According to data available, more than 19 million people have been uprooted from many countries because of war, persecution, and oppression.
It also indicates that estimated 42,500 more join the fleet on every day. A majority of them head towards Europe in search of a better life which is why the crisis there can appear most acute.
The European Union is facing worst migrant crisis since the World War II.
Wars in Iraq and Syria, unrest in the African continent, Afghanistan and chaos in Libya have spurred exodus of refugees in European Union. In 2014, over 170,000 people sailed in Italy fleeing persecution and poverty.
Syria is considered as major driver of refugee crisis in the European Union. Four million people, nearly a fifth of Syria's population, has left the country since the war erupted in 2011.
After Syrians and Afghans and Eritreans are seen as major driver of the migrant crisis.
People living in Eritrea suffer extreme poverty, famine, executions without trial, torture and forced military conscription. Eritreans are the second largest nationality seeking asylum in Europe.
People in Afghanistan were ruled by Taliban until US launched attacks against the group after the 9/11 terrorist attack in the country. It's estimated more than 20,000 people have been killed in Afghanistan since then.
People in Syria have been indiscriminately bombed and shelled by government forces. The Syrian people have been living under brutal dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad since 2000.
Islamic State (IS) which was fighting against the government forces in Syria captured large swathes of the country and opened a new phase of brutality for people living in Syria.
The plight of migrant crisis attracted worldwide attention after image of drowned Syrian toddler went viral on social media and sparked huge outcry globally. European countries who were not ready to open doors for those suffering war and conflict were given warm welcome by these countries.
Three-year-old Alan Kurdi wearing a bright red-shirt and blue shorts lying face down was found in the surf near the resort town of Bodrum in Turkey. The picture went viral and has sparked an international outcry over the human cost of the migrant crisis.
Thousands of people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe this year.