Over EU 76000 asylum seekers in February 2023


May 25, 2023

In February 2023, 76 505 first-time asylum applicants (non-EU citizens) applied for international protection in the EU countries. Compared with February 2022 (54370), it represents a 41% increase. There were also 6070 subsequent applicants, a 3% decrease compared with February 2022 (6280)

This information comes from the monthly asylum data published by Eurostat today. The article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article on monthly asylum statistics.


Most first-time asylum applicants were Syrians and Afghans

As in the previous months, in February 2023, Syrians were the largest group of people seeking asylum (9885 first-time applicants). They were followed by Afghans (9310), ahead of Colombians (5160) and Venezuelans (5115).

Following Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, there was a significant increase in Ukrainian first-time asylum applicants (from 2 105 in February 2022 to 12 190 in March 2022), but the numbers have been decreasing monthly down to 1 110 in February 2023. This is also because people fleeing Ukraine benefit from temporary protection.

In February 2023, the number of first-time asylum applicants with Russian citizenship ranked 8th among all citizenships, with 2 385 applications.

Germany, Spain, France and Italy account for 77 % of first-time asylum applicants

In February 2023, Germany (25 335), Spain (12840), France (10520), and Italy (9840) received the highest number of first-time asylum applicants, accounting for over three-quarters (77 %) of all first-time applicants in the EU.

In total, in the EU as a whole, there were 171 first-time asylum applicants per million people in February 2023.

Compared with the population of each EU Member State (on 1 January 2022), the highest rates of registered first-time applicants in February 2023 were recorded in Cyprus (885 applicants per million people) and Croatia (649). By contrast, the lowest rate was observed in Hungary (0.2).


For more information:

Methodology notes:

  • Due to temporary derogations, data on subsequent applicants are not available for Denmark, Cyprus and Sweden, and on unaccompanied minor asylum applicants for France, Cyprus and Poland. As a result, these Member States were not included in the calculation of the respective EU totals and in the calculation of the top five citizenships. A complete list of such derogations is provided in the Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2021/431.
  • Statistics on asylum applicants considered to be unaccompanied minors presented in the article refer to the age accepted by the national authorities, however before the age assessment procedure was carried out/completed.