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Germany Still Logs Largest Share of EU Asylum Claims Despite Falling NumbersThe year we are leaving behind has been a busy one for the German authorities processing asylum-seeking claims.

From January 2019 through the end of November, 133,270 asylum seekers applied for asylum in Germany with the authorities, thus marking a 13% decrease from the 162 thousand applications received in the previous year, same period.

Yet, Germany remains the main destination country for asylum seekers in the European Union. Data published by the EU’s statistics office, Eurostat, show that from the start of the year until September there were exactly 111,015 asylum claims made in Germany.

While this year Germany accounted for 23% of all claims made in the European Union, the percentage was at a higher rate of 28%. In 2017 as well, the percentage was higher than the following two years, with 31% of all asylum claims in the EU filed in Germany.

The head of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, Hans-Eckard Sommer, had predicted earlier in November that the number of asylum seekers would be approximately as it turned to be in the end.

I expect that by the end of the year we’ll end up with 140,000 to 145,000 — so even a little less than in 2018,” he has estimated a month ago.

2019 data shows that approximately 587,000 applications have been lodged in the EU+ since the beginning of 2019, up by 11% from the same period last year.

Throughout the whole year, Afghanistan, Syria, and Venezuela, have been the top three sources of asylum seekers, with the third being a visa-free country.  Each of these countries lodged a record number of applications in October, compared to the previous months of the year.

In addition, the European Asylum Support Office statistics show that in October nationals of Colombia, Pakistan, Iraq, Turkey, Albania, Iran, and Nigeria lodged a significant number of applications, with Colombians filing most applications since – at least – 2014. In fact, Colombians lodged almost three times as many applications as they did in the same period last year.

Nationals from visa-exempt third countries still accounted for a quarter of all applications lodged in the EU+ (17,640) in October, with 63% of these applicants being nationals of countries located in Latin America.