Refugees worldwide, in Europe and in Germany: the numbers for 2020

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, around 76 million people are fleeing worldwide. Out of these, around 46 million seek refuge in their own county, they are also called “internally displaced people. The currently biggest flight and migration movement is in Venezuela. At least three million people have left the country into neighboring ones.

Around 95.000 refugees reached the borders of the European Union in 2020. Most of them came over the western Mediterranean routes to Spain (41.900), around 34.200 people reached Italy and 2.300 the island of Malta over the central Mediterranean routes, about 15.600 came over the eastern Mediterranean routes to Greece. In the last few year, most refugees came from Syria or Afghanistan, however, in 2020, especially people from North Africa came. About every fifth person came from Tunisia, 14 percent from Algeria and 8 percent from Morocco. According to official sources, 1.400 people died during the crossing, however, the actual number is probably much higher.

122.000 people applied for asylum in Germany in 2020. Out of these, only around 76.000 actually arrived in the last year. 26.500 applications were filed for the children of refugees who were born in Germany. 19.600 are “subsequent applications” from people who were already in the country.

Asylum applications continue to decrease. In comparison: in 2015, over 470.000 applications were filed, over 745.000 in 2016, over 185.000 in 2018 and over 165.000 in 2019.

The Migration Media Service (Mediendienst Integration) collected the numbers for 2020 from different sources. The entire evaluation can be found under: Die wichtigsten Asylzahlen 2020 | Artikel | MEDIENDIENST INTEGRATION (


Foto: Refugee camp Moria, Ahmad Sear Ahmadi.

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