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Number of people illegally in EU grew 22% in 2021


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: A group migrant walk towards a Red Cross tent in Spain after disembarking on a Spanish coastguard vessel. REUTERS/Borja Suarez

(Reuters) – The European Statistics Office data from Thursday shows that the number of illegally present people in Europe increased 22% to nearly 700,000.

Algerians followed closely by Afghans and Syrians. After the August Taliban takeover, the Afghan population grew by 55% to 22,000 in 2020.

Eurostat reports that men accounted for 87%, while more than half were aged between 18 and 34.

Eurostat reported that 681 200 non-EU citizens were illegally present across the bloc’s 27 member countries in 2021. This is 123 700 more than in previous years, but 67% less than the peak of 2015 when over a million refugees from Syria reached the EU.

This number also included illegal entry and those who did not stay the allowed time.

France had the highest number of reported cases, 215,200. This is a jump of 107% compared to 2020.

The Germans and Hungary follow it. These three countries together accounted for almost 70% of the illegally present non EU citizens within the bloc.

With 50,200 of the 139,000 rejections, the largest number of EU citizens rejected by the EU, it was the Ukrainians.

Citizens of Ukraine were refused entry to Hungary, Poland, and to a lesser degree, Romanian borders.

From 2020 to around 14%, the number of non-EU citizens who were presented with an order to leave a member country decreased. France issued 37% more orders than any other member.

Eurostat reported that while more than half of the population were forced to return, only 47% left the country voluntarily.

Eurostat reported that most denied entries occurred due to the refusal of entry for the purpose or conditions of the stay. However, 29% of all cases were because the person was seen as a threat to public safety.