The top asylum seekers producing countries in 2018 all have poor human rights records or on-going conflict. People seeking asylum are fleeing from these conflicts and abuses, looking for safety
Major source countries of new asylum-seekers (2017-2018)
VENEZUELA - 116,000 asylum seekers
For the first time, asylum claims from Venezuelans dominated the global asylum statistics with 341,800 new claims in 2018, accounting for more than 1 in 5 claims submitted. The new individual claims are in addition to an estimated 2.6 million Venezuelans who have fled the country, many of whom have international protection needs but have not sought asylum (see page 24 for more information on the Venezuela situation). This number is a sharp increase compared with 116,000 claims in 2017, 34,200 in 2016 and 10,200 in 2015.
By far the most Venezuelan claims were submitted in Peru, with 190,500 new applications compared with 33,100 in 2017 – a more than five-fold increase. This was followed by 61,600 claims submitted in Brazil, where 17,900 were reported in 2017. There were 27,500 claims in the United States of America, although the number of people is very likely to be higher since nearly all Venezuelan claims were affirmative applications reported as cases and can pertain to more than one person. Other countries that received significant claims were Spain (20,000), Ecuador (11,400), Trinidad and Tobago (7,100), Mexico (6,300), Panama (4,600), Costa Rica (2,900), Colombia (2,600), Chile (1,700) and Canada (1,300).
AFGHANISTAN - 107,500 asylum seekers
Afghanistan was the next most common country of origin for individual new asylum applications in 2018, with 107,500 claims lodged in 80 countries. As has been the case since 2016, Turkey received the most claims in 2018 with 53,000 registered. This was followed by Greece which received 11,800 claims – a significant increase on the 7,500 in 2017. A similar increase was seen in France, from 6,600 in 2017 to 10,300 in 2018. in contrast, there has been a sharp decline in Germany from 127,000 new claims in 2016 to 16,400 in 2017 and 9,900 in 2018. new Afghan claims for asylum were received in India (4,500), Austria (2,100), the United Kingdom (2,100), Pakistan (1,800), Switzerland (1,100), Bulgaria (1,100) and Belgium (1,000).
SYRIA - 106,200 asylum seekers
Asylum claims from Syrians were the third most common, in contrast to previous years. There were 106,200 new claims in 2018, a quarter of the peak number of 409,900 lodged in 2015 and a small decline on the 117,100 submitted in 2017. The number of new individual claims is in addition to new arrivals in countries where Syrians receive prima facie or group recognition such as Jordan and Lebanon; or in Turkey, where they were granted protection under the Government’s Temporary Protection regime. excluding these countries, individual asylum claims from Syrians were lodged in 98 countries, mostly in Europe. Germany received the most claims with 44,200, followed by Greece (13,100). in addition, the United Arab emirates (7,200), France (5,000), Austria (3,300), the Netherlands (3,000), Spain (2,900), Belgium (2,800), Sweden (2,500), Saudi Arabia (2,200) and Albania (2,100) all received large numbers of claims for asylum from Syrians.
IRAQ - 72,600 asylum seekers
The fourth most common country of origin for asylum applications was Iraq with 72,600 new claims in 2018, compared with 113,500 the previous year. Turkey received the most new claims from Iraqis with 20,000 in 2018. This was followed by Germany, which received 16,300 in 2018, a decrease compared with the 21,900 received in 2017 and dramatically fewer than the 96,100 received in 2016. Iraqis also applied for asylum in Greece (9,600), Syria (4,500), the United Kingdom (3,600), Jordan (2,700) and France (2,300), as well as 68 other countries.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - 61,100 asylum seekers
Similar to the past couple of years, the fifth most common country of origin remained DRC with 61,100 new applications in 2018, in addition to the 123,400 new refugee registrations on a group or prima facie basis. Burundi was the recipient of the largest number of claims with 13,700, followed by Zambia (9,600), Uganda (8,900), Kenya (6,600), Malawi (4,100), France (4,000) and Zimbabwe (2,300).
SALVADOR - 46,800 asylum seekers
Salvadorans submitted 46,800 new claims globally in 2018, the sixth highest. Most of these were submitted in the United States of America (33,400), although significant numbers were also registered in Mexico (6,200) and Spain (2,300).
ERITREA - 42,000 asylum seekers
There were 42,000 new asylum claims from Eritreans in 2018, a small decline from the 49,900 in 2017. Israel received the most claims with 6,300, followed by Germany (5,600), Libya (4,700), Uganda (3,400), Switzerland (2,500) and the United Kingdom (2,200).
HONDURAS - 41,500 asylum seekers
Hondurans made up the eighth largest group to apply for asylum in 2018 with 41,500 new claims. More than half of these claims were submitted in the United States of America (24,400), in addition to 13,600 registered in Mexico and 2,500 in Spain.
NIGERIA - 39,200 asylum seekers
Nigerians were the ninth most common nationality for new asylum-seekers with 39,200 new claims in 2018 compared with 52,000 in 2017. Of these, 10,200 claims were registered in Germany, followed by 9,600 in Canada, 5,100 in Italy, 3,500 in the United States of America and 3,100 in France.
PAKISTAN - 35,800 asylum seekers
Nationals of Pakistan submitted 35,800 new asylum claims in 2018. Italy received the largest number of these claims with 7,300, followed by Greece (7,200), the United Kingdom (2,600) and Germany (2,200).
Other nationalities that submitted significant numbers of new asylum claims in 2018 included:
- the Islamic Republic of Iran - 35,800 asylum seekers
- Guatemala - 34,800 asylum seekers
- Sudan - 32,400 asylum seekers
- Nicaragua - 31,400 asylum seekers
- Turkey - 30,000 asylum seekers
- Somalia - 27,800 asylum seekers
- China - 27,500 asylum seekers
- Colombia - 25,500 asylum seekers
All figures above should be considered indicative, because the country of origin for some asylum-seekers is unknown, underestimated or undisclosed by some States. Data may include instances of double counting, as some people are likely to have applied for asylum in more than one country. Additionally, only partial data have been received from Belgium, Luxembourg and South Africa, and data from Turkey pertain only until 10 September 2018.
SOURCES: UNHCR, IOM