The number of asylum seekers in Italy has fallen by 60% in the 2nd quarter of 2018 compared to the same period last year, Eurostat said. On average, the number of asylum seekers to the EU is on the decline.
The number in the EU decreased on average 12% in the 2nd trimester of the year compared to the same period in 2017 but went up 4% on the 1st trimester of 2018.
Record drop in Italy
In Germany, the number decreased by 26% on an annual basis and went down 2% on a trimestral basis. The number of applicants increased in Spain (+68% on an annual basis, +85% on a quarterly basis), and in Greece, (+55% on the year, e +26% on the trimester).
In absolute terms, in the 2nd quarter of 2018, Italy registered 20,480 fewer asylum seekers on an annual basis and 4,155 less in the previous trimester, a record drop compared to the rest of Europe. Eurostat noted in its report that Italy was the "country with the most significant decrease in absolute terms" of asylum seekers compared to the same period in 2017, followed by Germany (-12,000). The number increased in Spain, up 6,600 and Greece, up 5,800.
Data on applications in Europe
Eurostat stressed that "in the EU, the new asylum seekers in the 2nd trimester of 2018 have been 137,000, as in 2014, before a peak in 2015-16."
Moreover, in the 2nd quarter of the year, the majority of asylum seekers applied in Germany (33,700 or 25%), France (26,100 or 19%), Greece (16,300 or 12%), Spain (16,200 or 12%) and Italy (13,700 or 10%, about 226 every million residents). In Italy, the first applicants mainly hailed from Nigeria (1,595 or 12% of the total), Pakistan (1,415 or 10%) and Bangladesh (1,145 or 8%). The majority of applicants in 11 member states were from Syria, the statistics agency said.