Asylum seeker numbers drop significantly

Asylum seekers can choose to take part in different projects while they wait for a decision, often clearing up woodland areas. Keystone

The number of asylum seekers in Switzerland fell by a quarter in 2013 compared with the previous year. The authorities received 21,465 applications, according to the Federal Migration Office.

This content was published on January 24, 2014 - 17:12 and agencies

While the number of asylum applications placed in Europe climbed by 25% within the same time frame, the Swiss share sunk from just over 8% to just under 5%.

Applications from some countries traditionally have lower success rates than others. Last year’s drop was attributed to taking quicker decisions on these.

The most applications last year came from people fleeing Eritrea, followed by Syria, Nigeria and Tunisia.

The authorities settled nearly 24,000 applications for asylum on the first decision, 975 fewer than in 2012.

Although the number of people seeking asylum fell, those given a positive decision increased.

In total, 3,167 people received asylum in Switzerland, a quarter more than in 2012. The overall recognition rate was 15.4%.

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