Cyprus had the highest number of registered first-time asylum applicants per million residents in 2021, according to the latest data released by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical service.
A total of 14,799 new asylum applications were registered per million inhabitants in Cyprus in 2021, ahead of Austria (4,111) and Slovenia (2,474).
The lowest numbers were recorded in Hungary (only four first-time applicants per million population), followed by Estonia (57) and Slovakia (60).
In the EU as a whole that year, there were 1,196 first-time asylum applicants per million population.
The data refers exclusively to first-time asylum applications and not repeated or subsequent applications.
Eurostat also notes that there was an increase of 28% of first-time asylum applications in the entirety of the EU in 2021, compared to the previous year, with applications increasing from 417,100 in 2020 to 535,000 in 2021 in absolute numbers.
The numbers are around the level recorded in 2014 (530,600), before the peaks of 2015 and 2016 due to war in Syria, when the number of first-time applicants climbed to 1,216,860 persons and 1,166,815 persons respectively.
First-time asylum applications almost doubled in Cyprus over the previous year, rising from 7,065 in 2020 to 13,260 in 2021 in absolute numbers.
New asylum applications have also been increasing in Cyprus, starting from 1,480 in 2014 and climbing to 2,105 in 2015 and 2,840 in 2016.
New asylum applications have been increasing despite the drop in numbers in most of the EU.
Germany comes first overall in asylum applications
With 148,175 first-time asylum applicants registered in 2021, Germany accounted for over one-quarter of all first-time applicants in the EU (28%).
It was followed by France (103,790 or 19%) and Spain (62,050 or 12%), ahead of Italy (43,900 or 8%) and Austria (36,725 or 7%). These five Member States together accounted for almost three-quarters of all first-time asylum applicants in the EU.