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Does Europe Take in Enough Migrants? [Chart]

Does Europe Take in Enough Migrants? [Chart]

Does Europe Take in Enough Migrants? [Chart]

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

The questions on the topic of immigration, as we’ve seen in the United States, are challenging to answer even at the best of times. The situation becomes orders more complex when millions of refugees or migrants are seeking asylum from civil war, poverty, and other terrible conditions.

It is the latter situation that Europeans find themselves grappling with: after many series of escalating incidents, the refugee crisis facing Europe has been described as the worst since World War II.

According to the EU Border Agency, the amount of people taking the Greece-Western Balkan route to Europe has shot up 10x. Hungary responded by building a 175km (110 mile) fence along its Serbian border to keep them out.

Illegal immigration routes map Europe

Sentiment has now reached a boiling point, with the Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán writing yesterday in an op-ed essentially that Muslim migrants threaten Europe’s cultural identity as Christians.

Meanwhile, many other countries have opened doors to refugees from the Middle East and Africa. Germany took in over 40,000 asylum seekers in 2014, which is more than any other country. Sweden accepted a higher percent of applications than anyone else (76.6%) and as a result has more than 300 asylum seekers for every 100,000 of population.

However, these countries opening their doors are in a different situation – they aren’t on the front lines like Greece, Italy, and Hungary.

In terms of inflows of all foreign people incoming in, which our chart today depicts, a similar story is told. Hungary (0.21%), Slovakia (0.05%), and Poland (0.12%) received very low inflows of migrants as a percentage of their total population in 2012. Meanwhile, Germany and Norway accept the highest amounts of total migrants in Europe as a percent of their population: 1.18% and 1.39% respectively.

What is the right amount of immigrants and asylum seekers to accept?

It’s a nuanced and complex conversation – and human lives, culture, politics, and the economy are at stake.

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