of the asylum procedure. 75% of the applications for asylum were rejected, which amounts to 167,000 rejections. From the rest of applications, 27,000 applicants were granted refugee status (12%), 20,400 received subsidiary protection (9%) and 7,600 were granted authorisation to stay for humanitarian reasons (3%). However, it has to be noted that some of that first instance decisions made in 2010 may refer to applications registered in previous years.