Posted on September 30, 2015

Record 522K Migrants Arrive in Europe by Sea in 2015

Jane Onyanga-Omara, USA Today, September 29, 2015

A record 522,124 migrants and refugees have arrived in Europe by sea this year, the International Organization for Migration said Tuesday. The number is more than double the previous high set only last year.

Of the estimated number of migrants who made the hazardous journey by sea, 388,000 arrived in Greece and 130,891 in Italy. They hail from countries that include Syria, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan and Bangladesh, the IOM said. Last year, 219,000 migrants and refugees escaping war and poverty sailed to Europe.

The route to Italy along the central Mediterranean is the deadliest–2,621 migrants have drowned or gone missing there this year–but deaths have started to increase in the Aegean Sea, where many Syrians are heading from Turkey in an effort to reach Greece, the IOM said. It estimated that 246 people have died on that route in 2015.