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Asylum seeker demography: Young and male


Since 2013, the demographic profile of asylum seekers in the EU-28, Norway and Switzerland has become slightly more male (67% in 2013, 71% in 2014 and 73% in 2015), with a steady share of asylum seekers arriving under 35 years of age (80% in 2013 and in 2014, 83% in 2015).

Among all asylum seekers in 2015, about two-in-ten (19%) were male minors (0 to 17 years of age), compared with one-in-ten who were female minors. And while about four-in-ten (42%) asylum seekers were young adult males (18 to 34 years of age) in 2015, just about one-in-ten (11%) were young adult females in the same age bracket.

These age and gender patterns are largely consistent across some of the largest asylum seeker groups, including those from Syria, Iraq, Iran and Somalia. The large proportion of young males and comparatively smaller shares of young adult women and female children suggests that many refugees from these source countries are young men traveling alone. This situation seems especially likely in the case of asylum seekers from Pakistan and Bangladesh, among whom three-quarters were males ages 18 to 34 in 2015. By contrast, data suggest that asylum seekers from countries like Russia, Serbia and Ukraine tend to relocate as families: Fully 30% to 50% of asylum seekers from these countries were minors accompanied by adults. – READ MORE

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