Close sites icon close
Search form

Search for the country site.

Country profile

Country website

European asylum statistics for 1999

Briefing notes

European asylum statistics for 1999

21 January 2000

During 1999, an estimated 431,000 people lodged an application for asylum in 22 European countries, an increase of 19 percent over 1998, when 361,000 requests were made. In 1999, European Union member countries received 349,000 asylum applicants, compared to 293,000 during 1998 (+19%).

Germany received the largest number of asylum-seekers during 1999 (95,300), followed by the United Kingdom (89,700) and Switzerland (46,100). The Netherlands, which had been the third largest asylum-seeker receiving country in 1998, fell to the fourth position in 1999, whereas Switzerland moved from the fourth to the third position.

Countries experiencing a major increase in the number of applications during 1999 were Belgium (63%), Hungary (55%) and the United Kingdom (53%). Countries where the number of applications fell in 1999 compared to 1998 include the Netherlands and Sweden (both -13%) and Germany (-3%). In 1999, Hungary became the eighth largest asylum-seeker receiving country in Europe, surpassing both Sweden and Norway.

Compared to its total population size, Switzerland continues to receive the largest number of asylum-seekers in Europe. In 1999, Switzerland received 6.5 asylum-seekers per 1,000 inhabitants, followed by Belgium (3.5 asylum-seekers per 1,000 inhabitants) and Austria and the Netherlands (both 2.5 asylum-seekers per inhabitant). France received the lowest number of asylum-seekers compared to its total population during 1999 (0.5), almost half the European average (0.9 asylum-seekers per 1,000 inhabitants).