Malta has the third highest number of first-time asylum applications relative to its size in the entire EU, new stats have revealed.
In 2018, Malta registered 2,035 first-time applicants, up from the 1,610 recorded in 2017.
Most of this year’s first time applicants come from Syria (455), followed by Somalia (310) and Libya (305).
On a wider European level, 580,800 asylum seekers applied for international protection, down by 11% compared with 2017 (654,600) and less than half of the number recorded in the peak year 2015 when 1 256,600 first-time asylum applicants were registered.
Syrians (80,900), Afghans (41,000) and Iraqis (39,600) continued to be the main citizenships of first-time asylum seekers, accounting for almost 30% of all first-time applicants.
Germany continues to receive the most of first-time applicants with 161,900; followed by France (110,500) Greece (65,000), Spain (52,700), Italy (49,200) and the United Kingdom (37,300).
Around 900,000 applications are still pending by the end of 2018.
What do you make of these figures?
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