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France: number of refugee arrivals 2007-2017

For more than ten years, the total number of refugees arriving in France has gradually increased. Since the 20th century, France has been considered an important host country for immigrants. During the past century, the country welcomed political refugees, as well as immigrants from other European nations and from the former French territories in Africa.

The distribution of refugees in France and in Europe

More recently, it is the refugee crisis which as partly shaped immigration in France. In 2018, there were 122,743 asylum applications in the country, compared to nearly 42,600 in 2008. Since 2015, the European Union (EU) has implemented the Relocation Scheme, which transfers persons in need of international protection from a Member State to another. With most immigrants using the Mediterranean Route to reach Europe, France relocated 5,035 refugees from Greece and Italy in 2018, while Germany keeps being the European country to host most refugees in Europe.

Refugees worldwide

Migration is a common challenge for the members of the EU. But it is also a worldwide phenomenon. Because of its geographical proximity to Syria, Turkey was the largest refugee-hosting country in 2018. The number of refugees worldwide, whether they are internally displaced persons or not, is increasing since 2013. Even though the intensity of the war is slowing down, Syria is still the leading country of origin for refugees in 2018. That year, the situation of countries such as South Sudan or Afghanistan has also forced millions of people to flee and seek refuge elsewhere.

Total number of refugee arrivals in France from 2007 to 2017

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Release date

April 2019



Survey time period


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Statistics on "Migration routes via Italy to Europe"

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