Lots more asylum seekers call France home

France was Europe’s third-biggest recipient of asylum seekers last year as the country took in thousands more applicants than previously.

Lots more asylum seekers call France home
A girl walks among bags and mattresses at a temporary migrant settlement in Decines. Photo: AFP

With wars and conflicts raging worldwide, France granted asylum to 20,640 people last year, a rise of 27 percent year on year, new figures from Eurostat show. 

Russians made up the largest group awarded protection status with 2,080 positive decisions, or 10.1 percent of the total. France also welcomed 2,015 Syrians and 1,685 people from Sri Lanka. 

France rejected 78 percent of applicants in the first instance, with just 14,815 people out of a total 68,500 given protection status. A further 5,825 people were granted asylum on appeal. 

More than 750,000 people have received asylum in the European Union since 2008, with Germany and Sweden consistently taking in more asylum seekers than any other countries. 

Germany took in 47,555 asylum seekers last year, 82 percent more than the year before. Sweden accepted 33,000 applicants, up 25 percent on 2013. 

Italy approved just ten fewer applicants than France.

Syrians accounted for 37 percent of the beneficiaries of asylum protection, followed by Eritreans (eight percent) and Afghans (eight percent). 

READ MORE: France rejects four out of five asylum seekers