EU registers lowest number of illegal crossings of outer border since 2013

MigrantsPhoto: AP Photo / Javier Bauluz
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Around 124,000 people tried to cross the EU’s external border illegally last year. That is the lowest number since 2013, the border authority Frontex states.

The decline amounts to 13% compared to 2019 and is largely due to corona restrictions in the various countries, Frontex noted in a press release about the preliminary figures for last year.

Syrians are still in the majority when it comes to the groups of people who want to enter the EU, followed by Tunisians, Algerians, and Moroccans.

The Mediterranean

Despite an increase early in the year, the eastern Mediterranean route experienced the largest decrease. 

There, the decline was over three quarters – around 20,000 people. In the western Mediterranean, there were around 17,000 people, a decrease of 29%.

New record for the Canary Islands

On the other hand, a new record was set at the Canary Islands. A sharp increase at the end of the year led to the total ending at 22,600 – eight times as many as last year and the highest since Frontex started keeping statistics in 2009.

The route across the central Mediterranean also experienced an increase. 

A total of 35,600 people chose this route, making it the most used route to Europe.

The route across the Western Balkans was used by 27,000 people, just over three quarters more than in 2019.

Fewer women and children

A large majority of those who come to the EU illegally are men. Women accounted for less than a tenth of those stopped last year, while the proportion of women was a quarter the year before.

There were also fewer minor migrants in 2020 – the proportion fell from around a quarter to a tenth.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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