Nearly half of all refugees offered asylum last year in the 28 member states of the European Union were from the Muslim countries of Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia, with Syrians accounting for 25 percent of all successful asylum applications.
Figures published today by Eurostat, the European Commission’s statistics bureau, show that 35,800 Syrians were given refugee status in 2013, almost twice the number granted protection in 2012, followed by Afghans (16,400) and Somalis (9,700), altogether making 45 percent of the total 135,700 asylum seekers who were offered protection.
Britain was in fifth place in the list of countries taking the highest number of all asylum seekers. The EU member state taking in the highest number was Sweden (26,400), followed by Germany (26,100), France (16,200), Italy (14,500), and then Britain (13,400).
More than 60 percent of the Syrians went to just two member states, Sweden and Germany. Three-quarters of the Afghans went to Germany, which took the largest number at 5,000, followed by Austria, Sweden, Italy and Belgium. Of the Somalis, the Netherlands took most, at 2,800, followed by Sweden and Italy.
The largest group of asylum seekers granted protection in the United Kingdom came from Iran (1,890), followed by those from Pakistan (1,735) and Syria (1.545).
The share of positive decisions at the first level of asylum application was 34 percent. For final decisions on appeal, the rate of positive decisions was 18 percent.