The number of new asylum seekers in Europe dropped by about 50 percent between 2016 and 2017, new figures released on Tuesday by Eurostat show.
Last year, nearly 650,000 people applied for asylum for the first time in EU countries, compared with 1.21 million the year before. Eurostat said this means the number of applicants had dropped back down to a comparable level to 2014, before the height of the refugee crisis in 2015.
Since 2013, the largest group of asylum seekers each year has come from Syria. About 16 percent of first-time applicants in 2017 came from Syria, while asylum seekers from Iraq were the second-largest group at 7.3 percent. Afghan applicants were the third-largest group at 6.7 percent.