Greece + 29 more

Refugees & Migrants Sea Arrivals in Europe - Monthly Data Update: December 2016



In 2016, between January and December, 362,376 people crossed the Mediterranean Sea, risking their lives to reach Europe. These new arrivals are in addition to more than one million refugees and migrants who made the journey across the Mediterranean Sea on unseaworthy boats in 2015.

In 2016, the number of those arriving decreased substantially after March. Of those reaching European shores so far this year, 53% came from the ten countries currently producing the most refugees globally.

All statistics presented below refer to January to December 2016, unless explicitly stated otherwise.


  • In December 2016, 10,757 refugees and migrants arrived by crossing the Mediterranean. Among those, 1,665 people arrived in Greece, 8,428 people in Italy and 664 people arrived in Spain. Total arrivals in Greece, Italy and Spain in December decreased by 34% compared to the previous month (16,352), primarily due to the worsening weather conditions brought on by the onset of winter. Overall, arrivals also decreased by 91% compared to the same month in 2015 (118,687), largely due to the greater number of arrivals last year through the Eastern Mediterranean route.

  • In 2016 overall, between January and December 2016, 362,376 people arrived by sea, including 173,450 in Greece, 181,436 in Italy and 7,490 in Spain. This constitutes a 64% decrease compared to the same period in 2015 (1,015,078).

  • In December 2016, arrivals most commonly originated Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea.

  • So far in 2016, the majority of arrivals are from the Syrian Arab Republic (23%), Afghanistan (12%), Nigeria (10%), Iraq (8%), Eritrea (6%), Guinea (4%), Côte d'Ivoire (4%), The Gambia (4%), Pakistan (3%) and Senegal (3%).