In 2020, 129630 children (persons under 18 years old) lodged a first-time application for asylum in the EU which corresponds to 31 % of the total number of first-time asylum applications recorded in the EU. Among those children, 10 % were unaccompanied minors corresponding to 3 % of the total number of first-time asylum applicants.
Across the EU Member States, the share of children in the total number of first-time asylum applicants varied in 2020 from 54 % in Germany to 6 % in Slovakia, whereas the share of unaccompanied minors in the total number of first-time asylum applicants was the highest in Bulgaria (23 %) and the lowest in Spain (0.1 %). In Czechia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Hungary no applications from unaccompanied minors were registered in 2020.
Concerning the country of citizenship of minor first-time asylum applicants in 2020, more than half (52 %) of the children had a citizenship of an Asian country, 22 % an African, 13 % an American and 9 % had a European (non-EU) country citizenship. Syrian (25 % of the total number of first-time asylum applicant children) was the main citizenship of the minor first-time asylum applicants in 2020.
The share of unaccompanied minors in the number of first-time asylum applicant children by continent was 15 % for Asia and 11 % for Africa, whereas this share was only equal to 2 % for Europe (non-EU) and 1 % for America. In 2020, the top country of citizenship of asylum applicants considered to be unaccompanied minors was Afghanistan (41 % of the EU total of all applicants considered unaccompanied minors).
For more information:
- Statistics Explained article on children in migration – asylum applicants.
- Eurostat website section on children in migration statistics.
- Eurostat database of children in migration statistics.