Eurostat: Ukrainians were largest group seeking asylum in EU in March

In March 2022, Ukrainians were the largest group of people seeking asylum in European Union countries, with 12 875 first-time applicants, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on June 20.

They were followed by Afghans (7770), ahead of Syrians (7320), Venezuelans (4705) and Colombians (3565), Eurostat said.

In March 2022, 73 850 first-time asylum applicants (non-EU citizens) applied for international protection in the EU member states, up 115 per cent compared with March 2021 (34 310) and up 35 per cent compared with February 2022 (54 565), Eurostat said.

The increase from February to March 2022 can be largely attributed to the increase in Ukrainian first-time applicants (from 2370 in February to 12 875 in March; an increase of 443 per cent) due to the military aggression of Russia on Ukraine, Eurostat said

With 14 135 first-time applicants registered in March 2022, Germany accounted for 19 per cent of all first-time applicants in the EU.

Germany was followed by Spain (11 130, 15 per cent), ahead of France (10 240, 14 per cent), Italy (6035, eight per cent), Austria (4295, six per cent) and Romania (4270, six per cent).

These six EU countries together accounted for over two-thirds (68 per cent) of all first-time applicants in the EU.

Eurostat said that 2570 unaccompanied minors applying for asylum in the EU, of which almost half were Afghans.

In March 2022, a total of 2570 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum for the first time, up by 98 per cent compared with March 2021 (1300) and up 16 per cent compared with February 2022 (2215).

Most unaccompanied minors who lodged asylum applications in March 2022 came from Afghanistan (1230), Syria (325) and Somalia (115).

Austria (590), Germany (435) and Bulgaria (275) were the three EU countries that received the highest numbers of asylum applications from unaccompanied minors in March 2022, Eurostat said.

(Photo: UNHCR/Chris Melzer)

For The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of Russia’s war on Ukraine, please click here.

Please support The Sofia Globe by clicking on the orange button below to sign up to become a patron on

For as little as three euro a month or the equivalent in other currencies, becoming a patron means supporting independent journalism, and getting access to exclusive content:

Become a Patron!

The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.