1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Eurostat report 2017: 538,000 granted asylum in EU

Chloe Lyneham
April 19, 2018

The figures on asylum-seekers in the EU for 2017 are in. More than half a million people were granted protection status, with Germany responsible for around 60 percent of positive decisions.

A refugee family pulling suitcases
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/S. Pförtner

In 2017, the 28 EU member states found that 538,000 asylum-seekers were eligible for protection status. In addition, the EU accepted almost 24,000 resettled refugees. This is according to data compiled by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

A graphic showing the numbers of people granted protection status in 2017 by country

Read more: Germany to accept 10,000 refugees from North Africa, Middle East

The largest group that was granted protection status in the EU in 2017 continued to be Syrian nationals (175,800 — or 33 percent of all persons granted protection status in the EU), followed by Afghan nationals (100,700 or 19 percent) and Iraq (64,300 or 12 percent).

The proportion of Syrian nationals gaining protected status has decreased since 2016, when they accounted for 57 percent of all positive decisions. Nevertheless, in 2017 they remained the largest group of people to be granted protection status across 18 member states. Out of the 175,800 Syrian nationals granted protection status in the EU, more than 70 percent were granted protection status in Germany (124,800).

A graphic showing where the people provided protection status come from

Read more: Acceptance rates for asylum seekers vary between German states

Germany responsible for 60 percent of positive decisions

In 2017, the highest number of persons granted protected status was in Germany (325,400), followed by France (40,600), Italy (35,100), Austria (34,000) and Sweden (31,200).

Of those granted protection status in the EU, 271,600 were recognized as refugees, which accounted for 50 percent of all positive decisions. Subsidiary protection was granted to a further 189,000 applicants (35 percent) and 77,500 were granted a residence permit for humanitarian reasons (14 percent). It should be noted that both refugee status and subsidiary protection status are defined under EU law, while a residence permit is issued under domestic legislation for humanitarian reasons.

Read more: German pilots refuse to carry out deportations

Almost 50 percent of first instance decisions have seen protection status granted

In 2017, there were over 970,000 first instance decisions on asylum applications, as well as 266,000 final decisions on appeal.

In first instance decisions nearly 443,000 people were granted protection status, while a further 95,000 people were granted protection status after a final decision on appeal.

A graphic showing asylum-seekers in the EU in 2017 according to the type of protection they were granted

Recognition rates vary greatly according to nationality

The share of positive decisions compared to the total number of asylum-seeker decisions was 46 percent in the first instance. In the case of final decisions on appeal, the proportion of positive decisions was 36 percent.

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.