Considerable increase asylum seekers from Syria and Somalia

04/02/2014 15:00

Last year, 14.4 thousand asylum seekers came to the Netherlands, nearly 5 thousand more than in 2012. Among the asylum seekers arriving in the Netherlands in 2013 were more Syrians and Somali women and children, but the total number is relatively low compared to the 1990s.

Substantial increase Syrian asylum seekers

The number of requests for asylum lodged in the Netherlands totalled 14.4 thousand in 2013 versus 9.7 thousand in 2012. They were mainly Syrian and Somali nationals. The number of Syrian requests for asylum (2.7 thousand) is almost six times as high as in 2012. The civil war raging in Syria is largely responsible for the dramatic increase. The number of asylum seekers from Iraq and Afghanistan, on the other hand, declined in 2013.

Main countries of origin asylum seekers

Main countries of origin asylum seekers

Increase Somali asylum seekers due to family reunification

Most asylum seekers came from Somalia. After a considerable reduction in 2012, the number of requests for asylum submitted by Somali nationals rose to more than 3 thousand last year. The increase is predominantly due to family reunification. People arriving in the Netherlands on the basis of family reunification are women and especially children.

Somali asylum seekers

Somali asylum seekers

Number of asylum seekers much lower than in 1990s

Despite the increase in 2013, the number of asylum seekers is still relatively low. In the 1990s, the number of asylum seekers arriving in the Netherlands was much higher, with a peak level of 52.6 thousand reached in 1994. The largest group came from former Yugoslavia. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the annual number of asylum seekers has ranged between 10 and 15 thousand.

Asylum requests 1990-2013

Asylum requests 1990-2013

John de Winter and Arno Sprangers