Cyprus in 2020 had by far the highest number of asylum applicants compared to its population, with 8,448 per one million inhabitants, more than double Greece’s 3,532.
Cyprus’ chart-topping figures are almost double that of Malta’s 4,686 which itself came in second for the number of asylum applications, and stands in stark contrast to Hungary which only had 9 applications per one million residents.
The data published by Eurostat on Wednesday, the EU’s statistical office, also showed that the EU average for 2020 was 931 applicants per one million – meaning that the Republic’s figure was close to nine times higher.
The application rate in Estonia was just 35, Poland 40, Slovakia 49.
But Germany accounted for one quarter of all first-time applicants in the EU, followed by Spain’s 21 per cent, France 20 per cent and Greece with nine per cent.
As for the asylum seekers themselves, the main countries of origin were Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela and Colombia. Syrian’s accounted for about fifteen per cent while Venezuelan’s were at seven per cent.
And while applications have decreased across the EU compared to the boom in 2016, Cyprus’ figures have generally increased during the last few years.