More than 77,500 first-time asylum seekers applied for international protection in the EU in August, according to Eurostat’s latest monthly asylum data. It was 11,000 more than the previous month and the highest number since 2016.
The August number is an increase of 17% from July 2022 and 54% from August 2021.
Among applicants, Syrians were the largest group (11,860 first-time applicants), followed by Afghans (10,675), Indians (4,170), Turks (4,105) and Venezuelans (3,565).
Although there was a sharp increase in the number of first-time asylum seekers from Ukraine earlier this year after the Russian invasion (from 2,370 in February to 12,890 in March), their numbers have since fallen from 1,510 in April to 915 in August. This is because the overwhelming majority of those fleeing Ukraine receive temporary protection and do not seek asylum.
Germany is the EU member state with the highest total number of first-time asylum seekers in the bloc. In August, 16,950 people applied for asylum in Germany, representing 22% of the bloc’s total applications. Germany was followed by Austria (14,030, 18%), France (11,900, 15%), Spain (8,650, 11%) and Italy (5,985, 8%). These five countries accounted for 74% of total applications.
Relative to the country’s population, the highest rate of first-time applicants registered in August was recorded in Austria (1,563 applicants per million inhabitants), followed by Cyprus (1,482) and Croatia (351) . Hungary had the lowest rate.