Having peaked in 1992 and again in 2001, the number of asylum applications within the EU fell in successive years to just below 200,000 by 2006. Since 2013, the rate of people arriving quickened considerably as the number of asylum seekers rose to 626,000 in 2014.
With over a million people asking for asylum already within the first 11 months of 2015, the European Union faces an unprecedented problem with a numbers of refugees streaming across its borders and try to keep more from coming. The actual numbers are significantly higher than the above figures since the Eurostat data only count people who have formally applied for asylum.
Similar to the previous years, most people head to Germany, Sweden, Italy, Austria and France.
But even as tens of thousands of Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans and others continue flooding into Europe, they’ll likely find that applying for asylum and getting permission to stay are two very different things, according to PewResearchCenter. Based on the Eurostat data, migrants have their best chance of gaining asylum if they are from Syria, Eritrea or Iraq, and apply in Bulgaria, Denmark or Malta
Syrians are the biggest single group of asylum applicants this year, comprising about 20% of the total. More than half the asylum seekers, in fact, are from just five countries: Syria, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Albania and Iraq. Most (72%) are male, and more than half (54%) are ages 18 to 34; men in that age bracket account for fully 43% of asylum applicants.