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European asylum statistics for the first half of 2001

Briefing notes

European asylum statistics for the first half of 2001

3 August 2001

The provisional statistics for asylum-seekers in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand during the first six months of this year are now available. Overall they show a slight increase over the same period last year. By far and away the two largest groups are Afghans and Iraqis - although the Afghan figure is slightly distorted, since it includes 4,975 Afghans who appear to have sought asylum in Austria, but actually made their claims a very long way away in the Austrian embassy in Teheran. One of the other major anomalies is that Italy does not feature at all - we have not yet received any figures for this year from the Italian authorities. The countries that have received the largest numbers of asylum-seekers so far in 2001 are Germany with 41,000, the UK with 33,000 cases (which means perhaps close to 40,000 individuals), and the United States with 32,000. Only eight of the 27 countries listed have received more than 10,000 asylum-seekers during the first half of 2001.