The number of asylum seekers receiving benefits decreased considerably in 2018. According to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, the number went down by 12%.
A total of 411,000 asylum seekers were making use of asylum benefits by the end of 2018 — 58,000 fewer people than was the case at the end of 2017. In 2015, at the height of the so-called refugee crisis, those receiving asylum benefit had reached nearly a million.
In addition to fewer recipients, the overall expenses incurred by the government in relation to asylum seekers' benefit also declined. Germany spent less than 4.87 billion euros on asylum seekers in 2018, which marks a fall of 17% in total. Furthermore, the state also benefited from recouping over 200 million euros in refunded benefits which had previously been distributed.
Asylum seekers from around the globe
Nearly two thirds of the recipients were found to be male asylum seekers (64%), and more than half of them come from Middle-Eastern or Asian countries (220,000 recipients in total). About 93,000 of the qualifying applicants came from Africa, while 83,000 were reported to hail from European countries. The largest single demographic receiving the benefits were Afghan asylum seekers with 63,000 recipients, followed by 43,000 Iraqis and 23,000 Syrians.
More than two thirds of the asylum seekers were found to be of working age (18 to 64 years old), while 31% were found to be minors and only 1% to be above the age of 64.
The numbers provided by the Federal Statistical Office of Germany only reflect benefits paid to foreigners who live in Germany and have a pending asylum claim. The statistics do not reflect those who have already been granted subsidiary status or any other form of protection (such as subsidiary protection) following an asylum claim.
with AFP, KNA