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    Refugees and their supporters demonstrate outside of a meeting of EU justice and interior ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, Sept. 14, 2015

    Number of Asylum Seekers in EU Decreased by Half Compared With 2015 - Eurostat

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The number of asylum seekers in the European Union registered in 2018 is down 11 percent from 2017 and has shrunk by more than half compared to the peak year 2015 when the worst refugee crisis since World War II struck the European continent, new data from Eurostat revealed on Thursday.

    "In 2018, 580 800 first-time asylum seekers applied for international protection in the Member States of the European Union (EU), down by 11% compared with 2017 (654 600) and less than half of the number recorded in the peak year 2015 when 1 256 600 first-time asylum applicants were registered," the statement says.

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    According to the Luxembourg-based EU statistical office, the number of applications last year may be comparable to the level of 2014, before the major refugee influx started.

    Germany remains the most attractive country for asylum seekers since "almost 3 in 10 applied for asylum" there, according to the data. The second most popular country for migrants is France, which is followed by Greece, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom.

    The majority of asylum seekers arrive from three crisis-struck states — Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, the statistics revealed. Syrians comprise 14 percent of the total number of first-time applicants. Moreover, Syrian was the main citizenship of migrants in eight EU Member States.

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    asylum seekers, migrants, European Union
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