Sweden asylum seeker figures jump 30 percent
The number of people seeking asylum in Sweden increased by 30 percent during the first half of 2012 compared with the same period last year, new statistics show.
So far this year, 16,335 asylum seekers have come to Sweden, up from the 12,595 people who applied for asylum during the first six months of 2011, according to new figures from the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket).
In addition, 1,467 of the asylum seekers who have come to Sweden so far in 2012 are unaccompanied minors, an increase of 52 percent from the same period last year.
A majority of the children come from Afghanistan and Somalia, according to the Migration Board.
Following a January ruling by the Migration Court of Appeal (Migrationsöverdomstolen) making it easier for families from Somalia to be reunited in Sweden, the number of asylum seekers from Somalia has risen by 58 percent to 2,507, making Somalis the largest group of asylum seekers in Sweden.
The second highest number of asylum seekers, 2,012, came from Afghanistan, an increase of 32 percent compared to the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the number of asylum seekers from Syria has increased more than four-fold, from 254 during the first six months of 2011 to 1,212 in the first half of 2012, making Syrians the third largest group of asylum seekers. (...)