Europe’s boat people infographic
Graphic shows numbers of migrants arriving without authorisation by sea.
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MIGRATION

Europe’s boat people

By Duncan Mil

August 16, 2023 - Greece, Italy and Spain received more than 2.3 million migrants between 2014 and 2022. Almost 85,000 refugees travelled north to seek asylum in the United Kingdom. During this period, nearly 26,000 people perished on their journey.

Britain’s Home Office recorded 45,755 people crossing the English Channel in small boats in 2022. In the first half of 2023, the number was around 11,500, a decline of 10% compared to the first half of 2022, according to The Migration Observatory.

In 2022, Italy received over 105,000 unauthorised arrivals over the Mediterranean, Spain received about 30,000, and Greece almost 13,000.

At the peak of arrivals in 2015, Greece and Italy received over a million migrants, with Greece detecting a record high of 856,723 crossings and Italy receiving 153,842 unauthorised arrivals by sea.

Italy and the UK saw a steep increase in arrivals from 2019 to 2022.

A few nationalities make up a large share of people crossing the Channel in small boats. From 2018 to 2022, 64% of total arrivals had one of four nationalities -- Iranian (21%), Albanian (15%), Iraqi (15%), and Afghan (13%).

There was a sharp rise in Albanian nationals crossing the Channel in 2022, with over 12,000 arriving in small boats, compared to only 800 making the trip a year earlier.

Of the 2,403,705 arrivals recorded, the International Organisation for Migration’s Missing Migrants Project estimates that more than 200 people have died crossing the Channel trying to reach the UK since 2014, while the number of deaths in the Mediterranean was around 25,750.

Sources
PUBLISHED: 16/08/2023; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images
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