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Asylum Seekers

Home Department written question – answered on 1st September 2004.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Vice-Chair, Conservative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers requested entrance to European Union member states in (a) 1997, (b) 1999, (c) 2001, (d) 2003 and (e) 2004.

Photo of Des Browne Des Browne Minister of State (Citizenship, Immigration and Counter-Terrorism), Home Office, Minister of State (Home Office) (Citizenship, Immigration and Nationality)

Information on the number of asylum seekers requesting entrance to European Union member states is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. For example for the UK the majority of applications are made in country and it is therefore not possible to identify such cases as asylum seekers prior to entry.

Including dependants, applications for asylum in the UK fell by 41 per cent. in 2003 compared with a fall of 10 per cent. in applications to the rest of the EU (excluding Italy). When the relative size of domestic populations is taken into account, the UK ranks seventh among EU countries (excluding Italy) in terms of asylum seekers per head of population.

Information on the number of asylum seekers applying for asylum in European Union member states is given in the table. (Data for 2004 are not currently available and hence data for the 10 new EU member states are not included.)

Applications(49) received for asylum in Europe, including dependants, by year of application, 1997 to 2003
European

Union

Countries

1997 1998 1999 2000
Austria 6,700 13,800 20,100 18,300
Belgium(50) 13,300 25,000 40,800 48,700
Denmark 5,100 5,700 6,500 10,100
Finland 1,000 1,300 3,100 3,200
France(50) 24,200 25,500 35,100 44,200
Germany 104,400 98,600 95,100 78,600
Greece(51) 4,400 3,000 1,500 3,000
Ireland 3,900 4,600 7,700 10,900
Italy(52) 1,700 9,500 33,400 18,000
Luxembourg(51) 400 1,700 2,900 600
Netherlands 34,400 45,200 39,300 43,900
Portugal(51) 300 400 300 200
Spain 5,000 6,600 8,400 7,200
Sweden 9,600 12,800 11,200 16,300
United Kingdom(53) 41,500 58,500 91,200 98,900
Total EU 255,800 312,300 396,700 401,900
2001 6 2002 6 2003 7 Asylum seekers/1,000 of population 8
Austria 30,100 39,400 32,400 3.9
Belgium(51) 28,000 21,400 19,300 1.9
Denmark 12,500 5,900 4,600 0.8
Finland 1,700 3,400 3,100 0.6
France(51) 53,900 58,100 70,700 1.2
Germany 88,300 71,100 50,400 0.6
Greece(52) 5,500 5,700 8,200 0.7
Ireland 10,300 11,600 7,900 2.0
Italy(53) 9,600 7,300 n/a n/a
Luxembourg(52) 700 1,000 1,600 3.1
Netherlands 32,600 18,700 13,400 0.8
Portugal(52) 200 200 100 0.0
Spain 9,200 6,200 5,700 0.1
Sweden 23,500 33,000 31,400 3.5
United Kingdom 91,600 103,100 61,100 1.0
Total EU 397,600 386,100 309,700 0.9

(49) Figures rounded to the nearest 100.

(50) Figures based on IGC data but adjusted to include an estimated number of dependants.

(51) Figures based on UNHCR data, including dependants.

(52) IGC data for 1997 to 1998. UNHCR data for 1999 to 2002

(53) Figures have been adjusted to include an estimated number of dependants between 1997 and 2001 . 2002 and 2003 figures based on actual data..

(54) Revised figures.

(55) Provisional figures.

(56) Source: 2003 World Population Data Sheet, Population Reference Bureau website.

Information on asylum applications in EU member states is published in quarterly web pages and in the annual statistical bulletin 'Asylum Statistics United Kingdom'. Asylum Statistics United Kingdom 2003 will be available from the end of August 2004. Copies of these publications and others relating to general immigration to the UK are available from the Library and from the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate web site at http://www. homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.

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