Asylum applications Lodged in 18 industrialized countries, January and February 2001





Provisional data provided by Governments of 18, mainly European, asylum countries indicate that the number of persons seeking asylum continues to fall.  In February 2001, the 18 countries listed in Table 1 received some 30,000 requests for asylum, 16% less than during January and the lowest level since April 2000 (see chart).


During February, countries experiencing a significant relative increase in the number of asylum applications compared to January 2001 include Austria (+28%), France (+13%) and Slovakia (+34%) (see Table 1).  Countries increasing a significant decrease in the number of asylum-seekers include Belgium (-47%), Denmark (-24%), the Netherlands (-24%), Sweden (-25%) and Australia (-49%).


During February 2001, Germany received the largest number of asylum applications (21%), followed by the United Kingdom (UK) (18%)[1] and France (11%).  Whereas Germany and the UK have been the main recipient countries of asylum-seekers for more than a year, France was the fifth largest receiving country during the second half of 2000.


Iraq and Afghanistan continue to be the main countries of origin of asylum applicants in the 18 countries listed in Table 1, each accounting for some 10% of the total number of asylum-seekers (see Table 2 and 3). Turkey and FR Yugoslavia accounted each for 6% of the total inflow during the first two months of 2001.


Nationalities recording a marked increase in the number of asylum applications lodged in February as compared to January 2001 included Ukraine (+12%), Bangladesh (+18%), Moldova (+11%), Mali (+43%) and the Republic of Congo (+29%).  A number of nationalities belonging to “top-10” experienced significant decreases, including the Islamic Rep. of Iran (-47%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (-36%) and India (-30%) (see Table 2).




Population Data Unit, PGDS/DOS

UNHCR Geneva (

9 April 2001












[1] This concerns the number of applications, whereas the data provided by most other countries concern the number of persons.  On average, there are some 1.3 applicants per application.