UNHCR has published its latest statistics on asylum applications lodged in 44 industrialized countries (full details at: www.unhcr.org/statistics). Key findings include the following:
* An estimated 212,600 asylum applications were recorded during the first six months of 2012 in the 44 included industrialized countries, nearly identical to the same period 2011 (210,100).
* The 27 Member States of the EU registered 123,300 asylum claims in the first half of 2012, 58% of all asylum claims in the 44 countries.
* The top five receiving countries together accounted for more than half (56%) of all asylum claims. These were: the United States of America (42,800),France (25,400), Germany (22,500), Sweden (16,300), and Switzerland (12,800).
* nationalities making the most claims for asylum were Afghanistan (16,300), China (12,400), Pakistan (10,000), Iraq (8,900) and the Islamic Republic of Iran (8,400). Persons from these five countries together accounted for 56,000 applications, or about one quarter (27%) of all asylum claims submitted in industrialized countries. Applications from Syria showed the highest relative increase, with some 6,500 Syrians claims in the first 6 months of 2012.