Number of asylum seekers doubles in 2008

The number of asylum seekers in the Netherlands almost doubled in 2008 compared to the year before, reports the national statistic office CBS on Monday.

This increase is considerably higher than the European Union average of 6%, said the CBS.
Some 13,400 people asked for asylum in the Netherlands last year. In 2007 the figure was 7,400 but this was the lowest in 20 years, said the CBS.
Most of the asylum seekers in the EU last year came from Iraq and accounted for 27,700 of the total (238,000).
In terms of asylum requests in relation to population, smaller countries such as Malta and Cyprus saw the biggest influx with 6.4 and 4.6 per thousand inhabitants in 2008. In the Netherlands the ratio was 0.8 per thousand resident, said the CBS.

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