Asylum-Seekers, Almost 1.8 Million Pending Cases at the End of 2014.

Asylum-seekers (pending cases), Change From Previous Year



Last year ended with 1,796,200 pending cases of  asylum applications. About 600K more than the previous year.

2014: +54% Asylum Applications. The Highest UNHCR Ever Registered. 

Previously, it was 2013 the year with the highest growth in asylum requests. And still, for comparison, this was "only" a +23% from 2012.

More Asylum Seekers Applications Filed From Ukraine than From Syria. 

Almost 290K of the total asylum applications filed during 2014 came from Ukraine. This is the visible impact of the Balcan crisis on the refugees' global balance. To put this in perspective, the number means that about 18% of all the asylum seekers applications filed during 2014 came from Ukraine. More than those from Syria (175K, or 11%)

Asylum Seekers, Applications during 2014 by Country of Origin


Asylum Seekers by County of Origin: Applications Pending at the Start of 2014 and Applications Filed During 2014


Visually, Ukraine's asylum seekers' growth really stands out as an outlier. At the start of 2014, there were less than 2,000 applications filed from Ukrainians. Less than many other countries. They peaked to almost 290K in just 12 months.

Ukraine Asylum Applications grew by +680%. 

These 290K Ukranian applications are a staggering +680% from the country's numbers for 2013. This is also the biggest growth registered worldwide. Venezuela, Gambia, Iraq, Serbia and Kosovo and a few others also saw a relative growth over 100%. 

Asylum Seekers, Change in Pending Cases Between Start and End of 2014


Top 20 Countries for Change in Asylum Seekers Pending Cases During 2014

Table filters out cases with less than 100 pending cases at the beginning of 2014. Click "Explore" to remove or refine this threshold.

More than 271K Ukranians Seeked Asylum in Russia.

Of the 290K asylum seekers from Ukraine, 94% applied in Russia. With less than 1% of the requests each, Germany, Poland and Italy follow.

Asylum Seekers' Flows: Applications during 2014 with Ukraine as Origin Country


Different Outcomes of Processed Asylum Requests from Ukraine


The behaviour that national authorities took towards Ukrainian asylum seekers varied greatly. For example, Russia granted Complementary Protection Status to 92% of the Ukranian asylum seekers' applications it considered during 2014. This status refers to "persons who do not qualify for protection under refugee law instruments but are in need of international protection because they are at risk of serious harm"

Portugal, Italy and Belarus also conceded this status to 50% or more of the applications. Something uncommon, as many countries actually rejected the majority of the requests considered. In fact, Spain, The Netherlands and Denmark actually rejected all of the requests

Top 10 Counties by Percentage of Rejected Asylum Requests

Change the filters to look at patterns for other countries

Germany and Sweden Received the Highest Number of Syria's Asylum Requests.

Top 20 Migration Flows for Number of Asylum Seekers' Applications During 2014


Turkey Starts 2015 with 187% More Request from Iraq than 12 Months Before.

Despite the growth, Russia ended 2014 with "only" 2,229 pending asylum cases from Ukraine. Many other countries will start 2015 with 10x this amount. Turkey started 2014 with less than 19K applications from Iraq, but ended the year with 54k. This means that it will start 2015 having to deal with 187% requests more than those it started last year with.

Top 10 Asylum Seekers' Flows for Number of Pending Cases at the End of 2014

(Note: Data on Asylum Seekers, Pending Cases  at Start or End of 2014 is missing for some countries. For example we have no data on the number of asylum applications Russia had from Ukraine at the start of 2014, therefore making it hard to calculate the change. This is why this migration flow won't show up when sorting the table).

This is not the most surprising trend. The Middle East and Islamic State accounted for other staggering growth in asylum applications everywhere. Requests from Iraq to Jordan grew by 546.9%. Those from Boko Haram's Nigeria to Italy by 302%

Top 10 Asylum Seekers' Flows for Change in Pending Cases at the End of 2014 vs. at the Start of 2014

*Charts filtered out for flows that had less than 1,000 pending cases at the start of 2014. (Note: Data on Asylum Seekers, Pending Cases  at Start or End of 2014 is missing for some countries. For example we have no data on the number of asylum applications Russia had from Ukraine at the start of 2014, therefore making it hard to calculate the change. This is why this migration flow won't show up when sorting the table).

South Sudan Asylum Seekers At the End of 2014 are 88% Less Than at the Start.

On the positive side, asylum seekers from South Sudan dropped by 88% percent: from 31,447 at the start of 2014, to 3,785 by the year's end.

Top 20 Countries for Drop in Asylum Seekers Pending Cases During 2014

*Charts filtered out for flows that had less than 1,000 pending cases at the start of 2014. 

To Summarize:

  • Russia is the country who received most asylum applications (275K). More than Germany (202K), France (102K) and USA (96K).
Asylum Seekers' Applications Filed During 2014 per County of Destination


  • Ukraine accounted for 290K asylum requests. More than those filed by people from Syria and Iraq put together.
Asylum Seekers' Applications Filed During 2014 per County of Origin