Deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea 2014-2021

In the first two months of 2021, it was estimated that 250 migrants died while crossings the Mediterranean Sea. In 2020, the number of deaths amounted to 1.4 thousand. However, the accurate number of deaths recorded in the Mediterranean Sea cannot ascertained. Between 2014 and 2018, for instance, about 12 thousand people who drowned were never found.

Casualties and missing people

Worldwide, it was estimated that eight thousand people died in the attempt of fleeing their country. According to estimations, over five thousand refugees lost their lives in the attempt to reach the European shores in 2016. Therefore, the Mediterranean Sea was the deadliest migration route. Indeed, over the last couple of years, the Mediterranean Sea held the largest number of casualties and missing people.

Western, Central, and Eastern route

According to migration studies, the Mediterranean Sea is crossed by a Western, a Central, and an Eastern route. Out of these routes, the Central Mediterranean route was the deadliest. In 2016, roughly 4,6 thousand people lost their lives while pursuing this route. Sadly, the identification of bodies is challenging due to the sea. In 2019, for instance, the vast majority of refugees who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea were not identified and their country of origin untraceable.

Number of recorded deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea from 2014 to 2021

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Source

Release date

March 2021

Region

Europe, MENA

Survey time period

2014 to March 2021

Supplementary notes

*March 5, 2021
The Missing Migrants Project counts migrants who have died in the attempt to migrate to a country different from their country of residence. The count does not include the deaths occurred in immigration detention centers as well as deaths occurred after the deportation to the homeland. In addition, the project does not count the deaths of migrants occurred as a result of labor exploitation.

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