ROTTERDAM, Netherlands

Asylum requests in the Netherlands rose by 80% in 2021, the country’s statistical authority announced Monday. 

A total of 24,740 asylum seekers submitted a first asylum application last year, according to a report by Statistics Netherlands.

It noted that this is the highest number since the 2015 refugee crisis, adding the number of applications increased especially in the last two quarters of 2021.

The report said the number of asylum requests in 2020 was low due to international travel restrictions as a preventative measure to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of asylum requests in 2020 totaled 13,720, it said.

It added that a total of 22,540 people wanted to seek refuge in the Netherlands in 2019, which was 10% fewer than in 2021.

In 2021, Syrians took first place in asylum requests with 8,380, followed by Afghans with 3,005.

It added that 10,120 refugees arrived in the Netherlands in 2021, 2.5 times more than the number in 2020.

In 2019, the number of refugees who came to the Netherlands totaled 4,180.

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