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    Migrants stand behind a fence at the VIAL detention center on the island of Chios where migrants and refugees arrived after the March 20 EU-Turkey deal are kept, on April 4, 2016

    Number of Asylum Seekers in EU Down by Almost Half in 2017 - Reports

    © AFP 2018 / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The number of people seeking asylum in the European Union in 2017 decreased by 46 percent compared to figures recorded in 2016, media reported Wednesday, citing European statistical agency Eurostat.

    In 2016, the European Union received over 1.2 million of asylum applications.

    In 2017, a total of 649,855 people asked for asylum in 28 EU member states, according to the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

    The most popular destination for refugees was Germany, which received over 30 percent of all requests. Germany was followed by Italy with 126,550 applications and France with 91,070 requests.

    READ MORE: EU Agency: Inflow of Asylum Seekers to Europe Still High

    The smallest number of asylum requests — 150 total — was submitted to Slovakia.

    Since 2015, Europe has been experiencing the worst migration crisis in its history, struggling to accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants fleeing hostilities in the Middle East and North Africa.

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    asylum seekers, Eurostat, European Union
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