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The number of asylum seekers varies a lot over time, depending on the number and severity of crisis situations around the world, on the approval and entry policies of the receiving countries etc. However, a certain upward trend can be seen from the available data:
However, the most recent decade show a decline:
During the most recent years, however, a new increase:
The top receiving countries are the following:
Here are the numbers for 2010:
And these are the numbers for 2011:
If we plot this against the size of the receiving countries (which is a good measure of their “level of saturation”, if there is such a thing), then we get the following picture:
The U.S. is usually the most popular destination country for those seeking asylum, but not in terms of percentage of the total population of the destination country. Half a dozen or so countries account for half of all applications, or more.
These numbers are more volatile than the numbers in receiving countries because they depend on the occurrence and impact of violent conflicts.
Asylum seekers come mainly from the following countries (one notices a shift between 2003-4 and 2006-7):
Most people come from war-torn countries, understandably (Afghanistan, Iraq etc.).
Here are a couple of maps, but I was unable to determine the reference year: