First-time asylum applicants up by 115 % in Q2 2021

During Q2 2021, there were some 103 895 first-time asylum seekers applying for international protection in countries of the EU. This was up by 115 % when compared with Q2 2020 (48 370 first-time applicants), and up by 9 % when compared with the Q1 2021 (95 265). However, it was still below the pre-pandemic levels observed in Q2 2019 – down by 28 %. This information comes from data on asylum published by Eurostat today.

In Q2 2021, there were also 13 805 subsequent applicants (people who reapplied for asylum after a decision had been taken on a previous application). This was down by 51 % when compared with Q1 2021 (28 150 subsequent applicants). 

Most first-time asylum applicants from Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan 

In Q2 2021, Syrians were the largest group of persons seeking asylum (20 640 first-time applicants). They were followed by Afghans (13 860) and Pakistanis (4 430). All three citizenships registered an increase when compared with Q1 2021 (8 %, 28 % and 16 %, respectively) and with Q2 2020 (148 %, 216 % and 183 %, respectively).

The number of applications lodged by Syrians and Afghans in Q2 2021 surpassed also the pre-pandemic levels observed in Q2 2019 (up by 28 % and 38 % respectively), while the number of Pakistanis dropped by 17%.  
Citizens of these countries accounted for over one-third (37%) of all first-time asylum applicants in Q2 2021. 

Most first-time applicants for asylum in Germany, France and Spain

The highest number of first-time asylum applicants in Q2 2021 was registered in Germany (29 545 first-time asylum applicants), followed by France (22 015) and Spain (12 335). These three Member States accounted for 61% of all first-time asylum applicants in the EU in Q2 2021. 

Belgium, Austria and Germany with highest numbers of unaccompanied minors applying for asylum 

In Q2 2021, 4 240 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum. This was up by 19% when compared with Q1 2021 (3 555 unaccompanied minors applying for asylum). 

In Q2 2021, most of the unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in Belgium (620), Austria (615), Germany (610) and Bulgaria (555). However, Czechia, Estonia, Latvia and Malta did not record any unaccompanied minors applying for asylum in Q2 2021.

For more information:

Since 2021, based on the amendment of Regulation (EC) 862/2007 from June 2020, new data on asylum (e.g. on subsequent applications, accelerated procedures, unaccompanied minors asylum applicants, decisions issued to unaccompanied minors) are collected by Eurostat. 

Due to temporary derogations, data on subsequent applicants are not available for Denmark, Cyprus, Poland and Sweden, as well as data on unaccompanied minor asylum applicants – for Greece, France and Cyprus. As a result, the respective EU totals were calculated based on available data. 

Latest Statistics Explained article on quarterly asylum data

Statistics Explained article with annual asylum data

Eurostat dedicated section on asylum

Eurostat database on asylum 

www.ec.europa.eu/eurostat/