The 28 EU Member States granted protection status to 710,400 asylum seekers last year, more than double that of 2015, Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, reported on Wednesday.
Some 57 per cent of those granted asylum were Syrians.
Iraqis (9% of the total), Afghans (9%), Eritreans (5%) and Iran and Somalia (2%) were the next major recipient-nationalities.
Germany gave asylum to the most people (445,210) followed by Sweden (69,350), Italy (35,450), France (35,170), Austria (31,750) and the Netherlands (21,825).
The number of decisions granting asylum to Syrians more than doubled compared to 2015, adds Eurostat. They were the main beneficiaries of protective status in 19 of the 28 Member States and more than 70% were registered in Germany (294,700).
Out of all the persons who were granted protection status in 2016 in the EU, 389,670 persons were granted refugee status (55% of all positive decisions), 263,755 subsidiary protection (37%) and 56,970 authorisation to stay for humanitarian reasons (8%).