The number of first-time asylum applications in Bulgaria in the first quarter of 2016 was 4050, close to half the number in the last three months of 2015, according to figures released by EU statistics agency Eurostat.
The rate of decrease is even higher than the average for the EU, which saw a drop of about 33 per cent between the last quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.
In all, the number of asylum applications in Bulgaria in the first three months of 2016 accounted for just 1.4 per cent of the total for the EU in that period, going by Eurostat’s figures.
The number of applicants per million inhabitants of Bulgaria was 562, Eurostat said.
Of the first-time asylum applicants in Bulgaria in the first quarter of 2016, a total of 2015 – about half – were from Iraq.
The next-largest group was people from Afghanistan (1355, or about 33 per cent), followed by Syrians (440, or about 11 per cent), Eurostat said.
(Photo: Unicef/Tomislav Georgiev)