Substantial increase in asylum applications

Published 29-10-2015
The number of asylum applicants in the EFTA countries more than doubled in the third quarter of 2015, compared to the previous quarter.

A total of 21 030 asylum applicants arrived in three of the EFTA countries – Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland*  – between July and September 2015, against just 10 375 in the previous quarter. Of those asylum applicants, 12 340 arrived in Switzerland, 8 635 in Norway and 55 in Liechtenstein. 

Whereas the number of asylum applicants arriving in Liechtenstein increased by more than one third from the second to the third quarter, and in Switzerland by two thirds, the figure for Norway nearly tripled. 

75% of the asylum applicants arriving in the EFTA countries during the third quarter of 2015 came from Eritrea (30%), Syria (26%), Afghanistan (13%) or Iraq (6%). 25% were female and 29% were below the age of 18.

There is increasing focus on refugee statistics in the global statistical community. Together with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Statistics Norway, Eurostat and the Turkish Statistical Institute, the EFTA Statistical Office recently organised an international conference on this topic, addressing the need to establish more comprehensive guidelines on how to produce internationally comparable statistics on refugee flows and refugee populations.

Extensive data on asylum and managed migration in Europe can be found in Eurostat’s dissemination database (, which is the source of the data presented in this news release.

[*] Third-quarter data for Iceland were not available at the time of writing. The number of asylum applicants in the second quarter was 40.

Deputy, EFTA Statistical Office
EFTA Statistical Office

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