Washington, Aug 3: The number of people who applied for asylum in Europe in 2015 was more than the combined figure of 1992 and 2002, the previous preak years.
According to a Pew Reserach Center analysis of the Eurostat data of 1985-2015, the number of asylum applicants in Europe went up to a record 1.3 million last year. The number of 2015 amounts to about one-tenth of all applicants received in the past three decades in the European Union (EU), Norway and Switzerland. Moreover, about half of the 1.3 million asylum-seekers come from the three war-ravaged countries of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
The report also said that a majority of people in all the EU member-states were dissatisfied with the way the union was dealing the refugee challenge. The rate of disapproval was very high in countries like Sweden and Hungary, the report said.
The demographic set-up in several European countries has been affected by the entry of a large number of refugees. Besides in Sweden and Hungary, 2015 saw the share of foreign-born people increasing by one per cent or more in Norway and Austria as well. It took the USA a decade to see this much increase in foreign-born people, said the centre.
Germany has been the primary destination of the asylum-seekers as it received 4,42,000 applications last year.
In terms of per capita, Hungary, Sweden and Austria have received the most number of asylum-seekers in 2015.
While Hungary received some 1,770 applications per 1,00,000 people for asylum in 2015, Sweden received 1,600 applications and Austria 1,000. The figures are quite higher than the total European rate of 250 applicants per 1,00,000.