Figures at a Glance

Mediterranean Arrivals

For the latest figures on arrivals in the Mediterranean, please visit:

Operational Portal – Mediterranean Situation




2021 Arrivals and Asylum Trends

From 1 January to 31 March 2021:

  • There were 65 sea arrivals to Malta
  • The recognition rate – percentage of asylum decisions resulting in Refugee Status or Subsidiary Protection – is 7% of total decisions.

For recent arrivals and asylum data, covering January to March 2021, view or download our latest factsheet:

Malta sea arrivals and asylum statistics – March 2021 (PDF)


2020 Arrivals and Asylum Trends

From January to December 2020, 2,281 people were rescued at sea and disembarked in Malta. This is a 33% decrease compared to 2019 sea arrivals (3,406 sea arrivals in 2019)

The number of sea arrivals to Malta at the start of 2020 was relatively high in January and February, with 989 people being disembarked in Malta during this period. In March, 146 people were rescued and disembarked in Malta by the AFM,  66 people in April, 72 in May and 426 in June. In July and August 2020, there were 463 sea arrivals. In September, there were no sea arrivals, 94 persons disembarked in Malta in October, and there were 25 arrivals in November.

Unaccompanied children: 537 unaccompanied and separated children* reached Malta in 2020, representing 24% of all arrivals. Unaccompanied children originate mostly from Sudan (22%), Somalia (21%), Bangladesh (15%) and Eritrea (14%).
*Please note that this data is recorded before age assessment procedures have taken place.

Download our factsheet (published 27 January 2021) for more information:

Malta Sea Arrivals and Asylum Statistics – 2020 (PDF)



2019 Arrivals and Asylum Trends

The last two years for Malta have been marked by increased arrivals by sea, with 2019 being a record year in terms of the number of people disembarked in Malta following rescue in the Central Mediterranean.

Number of persons rescued at sea and disembarked in Malta in 2019: 3,406
Top nationalities of persons disembarked in Malta: Sudan, Eritrea and Nigeria

For more information, please download our 2019 factsheet: Malta Sea Arrivals and Asylum Statistics 2019 (PDF)*

*2019 Factsheet updated on 6 May 2020 to include end-of-year asylum statistics.

Please note: While every effort has been made to ensure that all statistical information is accurately presented, for official statistics, please refer to the original sources. In Malta, these include the Immigration Police, the Office of the Refugee Commissioner, and the Minister for Home Affairs, National Security and Law Enforcement. Some numbers may be rounded off.


2018 Asylum Trends

Number of persons rescued at sea and disembarked in Malta in 2018: 1,445
Top nationalities of persons disembarked in Malta: Sudan, Eritrea and Bangladesh

Asylum applications: 2,045
Top nationalities of asylum applications: Syria, Somalia and Libya

Protection rate: Closed 51%, Refugee Status 7%, Rejected 14%, Subsidiary protection 26%, THP 2%

Top nationalities with protection: Libya, Syria and Eritrea

Arrivals to Malta from 2015 until summer 2018 were mainly regular arrivals, with disembarkations of people rescued in the Mediterranean taking place in Italy. From June 2018, frequent arrivals of people rescued at sea increased in Malta. While the majority of people remain and claim asylum in Malta, a number of those arriving were transferred to other EU countries following ad hoc agreements between EU Member States.


Archive: 2002 – 2017


Previous fact sheets:  

2005-2015 Factsheet

2015 FactSheet

2004 – 2014 Factsheet

2014 Factsheet

2013 Factsheet

2012 Factsheet

This web page contains facts and information from the following public sources: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Malta Office of the Refugee Commissioner (RefCom), Malta Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers (AWAS), Malta National Statistics Office (NSO), Malta Ministry for European Affairs, the European Commission, Eurostat, and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).

While every effort has been made to ensure that all statistical information is accurately presented, for official statistics please refer to the original sources.

Statistics represent real time data as well as historic data.

Many numbers are rounded off, some also represent best estimates.

Global stats:


We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record.

An unprecedented 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18.

There are also 10 million stateless people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement.

In a world where nearly 20 people are forcibly displaced every minute as a result of conflict or persecution, our work at UNHCR is more important than ever before.

Statistics and operational data

Our accurate, relevant and timely data and statistics are crucial to refugee operations. This key resource is used by all partners to respond to the needs of refugee populations.

UNHCR’s Statistics Database provides data, reports and other information essential for field operations. It also carries statistical reports on people of concern – refugeesasylum seekersreturned refugees, the internally displaced and stateless people. Detailed information on country of asylum, place of origin, gender, age, location and legal status of refugees is available. Indicators on the quality of refugee protection and UNHCR operations are increasingly being collected.

For more information, please see our Statistical Yearbooksmid-year trends and asylum trends.

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