"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.
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.