BERLIN (AP) — Germany says new asylum applications in the country dropped more than 14% last year, continuing their decline since an influx of migrants from the Middle East and elsewhere in 2015 and 2016.
The Interior Ministry said Wednesday that 111,094 first-time asylum applications were made in 2019, 18,534 or 14.3% fewer than the previous year.
Syrians were easily the biggest single group of asylum-seekers, with 26,453 making applications. They were followed by 10,894 people from Iraq, 10,275 from Turkey, 7,778 from Iran and 7,124 from Afghanistan.
In December, 6,771 applications were made in total, the Interior Ministry said.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that “the number of asylum seekers in Germany has fallen for the third consecutive year.” He said that shows that “the numerous measures of recent years against uncontrolled immigration are working,” but that “migration pressure at the (European Union’s) external borders and to Germany remains high.”