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Number of asylum claims lodged in the EU this year passes one million

The number of asylum claims lodged in the EU this year has passed a million, official figures indicate.

Provisional figures updated on Friday show that at least 1,003,635 applications were registered in the 28 member states as of October.

The actual total will be even higher, as only a handful of countries have submitted data for last month so far.

It is the second consecutive year that the number has reached seven figures - after a dramatic surge in 2015 amid the international migration crisis .

The findings emerged in Press Association analysis of figures on asylum which are compiled and regularly updated by the EU's statistical body.

Main applicants and any dependants such as children are counted in the headline tally - which could include repeat applications, so should not be read as one million separate individuals.

Separate figures show that 965,850 claims have been made by first-time applicants this year - equivalent to 96% of the total.

Germany continues to receive the lion's share of asylum applications, recording nearly two thirds of the total number, while just under 3% have been made in the UK this year.

The figures indicate that there was a rise in claims received during the summer - peaking in August, when 133,375 have so far been recorded.

Comparisons with counts for previous years give an indication of the extraordinary influx of people into Europe in 2015 and 2016, in what has been described as the largest mass movement of people since the Second World War.

For example, the total number of applications recorded for the whole of 2013 stood at less than half a million, while it was below a quarter of a million in 2008.

Some 1.3 million asylum claims were made last year, the highest figures since comparable records started eight years ago.

On current trends, the final total for 2016 could be even higher.


From Belfast Telegraph