Almost 86 000 asylum seekers in EU in March 2023

In March 2023,  85 975 first-time asylum applicants (non-EU citizens) applied for international protection in the EU countries. Compared with March 2022 (74310), it represents a 16 % increase. There were also  6945 subsequent applicants, a 4 % increase compared with March 2022 (6690).


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 March 2023, Syrians were the largest group of people seeking asylum (9 660 first-time applicants). They were followed by Afghans (9 155), ahead of Venezuelans (6 415), Colombians (5 980) and Turks (5 615).

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 1 160 in March 2023. This is also because people fleeing Ukraine benefit from temporary protection.

In March 2023, the number of first-time asylum applicants with Russian citizenship ranked 8th among all citizenships, with 2 480 applications.

Germany, Spain, France and Italy account for 74% of first-time asylum applicants

In March 2023, Germany (25 170), Spain (15 570), France (11 870) and Italy (11 335) received the highest number of first-time asylum applicants, accounting for almost three-quarters (74%) of all first-time applicants in the EU.

In total in the EU, there were 192 first-time asylum applicants per million people in March 2023.

Compared with the population of each EU country (on 1 January 2022), the highest rates of registered first-time applicants in March 2023 were recorded in Cyprus (1 859 applicants per million people) and Croatia (965). By contrast, the lowest rate was observed in Hungary (0).

2 620 unaccompanied minors applying for asylum

In March 2023, 2 620 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum for the first time in the EU, mostly from Afghanistan (860) and Syria (565).

The EU countries which received the highest number of asylum applications from unaccompanied minors in March 2023 were Germany (990), the Netherlands (260), Italy (230), Spain (225), Bulgaria (215), Austria (210) and Greece (200).

For more information:

Methodology notes:

  • As data for first-time asylum applicants were not available for Czechia for March 2023, February 2023 data were used.
  • Due to temporary derogations, data on unaccompanied minor asylum applicants for France, Cyprus and Poland are not available. As a result, these Member States were not included in the calculation. A complete list of 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 this is before the age assessment procedure was carried out/completed.
  • Data presented in this publication are rounded to the nearest five.