One third of all asylum applicants under 18 are unaccompanied

Published 04-05-2016
In 2015, over 7 700 asylum seekers were considered as unaccompanied minors in the EFTA States, according to data published by Eurostat. The vast majority of these were male, with Afghanistan representing the most common country of origin, followed by Eritrea and Syria.

The highest number of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in the EFTA States was registered in Norway, with 5 050 applicants, followed by Switzerland with 2 670, and Iceland and Liechtenstein both with five applicants. In Norway, unaccompanied minors constituted half of all young asylum applicants, and in Switzerland a quarter.

The figures show that a substantial majority of these applicants were male. In Iceland and Liechtenstein all of the applicants considered to be unaccompanied minors were male, whereas the percentage shares in Norway and Switzerland were 93% and 87% respectively.

In Norway, most of the asylum applicants considered to be unaccompanied minors were Afghans (65.3%), whereas in Switzerland the largest group originated from Eritrea (43.4%). In both countries, Syria was the third main country of citizenship for this category of applicants (11% in Norway and 8% in Switzerland).

In the same period, the EU registered 88 300 asylum seekers considered to be unaccompanied minors. Also here most of these applicants were male, with one out of two originating from Afghanistan.

For further information, see Eurostat's news release 87/2016 and the dedicated website on asylum statistics in general.

Deputy, EFTA Statistical Office
EFTA Statistical Office

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