Fewer asylum seekers in 2010

24/02/2011 15:00

Last year, 13.3 thousand asylum applications were submitted in the Netherlands, i.e. a decline by 11 percent relative to 2009. The top 3 of countries of origin of asylum seekers has not changed relative to 2009.

Fewer Iraqis and Somalis

Nearly half of the 13.3 thousand asylum seekers in 2010 came from Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq. The number of Somali and Iraqi asylum seekers has dropped considerably compared to 2009.  In 2010, the protection policy for special categories of asylum seekers was lifted for these groups.

Asylum seekers by country of origin

Asylum seekers by country of origin

The number of asylum seekers from Somalia totalled 5.9 thousand in 2009 versus 3.4 thousand in 2010. The number of asylum applications submitted by Iraqi declined from 2.0 thousand in 2009 to 1.4 thousand in 2010 and is now back at the level of 2005. The number of Afghan asylum seekers has marginally increased from 1.3 thousand to 1.4 thousand. Their number has grown in recent years.

Asylum applications since 1985

Asylum applications since 1985

Substantial growth asylum seekers in the 1990s

Since 2003, the annual number of asylum seekers has varied between 10 and 15 thousand. In the 1990s, the inflow was much more dramatic than it is today. In record year 1994, 52.6 thousand people submitted requests for asylum in the Netherlands, nearly four times as many as in 2010.

The high numbers in the 1990s were partly caused by the war in former Yugoslavia and the turmoil in Afghanistan and Iraq. In this period, considerable numbers of asylum seekers also arrived from Somalia and Iran.

Arno Sprangers and John de Winter