Nearly 13,800 Unaccompanied Minor Migrants Sought Asylum in the EU in 2019
In 2019, 13 800 asylum seekers applying for international protection in the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU) were considered to be unaccompanied minors, nearly 20% fewer than in 2018 (16 800), continuing the downward trend that started after the peak year 2015 (92 000). In 2019, at the EU level, unaccompanied minors accounted for 7% of all asylum applicants aged less than 18. The majority of unaccompanied minors were males (85%). Two-thirds were aged 16 to 17 (9 200 persons), while those aged 14 to 15 accounted for 22% (3 100 persons) and those aged less than 14 for 11% (1 500 persons). Two in three asylum applicants considered to be unaccompanied minors in the EU in 2019 were the citizens of six countries: Afghanistan (30%), Syria and Pakistan (both 10%) as well as Somalia, Guinea or Iraq (5% each). This information is issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
4 in 10 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in Greece or Germany
In 2019, the highest number of asylum applicants considered to be unaccompanied minors was registered in Greece (3 300 unaccompanied minors, or 24% of all those registered in the EU Member States), followed by Germany (2 700, or 19%), Belgium (1 200, or 9%) and the Netherlands (1 000, or 8%). Among the Member States with more than 500 asylum seekers considered to be unaccompanied minors in 2019, the highest increases compared with the previous year were recorded in Austria (500 more, or +120%) ahead of Belgium (500 more, or +63%), Greece (700 more, or +26%) and Slovenia (100 more, or +21%). By contrast, the largest decreases among Member States with more than 500 asylum seekers were recorded in Italy (3 200 fewer unaccompanied minors in 2019 than in 2018, or -83%) and Germany (1 400 fewer, or -34%).
8 in 10 young asylum seekers were unaccompanied minors in Slovenia
The largest share of unaccompanied minors among all minor asylum applicants in 2019 was recorded in Slovenia (where 80% of all asylum applicants aged less than 18 were unaccompanied), followed by Bulgaria (72%), Slovakia (70%) and Romania (35%).
Every third unaccompanied minor in the EU was an Afghan citizen
Afghanistan (30% of the total number of unaccompanied minors registered) was in 2019 the main country of citizenship of asylum seekers considered unaccompanied minors in the EU Member States. Of the 4 200 Afghans considered to be unaccompanied minors in the EU, 3 in 5 applied in Greece (1 200), Belgium or Austria (600 each). Afghans represented the most numerous citizenship in twelve EU Member States. Syria was the second main country of citizenship of asylum seekers considered unaccompanied minors in the EU Member States. Of the 1 400 Syrians seeking protection in the EU Member States and considered to be unaccompanied minors, almost two-thirds applied for asylum in Greece, Germany or the Netherlands (300 each). Pakistan was the third main country of citizenship of asylum seekers considered unaccompanied minors in the EU Member States. Of the 1 400 Pakistanis seeking protection in the EU Member States and considered to be unaccompanied minors in 2019, just over twothirds applied in the Greece (900).
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