In 2015 a total of 56.9 thousand asylum seekers and following family members applying to be reunited with their families were registered in the Netherlands. Four in ten asylum seekers and nearly two-thirds of following family members came from Syria, CBS reports.
Nearly 14 thousand following family members
Last year 43.1 thousand asylum seekers registered in the Netherlands, twice as many as the 21.8 thousand registered in 2014. The number of following family members nearly trebled, from 5.4 thousand in 2014 to 13.8 thousand in 2015. Altogether, 56.9 thousand individuals were added to the population, exceeding record year 1994 when the largest group came from former Yugoslavia where a war was raging during the early 1990s. In the remoter past, the Netherlands has seen massive inflows of refugees, for example, during and in the aftermath of the Great War.
Syrians constitute the largest group of family reunion applicants
The war in Syria forced large numbers of citizens to flee their country. With 18.7 thousand first-time requests in 2015, 43 percent of asylum seekers and nearly two-thirds of following family members were Syrian nationals. The bulk of the 4.9 thousand stateless individuals are Palestinians previously living in Syria. Another important country of origin was Eritrea with 7.4 thousand asylum seekers, but with relatively few family reunion applicants (1.0 thousand).
One-third are children
Just under half of the 56.9 thousand asylum seekers and following family members in 2015 (25.7 thousand or 45.2 percent) were adult men (18 years or older) and one-third were children (18.6 thousand). With 22.1 percent (12.6 thousand), women constituted the smallest share. Nine in ten following family reunion applicants are women and children.