Refugee Crisis

Sharp Fall in Asylum Seekers

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    • A fall in the year-end asylum-seeker numbers for 2016 could help Chancellor Angela Merkel win back confidence after many voters questioned her open-door migration policy.
  • Facts


    • Nearly two-thirds fewer migrants entered Germany in 2016.
    • About 746,000 asylum applications were processed last year, a large portion of them from migrants who arrived in 2015.
    • Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis remain the largest groups.
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Migrants queue  inside a tent at the compound outside the Berlin Office of Health and Social Affairs waiting to register in Berlin
Their ranks are thinning: The number of ayslum-seekers dropped sharply last year. Source: Reuters

Around 280,000 new asylum-seekers arrived in Germany in 2016, a sharp drop from the 890,000 who entered the country the year before, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière announced Wednesday.

That number must be music to the ears of his boss, Chancellor Angela Merkel, who initially won praise for her “open-door” policy aimed largely at Syrians fleeing civil war but has seen her party lose voters to the right-wing populist Alternative for Deutschland party as a result.

Migration and security have soared to the top of the national agenda.

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