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Illegal Border Crossings at Europe’s External Borders Fall by Nearly Half

The number of illegal border crossings at Europe’s external borders in January fell by nearly half from a year ago to nearly 5,800*, mainly because of lower figures on the migratory routes in the Mediterranean, according to preliminary calculations.

Western Africa

Nearly 2,100 irregular migrants arrived on the Canary Islands in the first month of this year, more than twice the figure from January 2020. However, the number was not included in the monthly total for illegal border crossings into the European Union because it is a preliminary figure.

Nationals from Mali and Morocco accounted for most of the arrivals.

Central Mediterranean

The Central Mediterranean saw a 51% drop in illegal border crossings in January compared to a year ago to fewer than 900.

Nationals of Guinea and Ivory Coast were the top two nationalities on this migratory route.

Western Mediterranean Sea

There were 600 detections of illegal border crossings in the Western Mediterranean in January, 48% fewer than a year ago.

Algerians and Moroccans accounted for 90% of all detections on this route this year.

Eastern Mediterranean

According to the most recent data, there were around 750 detections of illegal crossings reported in January on the Eastern Mediterranean route, less than one-fifth of the figure from a year ago.

Nationals of Syria, Nigeria and Cameroon accounted for the largest number of detected migrants.

Western Balkans

There were nearly 2,200 detections of illegal border crossings on the Western Balkan route last month, down 14% from January 2020.

Syrians and Afghans were the top two main nationalities on this migratory route.

*The figure includes other less active migratory routes not mentioned in this press release. The final figures may be higher due to delayed reporting.

Note: The preliminary data presented in this statement refer to the number of detections of irregular border-crossing at the external borders of the European Union. The same person may attempt to cross the border several times in different locations at the external border.

Read more at Frontex

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