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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

This is the most common Mediterranean migration paths into Europe

About 2 million migrants have arrived in Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea since 2009, and the paths they take to get there have changed over time. So far in 2018, the Morocco-to-Spain corridor has been the most traveled among the three major sea routes used by migrants to reach Europe, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from Frontex, Europe’s border and coast guard agency, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Until 2018, the Morocco-to-Spain route – also known as the western route – had been the least-traveled Mediterranean migration path, with a total of 89,000 migrants arriving along Spain’s coastline since 2009. But between January and August 2018, this route has seen over 28,000 arrivals, more than the central Africa-to-Italy central route (20,000 arrivals) and the Turkey-to-Greece eastern route (20,000 arrivals). One reason for this is that Spain recently allowed rescue ships carrying migrants to dock after other European Union countries had denied them entry.

The eastern route into Greece has been the most traveled over the past decade or so, with 1.2 million arrivals since 2009, more than the other two routes combined. Most arrivals by the eastern route (73%) came in 2015 due to conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Migration along this route slowed to a trickle in 2016, however, following a deal between Turkey and the EU. Turkey agreed to host migrants headed to Europe in exchange for cash assistance and other incentives.



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