News Release


Migratory flows in August: Numbers continue to fall in Italy, pressure still high in Spain

2017-09-18

In August, there were approximately 12 200 detections of illegal border crossings on the four main migratory routes into the EU as the number of migrants arriving in Italy fell by almost two-thirds from the previous month. Meanwhile, Spain continued to see the heavy migratory pressure.

The total number of detections on the four main migratory routes in the first eight months of 2017 fell by two-thirds from the same period of last year to approximately 142 700.

Central Mediterranean

In August, the number of migrants arriving in Italy through the Central Mediterranean route fell 60% compared to the previous month to 4 500. This was the lowest monthly total since January. After a significant drop over the last two months on this route, the total of arrivals for the eight months of this year stood at 99 800, down 13% from the same period of last year.

So far this year, nationals of Nigeria and Guinea made up the largest number of the detected migrants on the Central Mediterranean route, which accounts for two-thirds of illegal border crossings into the EU.

Western Mediterranean

The number of detections of illegal border crossings in the Western Mediterranean in August by both sea and land reached an estimated 2 400, more than twice the figure from a year ago. Despite a small decrease in the number of detections in August compared to the previous two months, migratory pressure on the Western Mediterranean route remains high. In the first eight months of the year, the number of migrants crossing into Spain stood at an estimated 13 600, nearly three times the figure from the same period of 2016.

The most migrants detected on this route this year have come from Morocco, Ivory Coast and Gambia.

Eastern Mediterranean

The number of migrants arriving in Greece in August stood at 4 200, nearly a quarter more than in the previous month. In the first eight months of this year, roughly 21 100 migrants reached Greece, about a tenth of the figure from the same period of 2016.

Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans accounted for the majority of detections on the Eastern Mediterranean route in 2017.

Western Balkans

In August, the Western Balkans route saw a relatively low number of detections of illegal border-crossings. The reasons for this is the fact that fewer migrants have been leaving Turkey through its land borders towards the Western Balkans.


Note:

The data presented in this statement refer to the number of detections of illegal border-crossing at the external borders of the European Union. The same person may attempt to cross the border illegally several times in different locations at the external border.

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